First Lady Jill Biden and Secretary of State Antony Blinken presented the 2023 International Women of Courage Award to Argentine trans (biologically male) activist Alba Rueda.
The ceremony, which took place on International Women's Day, was held at the White House. According to a statement from the Department of State (DOS), it honored "a group of 11 extraordinary women from around the world who are working to build a better future for all."
Rueda currently serves as Argentina's Special Envoy for Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The DOS pointed out that the trans activist "played a fundamental role in promoting the Executive Decree on employment quotas for transgender people in the public sector." In addition, she was introduced at the event as:
A transgender woman who was expelled from the classroom, disqualified from taking exams, rejected from job opportunities, subjected to violence, and shunned by her family. But in the face of these challenges, she worked to end violence and discrimination against the LGBTQ-plus community in Argentina.
"International Women's Day: no longer just for women"
There was no lack of controversy on social media. Several people disagreed with giving a person who was born a man an award that honors women.
Arkansas Governor Sarah Huckabee Sanders posted on her Twitter account, "It's International Women's Day, a good time to remember that Democrats can't even tell you what a woman is."
It’s International Women’s Day – a good time to remember that Democrats can’t even tell you what a woman is. https://t.co/BPJ1fHhl5u
— Sarah Huckabee Sanders (@SarahHuckabee) March 8, 2023
TV host Dana Loesch posted, "Nice of FLOTUS to encourage the diminishment of women on 'international women's day.' Erasing women is abusive."
Journalist Andrea Katherine wrote "International Women's Day: not just for women anymore."
International Women's Day: Not just for women anymore.
— Andrea Katherine (@AndreaKatSTL) March 8, 2023
"Apparently, men are much better at being women than women are. Step up your game, ladies," Townhall columnist Derek Hunter sarcastically declared.
Apparently men are a lot better at being women than women are. Step up your game, ladies. https://t.co/QRTEdefMyn
— Derek Hunter (@derekahunter) March 8, 2023
"Why are Democrats working overtime to push the trans agenda?" asked news anchor and former congressional candidate Karoline Leavitt.
Why are the Democrats working overtime to push the trans agenda? https://t.co/GJ7XDVBrhw
— Karoline Leavitt (@kleavittnh) March 8, 2023
DOS officials selected the finalists
These awards are presented by the DOS. The selection process is initiated by "U.S. diplomatic missions abroad" who nominate a woman "of courage in their respective host countries." Subsequently, senior officials of the department are in charge of selecting and approving the finalists.
The awards, presented annually, honor women "who have demonstrated exceptional courage, strength and leadership in promoting peace, justice, human rights, gender equity and equality," according to the DOS press release.