The U.S. State Department Wednesday honored women and girls who have led protests in Iran as it gave out its International Women of Courage awards.

In addition to 11 individuals honored at the White House ceremony, this year the State Department announced a new group award named after former Secretary of State Madeline Albright.

“In every region, there are other women doing this work who we can’t name individually – in some cases because the attention would put them at even greater risk. So we’ve found a new way to honor them,” Secretary of State Antony Blinken said.

The award honors the work of women and girls who protested in the months following last year’s death in police custody of Mahsa Amini, who had been detained by Iran’s morality police.

“They followed in the footsteps of brave women before them, who sacrificed so much in the name of freedom,” said U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Linda Thomas-Greenfield. “Through neighborhoods and classrooms, out of apartment buildings and car windows, the protesters chanted throughout Iran and around the world, creating a global chorus demanding gender equality and human rights.”

Thomas-Greenfield highlighted Iran’s response to the protests, with tens of thousands of people arrested and some killed in “bloody crackdowns.” She called on the international community to condemn the Iranian government’s “repression and violence.”

“To all the women and girls across Iran – know this: We will continue to stand with you in your fight for women, for life, and for freedom,” Thomas-Greenfield said.

Source » voanews