First Lady Melania Trump made a rare public appearance today at the State Department at an event honoring ‘International Women of Courage.’
‘I am deeply humbled to be here today to honor these 12 remarkable and inspirational women, who have given so much for so many, regardless of the unimaginable threat to their own personal safety.’
Among the honorees were women from Iraq, Yemen and Syria, countries included in President Trump’s original travel ban. The second iteration left Iraq off.
‘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 First Lady said.
‘For wherever women are diminished, the entire world is diminished with them. However, wherever women are empowered, towns and villages, schools and economies are empowered, and together we are all made stronger with them,’ she continued.
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First Lady Melania Trump visited the State Department Wednesday, making a rare public appearance to dole out the International Women of Courage awards
Melania’s appearance comes after an announcement was made that the first lady has hired a new communications director
Melania Trump with human rights activists Najib Thabet of Yemen. Yemen is among the countries targeted in President Trump’s travel ban
‘Wherever women are diminished, the entire world is diminished with them,’ Melania Trump said today at the State Department
Melania Trump fixes her hair before presenting the 2017 Secretary of State’s International Women of Courage awards at the State Department today
First lady Melania Trump stands alongside acid burn victim Natalia Ponce de Leon of Colombia during today’s State Department ceremony
Melania Trump presents an International Women of Courage (IWOC) Award to Jannat Al Ghezi. Al Ghezi is deputy director of The Organization of Women’s Freedom in Iraq, which helps women escape domestic violence. Iraq was on President Trump’s original travel ban
First lady Melania Trump with honoree Malebogo Molefhe from Botswana. Molefhe is a prominent advocate for female victims of gender-based violence
First lady Melania Trump was introduced at the State Department by Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs Thomas A. Shannon
Melania presents an award to Sister Carolin Tahhan Fachakh of the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians in Syria. The organization helps to empower young girls in the country and works with women in Syria displaced by conflict
A teary eyed Rebecca Kabugho from the Democratic Republic of Congo receives an award from the First Lady. Kabugho is one of the youngest female ‘prisoners of conscience’ in the world – a non-violent protester who has been repeatedly arrested for insisting her country hold fair elections
Melania presents a courage award to Veronica Simogun who runs an anti-domestic violence organization in Papua New Guinea
Arlette Contreras Bautista’s courage award comes as a result of severe beating she received at the hands of a partner, which was captured on camera and ignited a movement in her home country of Peru
Major Aichatou Ousmane Issaka was honored for being one of the first women to have ever joined the army in Niger
Sandya Eknelygoda was honored by First Lady Melania Trump for her human rights activism in Sri Lanka. Her husband, a journalist, went missing in 2010 because of his work
First lady Melania Trump sported a French manicure to the State Department today as she handed out International Women of Courage awards to 12 recipients
Sharmin Akter of Bangladesh received an award for her activism against child and forced marriages
Melania Trump talked about some of the horrors the honorees have faced: domestic abuse, gender bias, violence, terrorism, war, corruption and government oppression.
‘Let us try to envision ourselves in their place, struggling with gender bias and discriminatory loss, which serves to protect the perpetrators of unthinkable crimes, while punishing their victims should they even dare to speak out,’ the FLOTUS said.
‘Ask yourself if you would have the fortitude of spirit, the courage of your convictions and the enormous inner strength required to stand up and fight against such an overwhelming odds,’ she continued.
‘Amazingly, each of our honorees have courageously answered “yes” to those questions for it is their strength and the strength of others like them which will ignite a global battle against inhumanity,’ the first lady added.
Mrs. Trump said the United States needed to send a clear message to the world that ‘we are watching’ and explained the importance of shining a light on victories achieved by women around the globe.
First lady Melania Trump presented awards to 12 women from around the world, including Yemen and Syria, countries hit by her husband’s travel ban
First lady Melania Trump chats with one of the award recipients, acid burn victim Natalia Ponce de Leon of Colombia
First Lady Melania Trump presented an award to educator and gender activist Saadet Ozkan of Turkey
First lady Melania Trump sported chic Christian Louboutin heels to the State Department today, as she gave out awards to International Women of Courage
‘I am deeply humbled to be here today to honor these 12 remarkable and inspirational women, who have given so much for so many, regardless of the unimaginable threat to their own personal safety. 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 First Lady said.
