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Celebrating International Women's Day

Happy International Women’s Day! Today we have a lot to celebrate. From the recently strengthened Violence Against Women Act, to the establishment of the White House Council on Women and Girls, the Obama administration has been a leader on the road to gender equality for women and girls both here and abroad. President Obama released a statement today:

''Empowering women isn’t just the right thing to do—it’s the smart thing to do. When women succeed, nations are more safe, more secure, and more prosperous. Over the last year, we’ve seen women and girls inspiring communities and entire countries to stand up for freedom and justice, and I’m proud of my administration’s efforts to promote gender equality worldwide.''

We are also celebrating women leaders from all corners of the world. Today, the State Department is hosting the International Women of Courage Awards, where Secretary Kerry will honor nine courageous women who are working hard to advocate women’s rights across the globe. This includes Tsering Woeser, a Tibetan poet, author, and social media activist, who is bravely speaking out against China’s human rights violations against Tibetan citizens. Nigerian advocate Dr. Josephine Odumakin is also being honored. Despite being arrested and detained 17 times, Dr. Odumakin has fearlessly handled over 2,000 cases of violations of women’s rights in her country. Women like Tsering Woeser and Dr. Odumakin remind us the importance of continuing to fight for a world where women and girls everywhere can be free to pursue their dreams.

Click here to read more about the International Women of Courage Award winners.