International Women's Day: Michelle Obama shows Hillary Clinton some love
For International Women's Day, there's a Google doodle, sure. But it is also an occasion for the US to honor 10 courageous women from around the world – and for Michelle Obama to sing the praises of Hillary Clinton.
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Of course Obama didn’t make the six-block trip from the White House to the State Department just to sing Clinton’s praises. The real reason was to present this year’s International Women of Courage awards to 10 recipients from around the world who stand out for their “exceptional courage and leadership” on issues ranging from democratization and fighting corruption to community violence and gender equality.Skip to next paragraph
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“These women come from all different corners of the globe. They have taken very different journeys to this moment,” Obama said at the ceremony. “But they are all here today because somewhere along the line, they decided they could no longer accept the world as it is.”
This year’s awardees include the following women:
• Shad Begum, who founded a women’s NGO in Pakistan and then ran for local political office and won – and has persevered even though she has been kept out of men-only council chambers and denied a microphone.
• Jineth Bedoya Lima, a Colombian investigative reporter who was kidnapped and assaulted for doggedly uncovering an arms-smuggling ring, and who pursues her work despite death threats.
• Zin Mar Aung, a Burmese political activist who refused to give up her fight for freedom and rights for the Burmese people despite 11 years in prison.
• Samar Badawi, the first Saudi woman to sue the government of Saudi Arabia for the right to choose her own husband, and was imprisoned for it.
Since the State Department created the award in 2007, the secretary of State has honored 46 women from 34 countries.
At the ceremony, Obama made special note of this year’s awardee Pricilla de Oliveira Azevedo, one of just a few women in the Rio de Janeiro military police, and one who was kidnapped by a gang she was working to bring down.
Obama noted that Ms. Oliveira has risen in the ranks to where she now commands more than 100 male officers. “We love that,” the first lady said to applause and laughter.
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