Apr 5, 2017
The United States recently honored thirteen exceptional women from around the globe for their perseverance and leadership in helping promote justice in their communities. First Lady Melania Trump presented the Women of Courage Awards.
“Their lives remind us of the boundless capacity of the human spirit when guided by moral clarity and desire to do good,” she said:
"Theirs are the stories of human greatness that will continue to inspire, and therefore must be told far and wide. These honorees, who have fought on the front lines against injustice are true heroes. Their stories of individual bravery remind us that there is always hope whenever the human spirit is brought to bear in the service of others, and that healing and personal empowerment are often born from such deeds.”
Three of the thirteen awardees were from the Africa region. Arrested at the age of 22 for peacefully calling for credible elections in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Rebecca Kabugho became one of the youngest female prisoners of conscience in the world. Upon her release in 2016, she emerged as a voice demanding democratic reform and social change.
Malebogo Molefhe was a national basketball player for Botswana when she became crippled after being shot eight times by an ex-boyfriend. Now wheelchair-bound she has become a tireless advocate for victims of abuse in her country.
United Nations Peacekeeper Major Aichatou Issaka Ousmane of Niger works on the front lines of conflict and peace-building: helping survivors of terror and bringing social services to those affected by violence from groups such as Boko Haram.
"[These women are] truly leading the charge to fight for those that cannot fight for themselves,” said Ms. Trump.
“Together, we must declare that the era of allowing the brutality against women and children is over, while affirming that the time for empowering women around the world is now.”
The U.S. congratulates these Women of Courage from Africa, and their fellow awardees from around the world.