Melania Trump on Thursday honored women from 10 countries for their courage, saying the trait “is one of the qualities we need most in society.”
“It is what propels us forward,” the first lady said as she joined Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to confer the International Women of Courage Award on recipients from Bangladesh, Djibouti, Egypt, Ireland, Jordan, Montenegro, Myanmar, Peru, Sri Lanka and Tanzania.
“Courage is what divides those who only talk about change from those who actually act to change,” Mrs. Trump said. “Courage takes sacrifice, bravery and humility. It is the ability to put others first.”
Human rights activists, police officers and an investigative journalist were among recipients of the award, which the State Department created in 2007. The award has been bestowed on more than 120 women from more than 65 countries.
Pompeo separately recognized women in Iran for protesting the requirement that they wear a head covering known as a hijab in public and a Ukrainian activist who died in 2018 after she was attacked with sulfuric acid.
He introduced the first lady as “a woman of incredible power and courage” who has “been increasingly outspoken against the enslavement of human trafficking and sexual abuse of women and girls all around the globe.”
“I know she will continue to be an influential leader, an influential voice, who inspires future women leaders, like herself, all around the world,” Pompeo said.
International Women’s Day is Friday.