First Lady Melania Trump gave an inspiring speech on women’s empowerment during the 2017 Secretary of State’s International Women of Courage Awards on Wednesday.
“As leaders, we must continue to work towards gender empowerment and respect for people from all backgrounds and ethnicities, remembering always that we are all members of one race, the human race. Each one of us is uniquely different,” she said while honoring women from across the globe who have overcome injustice to transform their societies. “We must continue once again to shine a light on the horrendous atrocities taking place around the corner and around the globe. We must continue to fight injustice in all its forms, in whatever scale or shape it takes in our lives. Together, we must declare that the era of allowing brutality against women and children is over.”
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The first lady personally handed out awards to 12 women, saying she was “deeply humbled” to do so.
“[They] have given so much for so many, regardless of the unimaginable threat to their own personal safety. Each one of these heroic women has an extraordinary own story of courage, which must inspire each of us to achieve more,” she said. “Their lives remind us of the boundless capacity of the human spirit when guided by moral clarity and desire to do good.”
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In a statement prepared earlier this week, Mrs. Trump predicted what it would be like to present the awards.
“It will be my great honor to share a stage with these amazing women,” Melania said in a prepared statement earlier this week,” the statement read. “Each of the award recipients has overcome incredible odds in her pursuit to change the world and make it better. As women, we must continue to stand together with the steadfast goal of making our world safer through acts of collaborative and individual bravery. As we all know, wherever women are diminished, the entire world is diminished with them.”