Ten extra ordinary women from around the world were honored with International Women of Courage Awards ( IWOC ) 2019 at the US State Department on 07th March 2019. Sri Lankan Marini de Livera was among the awardees from Bangladesh, Burma, Djibouti, Egypt, Jordan, Montenegro, Peru, Tanzania and Ireland who were felicitated by the State Department.
The US Secretary of State’s International Women of Courage Award ( IWOC ) honors women who have demonstrated extra ordinary courage and leadership in advocating for social justice, human rights, gender equality, and the advancement of women and girls. Since its inception in 2007, over 120 women from 65 countries have been honored with the IWOC award.
The First Lady of the United States, Melania Trump graced the occasion as the Chief Guest and delivered special remarks.
Speaking on the occasion, Secretary of State, Michael Pompeo congratulated the IWOC awardees on being recognized as outstanding women leaders around the world as part of US’s commitment to advancing the status of women and children around the world. Secretary of State, Prompeo also touched on Women’s Global Development and Prosperity Initiative ( W-GDP ), launched in February 2019 by the White House, aimed at empowering 50 million women across developing countries by 2025 and the launch of the Academy for Women Entrepreneurs ( AWE ) on 06th March 2019 in support of W-GDP, by the State Department, to provide online education resources, foster networks that support access to mentorships, and connect women through existing exchange programs.
Marini de Livera, who champions the causes of women and child victims of crime, promotes alternative care for children trapped in orphanages and innovative use of visual arts and street theater to promote legal literacy, is the former Chairperson of the National Child Protection Authority and a member of the Steering Committee on the Rehabilitation of Child Soldiers, the Prisons’ Reforms Committee, and the National Committee on Women. She also chaired the committee that drafted the amendments to the Prevention of Domestic Violence Act and worked as a Human Rights Trainer.
Charge d’Affaires of the Sri Lankan Embassy, Washington DC, Sarath Dissanayake participated in the felicitation ceremony together with members of the Diplomatic Corps.
Embassy of Sri Lanka