Marking International Women’s Day on Wednesday, a trans-identified male was awarded an International Women of Courage award during the 17th annual Secretary of State’s International Women of Courage Award Ceremony.
Introducing Alba Rueda of Argentina to the crowd, the presenter said, Rueda “is a transgender woman who was kicked out of classrooms, barred for sitting for exams, refused job opportunities, subjected to violence, and rejected by her family. But in the face of these challenges, she worked to end violence and discrimination against the LGBTQ plus community in Argentina.”
Rueda was handed the presented with the award by First Lady Jill Biden and Secretary of State Antony Blinken.
According to the Secretary of State’s International Women of Courage Award website, Rueda is Argentina’s Special Envoy for Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, International Trade, and Worship, and was the first Argentine Undersecretary for Diversity Policies in the newly created Ministry of Women, Gender, and Diversity.
“Ms. Rueda was the driving force behind Argentina’s executive order on the transgender labor quota in the public sector which was converted into the Transgender Labor Quota Act,” the statement said.
Rueda, the statement continued, “actively campaigned to change the name of the National Women’s Conference to the ‘Plurinational Conference of Women and Lesbian, Cross-Dresser, Transgender, Bisexual, Intersex, and Non-Binary Persons' to include diverse, dissident, and racialized identities.”
Women presented with the award include Senator Datuk Ras Adiba Radzi of Malaysia, who has “committed her life to fighting for the rights of persons with disabilities in Malaysia” after suffering a spinal injury in a car accident and an assault, Brigadier General Bolor Ganbold of Mongolia, who became the country’s first female general in the Mongolian Armed Forces in 2022, and Meaza Mohammed of Ethiopia, a veteran journalist and founder of Roha TV who has covered survivors of gender-based violence in the country during the northern conflict, among other recipients.
Those presented with the award will then travel across the US to participate in International Visitor Leadership Programs exchanges, culminating in a dinner hosted by American Women for International Understanding.