International Women's Day and the International Women of Courage Award
On March 7, U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice inaugurated the Secretary's International Women of Courage Award. Ten Women from Afghanistan, Argentina, Indonesia, Iraq, The Maldives, Latvia, Saudi Arabia and Zimbabwe received the award this year. Through this annual award the United States will honor the courage of extraordinary women worldwide who have played transformative roles in their societies. Achieving the United States' mission of advancing democracy, prosperity and security worldwide is not possible without the empowerment of women. If women cannot participate in the political process, there can be no real democracy. If women are deprived of economic opportunity, development is crippled. If women are not educated, they cannot pass knowledge to their children and there is no true security for the next generation.