WASHINGTON, March 9 (AP) Jill Biden on Wednesday praised a group of women from around the world, including those who have been protesting Iran’s leader, for showing courage in fighting for their rights and calling on men “Partner” with women and support their causes.
“While we need women who are willing to speak up, we also need more men who are willing to listen and act,” the first lady said.
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“We need more men who hold each other accountable when their sisters are hurt or left behind,” she said at a White House ceremony honoring the recipients of the 2023 International Women of Courage Awards. Men raise families, they feed, teach, and guide, they build safer communities. We need more men who know that caring, cooperation, and kindness are signs of strength, not weakness.
“Men, we need you to support women who are fighting for their rights and help women who are oppressed,” she continued. “Be partners, be partners with women. Be the brave people we need. Only then will we be able to build a world where men and women are equal and everyone is free.”
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At a ceremony on International Women’s Day, Biden and Secretary of State Anthony Blinken honored 11 honorees from Afghanistan, Argentina, Central African Republic, Costa Rica, Ethiopia, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Malaysia, Mongolia, Poland and Ukraine .
The group includes the first female general to serve in the Mongolian Armed Forces, as well as advocates for protecting indigenous lands in Costa Rica and ending discrimination against people with disabilities in Malaysia and LGBTQ people in Argentina.
Among them is Yuliia Paievska, a Ukrainian military doctor who recorded harrowing body-cam footage last year showing her team’s efforts to save the wounded during Russia’s bombing of the city of Mariupol. Paievska handed the tape to AP reporters on a small data card, and they were the last international team in the city.
Journalists fled Mariupol with data cards and shared the images with the world. Payevska was detained by pro-Russian forces shortly thereafter and was held for three months.
A new group award named after Madeleine Albright, who made history in 1997, was given to Iranian women and girls who have protested against their government since last September , became the first female secretary of state in the United States, and died in March last year.
Nationwide protests erupted in Iran following the death of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini on Sept. 16 while in the custody of Iran’s morality police. Amini was accused of wearing a hijab inappropriately, violating Iran’s strict dress code for women.
The International Women of Courage Award was established in 2007 by then-U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice to honor individuals who have demonstrated extraordinary courage, strength and leadership while advocating for peace, justice, human rights, gender equality and women’s empowerment Women and girls. Since the award’s inception, more than 180 women from more than 80 countries have been honored.
Biden moved Wednesday’s ceremony from his traditional home at the State Department because she “wanted to bring the stories of these amazing women to the biggest stage we can, which of course is the White House,” said White House Vice President Karin Jean- Pierre said. The White House press secretary also spoke at the ceremony. (Associated Press)
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