Melania Trump photo

Remarks by the First Lady at the Presentation of the 2018 International Women of Courage Award

March 23, 2018

MRS. TRUMP: Thank you. Thank you, Under Secretary Nauert, our distinguished honorees, and guests. Thank you for the honor of allowing me to join you again as we recognize the recipients of the International Women of Courage Award.

This award is reserved for those women around the world who have shown incredible courage and leadership in advocating for peace, justice, human rights, equality, and women's empowerment. They do so at the great personal risk to themselves and their families. Each of these women now join the distinguished list of past honorees who have made the world a better place.

As we recognize these incredible women, let us think for a moment about what courage truly is. Courage is the quality most needed in this world, yet it is often the hardest to find. Courage sets apart those who believe in higher calling and those who act on it. It takes courage not only to see wrong, but strive to right it. Courage is what sets apart the heroes from the rest. It is equal parts bravery and nobility.

The women of courage we honor here today are heroes. They're heroes in the countries they call home. They're heroes for the entire world.

In recognizing them, we stand for what is right. In telling their stories, we can teach young women and girls all over the world what it means to have courage and to be a hero. Their examples define courage.

I see courage in a woman who survived a brutal attack under lasting injuries, and who now speak against violence and teaches young girls the power of self-worth and self-respect.

I see courage in a woman who become the first in her country to serve in the military and helps lead the fight against terrorists who seeks only to destroy life.

And I see courage in a woman who risked her own life to see that the women and girls of Iraq are no longer subject to the horrors of human trafficking, killings, or rape.

These are some of the stories of courage we will hear today. Each of them defines a hero who walks among us.

As many of you know, I'm focused on helping children in everywhere that I can. And I believe that they learn by what they see around them. The women we are honoring today define what it means to be a role model. I cannot thank all of you enough for the path you are helping to pave for our next generation.

As we take this moment to honor such deserving women, let me also thank the men and women of the State Department who work every day in pursuit of a world that is more free and more prosperous, not only for the American people, but for all of mankind.

I thank you, our incredible American diplomats, for showing courage on behalf of our country every day. I'm here because I believe in you and the honorees with whom I'm privileged to share the stage with, and who do so much on behalf of humanity.

God bless you, your families. God bless the United States of America. (Applause.)

Melania Trump, Remarks by the First Lady at the Presentation of the 2018 International Women of Courage Award Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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