President Donald Trump marked International Women's Day a little differently than most: by tweeting a shoutout to his wife, who's recently kept out of public view as reports of Trump's alleged decade-old affair with an adult film star continues to dominate headlines. The president announced Thursday that First Lady Melania Trump would present an award to women who've courageously advocated for women's rights around the world. Trump's tweet also said, "Happy International Women's Day."
Rather than mark International Women's Day by recognizing women's achievements and contributions or commit to empowering women as other members of the First Family did, President Trump appeared to keep his commemoration of the day simple. "Happy #InternationalWomensDay," Trump tweeted before dropping — as if it was a gift — the title and link of a White House press release announcing the first lady's involvement in the International Women of Courage Award ceremony.
The first lady is expected to present the International Women of Courage Award to more than 120 women from more than 65 different countries in a ceremony on March 21. According to the Office of the First Lady, Melania Trump's participation in this year's award celebration is meant to be "in honor of International Women's Day." Along with presenting the award, the first lady is expected to speak at the event.
"The fearlessness with which these women fight for equality and freedom in places far from the safety of their own homes, is remarkable," the first lady said in a statement released by the White House on Thursday. "Their courage only furthers my belief in the powerful impact women can make through solidarity and support of one another." The first lady went on to say she thought women's strength was "something to be celebrated" and considered it "a great privilege" to stand and present the award's recipients with an honor "they so justly deserve."
The International Women of Courage Award aims to honor "women around the globe who have exemplified exceptional courage and leadership in advocating for human rights, women's equality, and social progress, often at great personal risk," according to the State Department, which launched the award in 2007 under the direction of then-Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice. The award is the only all-female honor handed out by the State Department.
But Trump isn't the only member of the first family to have marked International Women's Day. The first lady also took to Twitter on Thursday to mark International Women's Day. "Happy #IWD2018," the first lady tweeted, using an abbreviation of International Women's Day in her hashtag. "Today we recognize, celebrate & honor women around the globe."
The first lady went on to note she would present the Women of Courage award to "some extraordinary women" in a ceremony at the State Department on March 21.
Trump's eldest daughter also took to Twitter to celebrate, although she choose instead to focus on a message proclaiming the benefits of female empowerment.
"Today we come together in recognition of women at home & around the globe," Ivanka Trump tweeted. "We celebrate women's achievements, past & present, & pledge to empower women to reach their full economic potential for generations to come. When women thrive, we ALL succeed."
This year's International Women of Courage Award ceremony won't be Melania's first time presenting the award. In 2017, the first lady presented 13 women with the award. Moreover, a quick glance through the archives reveals it's common for the first lady to present the award or co-host the ceremony. Michelle Obama did so multiple times throughout her husband's presidency.
President Trump also gave some brief remarks on International Women's Day at the White House on Thursday afternoon. "We're proud in all of the measures we've taken, economically, to empower women, especially in the workplace you see what's happening," he said, before going on to claim that women's unemployment was at an 18-year-low.