Jill Biden: Women honored for courage made 'extraordinary choice'

Jill Biden: Women honored for courage made 'extraordinary choice'
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First lady Jill BidenJill BidenFirst Lady visits schools to discuss COVID-19 The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by National Industries for the Blind - Schumer: Dem unity will happen eventually; Newsom prevails The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by National Industries for the Blind - Biden travels west as Washington troubles mount MORE is set to praise the efforts of more than a dozen women who will be honored by the State Department on Monday for displaying courage in the face of persecution, seven of whom will receive the award posthumously. 

“Some of these women have spent their lives fighting for their cause. Others are just starting out on a journey they didn’t ask for,” Biden will say in a prepared speech at a ceremony for this year's International Women of Courage Awards, according to The Associated Press

“Some were called to service, and some couldn’t escape it,” Biden will add. “They are fighting for their own lives and for their children. They want to right the wrongs of our past, to build a brighter future for everyone. They aren’t immune to fear. No one is.”

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This year's International Women's Day award ceremony will honor 21 women, seven of whom were killed during civil unrest in Afghanistan during the last several months. The  ceremony will be held virtually due to health concerns amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. 

“You see, courage isn’t really found,” Biden will say in her remarks, a copy of which the AP obtained. “It doesn’t conjure away our doubts. It’s an intentional decision made.”

The women being honored "made an extraordinary choice, to persist, to demand justice, to believe that, despite the obstacles and fear they faced, there is a future worth fighting for,” Biden plans to say.

Biden will say the pandemic showed all people around the world “how the things that connect us — our love for family and friends, our hope that we will be together soon — transcend language and distance.” 

“We will make the choice to lead, to be bold and to lift up the women and girls everywhere who light our way,” Biden will continue. “For 15 years, we have honored women around the world who have made the extraordinary choice to fight for something bigger than themselves.”

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Biden will also suggest her husband's administration will make the advancement of women a top priority during his first term in office. 

“Today, we recommit to being worthy of that courage, to understanding that our lives are tied together in immeasurable and powerful ways and to choosing, every day, to honor that connection,” she will say. “We will stand with you as we build a brighter future for us all.”