Acclaimed Vietnamese journalist and human rights defender, Pham Doan Trang is one of the recipient of the 2022 International Women of Courage Award.  On its 16th year, the Secretary of State’s IWOC Award is given to 12 women of courage from all over the world who have been beacons of light, inspiration and hope.  


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On Monday, March 14, at 10:00 a.m. EST, Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken will host the annual International Women of Courage (IWOC) Awards in a virtual ceremony at the U.S. Department of State. The 2022 IWOC Award ceremony will honor a group of twelve extraordinary women from around the world who are working to build a brighter future for all.  The First Lady of the United States, Dr. Jill Biden, will deliver remarks in recognition of the courageous accomplishments of this year’s IWOC awardees.

Out of an abundance of caution due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and in order to practice safe social distancing, the ceremony will be pooled press coverage only and will be live streamed on www.state.gov.

Now in its 16th year, the Secretary of State’s IWOC Award recognizes women from around the globe who have demonstrated exceptional courage, strength, and leadership in advocating for peace, justice, human rights, gender equity and equality, and the empowerment of women and girls, in all their diversity – often at great personal risk and sacrifice.  Since March 2007, the Department of State has recognized more than 170 women from over 80 countries with the IWOC Award.  U.S. diplomatic missions overseas nominate one woman of courage from their respective host countries and finalists are selected and approved by senior Department officials.  Following the virtual IWOC ceremony, the awardees will participate in an International Visitor Leadership Program (IVLP) Virtual exchange to connect with their American counterparts and strengthen the global network of women leaders.  The 2022 awardees are:

Phạm Đoan Trang – Vietnam

Phạm Đoan Trang is an internationally recognized author, blogger, journalist, and human rights defender who, through her writing and interviews, uses thoroughly researched legal arguments to advocate for human rights, rule of law, and the inclusion of all voices in political spaces in Vietnam.   Ms. Trang authored books and co-founded numerous community-based organizations focused on the expansion of political participation and promoting human rights, good governance, and access to justice.  As a journalist, she bravely reported on social issues previously untouched by the Vietnamese media.  Ms. Trang has received numerous international awards for her work. She was arrested on October 6, 2020, and sentenced to nine years in prison on December 14, 2021, for purportedly “making, storing, or disseminating propaganda against the people’s administration” in relation to her writings and peacefully expressing her opinions.

Given the virtual nature of this year’s IWOC Awards ceremony, the awardees will not be available for in-person interviews.  However, media outlets may e-mail MediaRequests@state.gov to schedule virtual interviews with the awardees.  We also invite you to use the hashtags #IWOC2022 and #WomenOfCourage on social media for news and updates on this year’s awards. For any IWOC inquiries, please contact the Secretary’s Office of Global Women’s Issues (SGWI_PA@state.gov).  For any IVLP inquiries, please contact (ECA-Press@state.gov).


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