During a reception to celebrate International Women’s Day, Mark A. Schapiro, Chargé d’Affaires, U.S. Embassy, paid tribute to Dr. Lara Dimitrijevic as the U.S. Embassy’s Nominee for the U.S. Secretary of State’s International Women of Courage Award. The U.S. Embassy selected Dr. Dimitrijevic as the recipient of this award because of her exceptional and courageous work as an advocate for human rights.
Speaking to an audience of distinguished leaders in business, medicine, politics, the judiciary, academia, and civil society, Mr. Schapiro praised Dr. Dimitrijevic’s efforts to promote children’s rights, gender equality and women’s rights, including pro bono legal services and support for victims of domestic violence and human trafficking. In recognizing Dr. Dimitrijevic’s role as a Woman of Courage, Mr. Schapiro said, “Dr. Dimitrijevic is a stalwart advocate of women’s empowerment and a steadfast champion of victims of abuse.” Mr. Schapiro referred to the debate on reproductive rights in the U.S. and in Malta noting, “Across our countries and across the world, opinions differ and we respect everyone’s right to air such opinions in a respectful and constructive manner.”
Mr. Schapiro spoke about President Donald Trump’s commitment to empower women globally to fulfill their full potential through the Women’s Global Development and Prosperity (W-GDP) Initiative, launched in February 2019. The initiative focuses on advancing workforce development and vocational education to ensure women have the skills and training necessary to secure jobs – and excel at them.
Past recipients of the Ambassador’s Nominee for Women of Courage Award include: Ms. Renee Laiviera, Commissioner for the Promotion of Equality, Dr. Katrine Camilleri, Director of the Jesuit Refugee Service, Ms. Gabi Calleja, Coordinator of the Malta Gay Rights Movement, and Ms. Amy Camilleri Zahra, President of Amputees 4 Amputees.