Join us in celebrating courageous women leaders from around the globe and building bridges of international understanding

The 2017 International Women of Courage Celebration 

Thursday, April 6, 2017

Jonathan Club

Downtown Los Angeles

Please click here to see the 2017 International Women of Courage who will be honored at the Celebration

The International Women of Courage Award
The International Women of Courage Award was established by the U.S. Department of State in 2007 to honor women who are making a substantial difference in the lives of women around the globe. Nominated by U.S. embassies and NGOs, the candidates are selected by the State Department for their courageous and selfless efforts advocating for human rights, women’s equality, and social progress, often in the face of great personal risk. Honorees travel to the U.S. for an award ceremony at the State Department and an opportunity for cultural exchange across the country.

AWIU’s International Women of Courage Celebration
Since 2008, American Women for International Understanding has had the unique privilege to work with the State Department in hosting The International Women of Courage Celebration, an evening event that recognizes the awardees and celebrates their exemplary efforts. In addition, AWIU provides each of the awardees with a monetary grant to support continued efforts in her home country. This year, AWIU celebrates it’s 50th Anniversary as an organization supporting women-to-women interaction around the globe and our 10th Anniversary hosting the International Women of Courage Celebration. Click here to read the AWIU Fact Sheet

mellody-hobson-240x3002017 IWOC Celebration

This year, our IWOC Celebration will be held at the Jonathan Club in downtown Los Angeles on April 6, 2017. We look forward to welcoming the International Women of Courage to Southern California.  Our Honorary Chair is Mellody Hobson, President of Ariel Investments.




AWIU is pleased to announce that Anita L. DeFrantz will receive the 2017 AWIU Internationalism Award. An Olympic medalist, she is being recognized for her commitment to advocating international exchange and peace through sports.  Ms. DeFrantz is an Executive Board Member of the International Olympic Committee, former President of the LA84 Foundation, and Senior Advisor for Legacy to LA2024.

Individual Tickets or Tables can be purchased here. 

IWOC Honorees
The International Women of Courage come from all walks of life and share the same unshakeable commitment to the rights and well-being of women around the globe. Their exceptional leadership and courage are helping to transform their societies despite tremendous challenges. IWOC honorees have included women from Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bolivia, Burma, Central African Republic, China, Cyprus, Dominican Republic, Guatemala, Guinea, Iraq, Iran, Japan, Kenya, Kosovo, Malaysia, Nigeria, Pakistan, Palestinian Authority, Paraguay, Russia, Somalia, South Korea, Sri Lanka, Syria, Uzbekistan, Vietnam, Yemen and Zimbabwe.

“I appreciate the work that American Women of International Understanding (AWIU) is doing to generate awareness on women’s issues around the globe. Their support, empathy, effort and time as a volunteer, to feature problems that women face within and outside the U.S. is simply commendable. Raising awareness on women’s issues is a crucial step towards progress and so is working together in global solidarity.” Roshika Deo, 2014 International Women Of Courage Awardee, Fiji

Download the 2016 IWOC Highlights PDF