Mama Maggie CC via Flickr/ Utenriksdepartementet
CAIRO – 7 March 2019: The United States' Department of State announced Wednesday in a statement that Egyptian Mama Maggie will be granted the International Women of Courage (IWOC) Award during an annual celebration on Thursday.
Another nine women will be granted the award due to their "demonstrated exceptional courage and leadership in advocating for peace, justice, human rights, gender equality, and women’s empowerment, often at great personal risk and sacrifice," according to the statement.
First Lady of the U.S. Melania Trump will deliver a speech at the ceremony, while Secretary of State Michael Pompeo will honor 10 extraordinary women from around the world.
“Since the inception of this award in March 2007, the State Department has recognized more than 120 women from more than 65 different countries,” the statement read.
And the list of 2019 awarded women includes: Razia Sultana of Bangladesh, Naw K’nyaw Paw of Burma, Moumina Houssein Darar of Djibouti, Mama Maggie of Egypt, Colonel Khalida Khalaf Hanna al-Twal of Jordan, Sister Orla Treacy of Ireland, Olivera Lakić of Montenegro, Flor de María Vega Zapata of Peru, Marini de Livera of Sri Lanka and Anna Aloys Henga of Tanzania.
Following the official award ceremony, meetings and interviews with government officials, NGOs, media, and others in Washington, D.C., IWOC honorees will travel to individual U.S. cities on the International Visitor Leadership Program (IVLP).
American organizations and businesses will host the IWOC awardees and collaborate with them on strategies and ideas to empower women both in the United States and abroad. The awardees will reconvene in Los Angeles for a closing ceremony before returning to their home countries.
Maggie Gobran, or Mama Maggie, is the founder and CEO of the non-profit charity Stephen's Children in Cairo, Egypt. She was also professor of computer science at the American University in Cairo.
In 2012, Maggie was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize.