On International Women’s Day, the United States stands with the international community in celebrating the tenacity, determination, and leadership of women and girls around the world and the immense contributions and accomplishments they achieve toward more peaceful and democratic societies. The Department of State is committed to empowering and amplifying the voices of women and girls in all their diversity, and we will continue to demand that their human rights be respected.
Today, I join First Lady Jill Biden in hosting the 17th annual International Women of Courage (IWOC) Awards, as we honor 11 women leaders from around the world. In their local communities and countries, the 2023 IWOC awardees are promoting the human rights of members of marginalized communities, protecting the rule of law, informing the public from the center of conflicts, and advancing women’s leadership and gender equality. The 2023 IWOC awardees join a cohort of more than 180 women, from more than 80 countries, who live their lives in the service of others – regardless of the personal risks and sacrifices – as International Women of Courage.
The U.S. commitment and work to advance gender equity and equality are not prioritized just today; it is our commitment every day. We have strengthened and renewed our commitment to advancing the inclusion and the empowerment of women and girls as a strategic, moral, and human rights imperative.
We know that by reinforcing gender equity and equality, countries strengthen their stability, prosperity, security, and democracy. Working with our international and civil society partners, the United States recently announced numerous strategies and initiatives to advance this reality across the globe. For example, in November 2022, President Biden released the Presidential Memorandum on Promoting Accountability for Conflict-Related Sexual Violence. In January, I launched the first-ever interagency U.S. Strategy on Global Women’s Economic Security. We also remain committed to doubling State and USAID foreign assistance investments that promote gender equality worldwide, to $2.6 billion in FY 2023, consistent with the President’s Budget Request.
Today, and every day, the United States celebrates women and girls across the globe and continues to advance our efforts to promote gender equity and equality for the benefit of all.