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What is IWOC?

On March 8, Secretary of State Antony Blinken honored a group of extraordinary women with the 2021 Secretary of State’s International Women of Courage (IWOC) Award. This award honors women who have demonstrated exceptional courage, strength, and leadership in acting to improve the lives of others, from families to communities to countries. It is an extraordinary opportunity to bring international attention and support to women who have put their lives and/or personal safety at risk in order to improve their societies and inspire fellow citizens.

Next, the IWOC honorees will participate in International Visitor Leadership Program (IVLP) Virtual exchanges to connect with American communities, universities, businesses, non-profit organizations, and others. Now in its fifteenth year and conferred by five Secretaries of State since the inception of IWOC, the U.S. Department of State has honored more than 155 International Women of Courage from over 75 countries.



Check out this year’s virtual IWOC ceremony


In honor of the 2021 International Women of Courage (IWOC) ceremony, we asked the honorees what does being a women of courage mean to you?



Check out photos from IWOC 2021




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Share your #WomenOfCourage

In honor of Women’s History Month in March, and the U.S. Department of State’s annual International Women of Courage Award, we want to know: Who is your woman of courage? She could be a piano teacher, a mentor, family member or friend who took a stand and inspires you to reach higher. From February 22nd through March 31st 2021, share a photo of your woman of courage and let us know why you admire her (tag her if you can), including the hashtag #WomenofCourage. Submissions will be shared here on our website: WomenofCourage.State.Gov.