Melania Trump calls for end to violence against women in rare speech

In a rare public speech Wednesday, first lady Melania Trump called for the international community to stand up against violence toward women and children and declared the need for promoting women's empowerment. 
"Together, we must declare that the era of allowing the brutality against women and children is over while affirming that the time for empowering women around the world is now," Trump said at the State Department's International Women of Courage Award winners in Washington. 
"Wherever women are diminished, the entire world is diminished with them. However, wherever women are empowered, towns and villages, schools and economies, are empowered and together, we are all made strong with them."
Standing in front of the award-winning female activists, Trump called for a more welcoming international community.
"We must begin now to challenge old fears, fight long-held prejudices and stand up against evil," she said. 
"We must continue to work towards gender empowerment and respect for all people from all backgrounds and ethnicities, remembering that we are all members of one race, the human race." 
And she asked young women to look to the achievements of the honorees for inspiration in the fight against injustice. 
"As you go forward, remember their journeys as you push ahead and strive to bring about a better community, a better country, and a better world in the ongoing fight for right over might," she said. 
"We must continue once again to shine the light on the horrendous atrocities taking place in neighborhoods around the corner and around the globe where innocent families are crying out to live in safety. We must continue to fight injustice in all of its forms, whatever scale or shape it takes in our lives."
The speech served as one of the few public addresses by Trump, who has so far remained out of the spotlight and only spoken a handful of times publicly since President Trump took office. 
President Trump has been accused of sexual assault by multiple women, and faced criticism during the presidential race after video surfaced of him boasting about grabbing women without their consent surfaced.