U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry honored Zuzana Števulová with the 2016 International Women of Courage Award today in Washington, D.C. Števulová was recognized for her profound personal dedication in courageously fighting for the rights of refugees and migrants, including during Europe’s migration crisis.
Števulová was among 14 women from across the world to receive the award, which honors women who demonstrate exceptional courage and leadership in advocating for peace, justice, human rights, gender equality, and women’s empowerment, often at great personal risk.
In accepting the award, Števulová said, “I sincerely believe that it is our moral obligation to ensure refugees are treated with respect and dignity and are able to exercise their rights, find safety and continue with their lives as soon as possible. To ensure this, we do not need much, we have all the tools and means available. Sometimes it only takes a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens, who can make a difference.”
Liam Wasley, Charge d’Affaires of the U.S. Embassy in Bratislava, explained that, “As head of the Human Rights League, Zuzana Števulová works hard to raise awareness of refugee rights and dedicates much of her personal time to helping migrants and foreigners in need. The Department of State honored her for being a strong and unwavering voice for greater assistance to and compassion for refugees and those in need.”
This year marks the tenth anniversary of the Award, which has recognized nearly 100 courageous women leaders from 60 countries since 2007.