First lady Melania Trump joined by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo honored recipients of the 2020 International Women of Courage Award at a State Department ceremony Wednesday.
For the award ceremony, Melania wore a black midi dress from Akris. From the Fall/Winter 2019 Akris runway, the wool-blend knit peasant sleeve dress is fitted along the waist. It features a detailed long woven peasant sleeves and a flowing hem. The dress retailed for $2,990, but unfortunate it is sold out.
She brightened the black midi dress by pairing it with a bold Cinestripes colorway pumps from Christian Louboutin. The So Kate ‘Cinestripes’ colorway is a funky mix pattern of bold colors and layered stripes. It retailed for about $700, but it is no longer available for purchase.
Looking to emulate Melania Outfit of the Day and a black midi dress with a funky colorful pattern pumps, check out similar affordable options below.
For the fourth consecutive year, Melania attended and presented awards at the International Women of Courage Awards, as it was one of her first actions as First Lady in 2017.
The all-female award, as described by the State Department is presented ahead of International Women’s Day on Sunday and recognizes women across the world who demonstrate “exceptional courage and leadership” in the face of adversity and who have made a positive impact on their communities.
“It is an honor to be here again to celebrate these inspiring women and the incredible impacts they are making through the work they have dedicated themselves to all over the world,” Melania said during her remarks. “In my fourth year attending this ceremony, I continue to be inspired by the personal stories that accompany each of these extraordinary women. Some demonstrate raw courage in the face of terror, and all of them speak to the strength and determination of a brave women everywhere.”
She added, “As First Lady of the United States, I am proud of what this country continues to do for women, and I am honored to represent a nation that not only recognizes women around the world who are making a difference internationally, but empowers and supports them in their endeavors so they can affect positive change for others.”
The first lady centered her remarks on courage and the meaning of the word.
“These women represent the strength of the female spirit,” Melania said. “Each of them have demonstrated acts of courage and leadership, often at risk to their own personal safety.”
Melania briefly touched on her ‘Be Best’ initiative in her remarks, stating the accomplishments of women “tied nicely” into her initiative.
“Without positive support, guidance, and well-being, which are just some of the attributes today’s children need, they will not enter adulthood with the empathy and strength needed to help others as selflessly as these women today,” she said.
The 2020 award winners came from Afghanistan, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bolivia, Burkina Faso, the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region of China, Malaysia, Nicaragua, Pakistan, Syria, Yemen and Zimbabwe. This year’s twelve recipients include Sayragul Sauytbay, a Chinese doctor forced by the Chinese Communist Party to teach Chinese to Muslims in a detention camp, ultimately fleeing and using her platform to be among the first to speak publicly against the Chinese government’s repressive campaign against Muslims. Also, Amina Khoulani of Syria, a civil rights leader who survived an Assad regime detention center, emerging as founder of “Families for Freedom,” a women-led organization for families whose loved ones have disappeared or been detained in Syria.
Toward the end of the program, awardee Zarifa Ghafari of Afghanistan, gave remarks on behalf of the entire group. Ghafari, a 26-year-old award winner and the mayor of a conservative Afghanistan town, thanked the United States for being the global leader of women’s empowerment while accepting her award.
“It was not so long ago that most women were considered property, and sadly, in some parts of the world, it is still the same,” Ghafari said. “Throughout the modern area, there has been one global leader in the fight for women’s rights, and that’s the United States of America. To the American people, to the American government, let me say: Thank you. Thank you for all you have done to improve conditions for women all around the world.”
“When I started my job, the men at the municipal office refused to acknowledge me and my authority. A mob came and chased me away. They thought that was the end of that. But I came back. I came back and stood my ground,” she added. “Women of my generation have not forgotten the reign of the Taliban and we are as always worried for the future,” she added. “Whatever we women of the world have achieved, we must not take it for granted. It can be taken back from if we are not diligent and strong.”
The award ceremony in Washington D.C. Wednesday helps kick off Women’s History Month, which is celebrated every March to highlight and celebrate women’s contributions to history and modern society.
Read more about the awardees and their accomplishments here.
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