On May 19, 2013, Tibetan author and blogger Tsering Woeser was presented with the U.S.government’s International Women of Courage Award. She was originally awarded the honor on March 8, 2013, by First Lady Michelle Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry at a ceremony in Washington, DC, but was unable to attend due to Chinese government restrictions on her overseas travel. (ICT report, Women of Courage Award to Tsering Woeser affirms US commitment to Tibet)
The award was presented to Woeser in person by staff of the U.S. Embassy in Beijing. Those attending the private ceremony included her husband, writer Wang Lixiong, artist Ai Weiwei, economist Ilham Tohti, human rights activist Hu Jia, lawyer Ding Xikui, and 2011 International Women’s Courage Award winner, lawyer Guo Jianmei.
In his remarks on March 8, Secretary Kerry explained the justification of the award to Woeser: “for courageously striving to improve human rights conditions for China’s Tibetan citizens by illuminating their plight through her writings, and thus giving eloquent voice to those whose stories might otherwise never be heard, Tsering Woeser is a woman of courage.”