The U.S. Secretary of State’s 2021 International Women of Courage Awardees

Monday, April 19
10:00AM-11:15AM EDT
Watch the event recording:


Maximilienne C. Ngo Mbe
Executive Director of the Central Africa Human Rights Defenders Network, Cameroon

Mayerlis Angarita
Founder of Narrar para Vivir (Narrating to Live), Colombia

Ranitha Gnanarajah
Lawyer and Human Rights Activist, Sri Lanka

Moderated by Ambassador Melanne Verveer
Executive Director, Georgetown Institute for Women, Peace and Security

The U.S. Secretary of State’s International Women of Courage Award recognizes women from around the globe who have 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.

GIWPS was honored to host a special conversation with three 2021 awardees focusing on their work defending human rights and gender equality in fragile and conflict affected settings. From Cameroon, Colombia, and Sri Lanka, they shared their stories, strategies for effecting positive change, and recommendations to human rights defenders around the world and the international community looking to support their work.

This event was hosted by The Georgetown Institute for Women, Peace and Security, in partnership with the U.S. Department of State. Several of the awardees are now participating in the International Visitor Leadership Program (IVLP), the U.S. Department of State’s premier professional exchange program, to cultivate lasting connections with their American counterparts. Follow #WomenOfCourage on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter to learn more.