Underlining the need to respect women’s rights, US First Lady Melania Trump on Wednesday said that the era of brutality against women and children was over.
Melania Trump also warned that the United States would keep a tab on nations who do not protect women’s rights properly.
She further said gender empowerment was necessary as “we are all members of one race”.
"As leaders, we must continue to work towards gender empowerment and respect for people from all backgrounds and ethnicities, remembering always that we are all members of one race, the human race," Efe news agency quoted Melania saying.
Melania called on members of the public to put themselves in the place of the women being honoured and ask themselves if they would have "the enormous inner strength required to stand up and fight against such odds."
"We must continue to fight injustice in all its forms, in whatever scale or shape it takes in our lives. Together, we must declare that the era of allowing brutality against women and children is over," Melania said.
At the ceremony, the First Lady was in charge of presenting to the women the awards, while US Undersecretary of State for Political Affairs Thomas Shannon mentioned some of the details of the biographies of those being honoured.
Among the awardees was Colombia's Natalit Ponce de Leon, who became a symbol of the fight against acid attacks in Colombia, one of the countries with the most cases of that type of violence.
This is the 11th year that the State Department has held the gala, an initiative that has recognised the work of more than 100 women from 60 countries.
(With IANS inputs)