‘I believe that bravery is the ability to live one’s life refusing to be discouraged, and instead, choosing a life of purpose,’ the first lady said, noting how the 12 recipients of the award fit this mold.
She also had a message for the young people in the audience.
‘I ask you to allow the triumphs exemplified by these heroic women to inspire you in your own lives and to remind yourself that you, too, are capable of greatness,’ she said. ‘I urge you to not be afraid to fail. As failure will never have the power to define you as long as you learn from it.’
‘As you go forward, remember their journeys, push ahead and strive to bring about a better community, a better country and a better world in an ongoing fight for right over might,’ she advised.
She was introduced at the event at State by Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs Thomas A. Shannon, who brought up a number of her charitable causes, while noting that she planned to take on the issue of cyber bullying as first lady.
Besides bringing up the issue at a speech outside of Philadelphia directly before the election, Melania Trump has yet to make any moves to signal that she plans to still make cyber bullying her cause.
State would absorb major budget cuts to its program under President Trump’s budget. Funding would be cut by 29 percent, second only to the EPA in reductions it would absorb.
The award is in its 11th year. It has recognized 100 women, and is ‘meant to showcase and support a group of women who put their personal safety and sometimes lives at risk in order to help improve their communities,’ according to the White House.
The presentation of an award can send a political message.
In 2014, First Lady Michelle Obama was there to award Eurovision singer Ruslana Lyzhychko of Ukraine. She is a civil society activist, human rights advocate and a leader of Ukraine’s Maidan movement for democratic reform.
The U.S. imposed sanctions on Russia in 2014 for its invasion of Ukraine.
The first lady appeared in Washington last night too, at a White House dinner with senators and their spouses.
The first lady brought her flare for style, as it appeared she was wearing a $2,390 Whistler stretch-crepe dress designed by Roland Mouret.
She issued a statement saying she plans to continue hosting lawmakers.
First lady Melania Trump (right) was also on hand at a dinner at the White House last night with President Trump (left) as they welcomed senators and their spouses to the executive mansion
Melania looks on as President Donald J. Trump makes remarks at a reception for US Senators and their spouses in the East Room of the White House
Trump and Melania walk into the White House’s East Room for the reception attended by Senators and their spouses
CONTINUITY: First lady Michelle Obama (L) listens to U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton during the presentation ceremony of the International Women of Courage Awards at the State Department March 8, 2012
SOLIDARITY: First Lady Michelle Obama (L) applauds for Eurovision singer Ruslana Lyzhychko (R) of Ukraine – a civil society activist, human rights advocate and a leader of Ukraine’s Maidan movement for democratic reform – as she is awarded the US Secretary of States International Women of Courage Award 2014 during a ceremony at the State Department in Washington
‘It was my great pleasure to open the doors of the White House to these esteemed members of the United States Senate, along with their spouses and invited guests,’ she said.
‘This is the people’s house and I intend to continue the tradition of hosting the elected officials who work alongside my husband to serve the American people.’
The first lady’s public appearance comes after the announcement the first lady has hired a new communications director, Stephanie Grisham, who traveled with reporters during her husband’s campaign.
‘Mrs. Trump’s life story is an inspiration to millions of mothers and female entrepreneurs, and to me personally,’ Grisham said in a statement announcing her hiring.
‘I deeply respect and admire her commitment to our country, her family, and to the important role of the First Lady. I look forward to helping her communicate her unifying message of kindness and empowerment,’ Grisham said.
Melania Trump stood by her husband after the emergence of the infamous 2005 ‘p****’ tape, where Donald Trump made crude remarks about grabbing women
Melania Trump received praise as well as scorn from different members of the public for standing by her husband after the emergence of the infamous ‘p****’ tape that should him making crude comments about women.
Lawyers for President Trump said in a court filing this week that Trump was immune from a sexual harassment lawsuit, citing the Bill Clinton Paula Jones harassment case, which they said ‘immunizes President Trump from being sued in this action while he is in office,’ the LA Times reported.
Former ‘Apprentice’ contestant Summer Zervos brought the suit. She says she got ‘ambushed by Mr. Trump on more than one occasion and was ‘subjected to unwanted sexual touching.’