The Independent Women’s Forum (IWF) presented Ambassador Nikki Haley with its Barbara K. Olson Woman of Valor Award on Wednesday night at its Annual Awards Gala held at DAR Constitution Hall in Washington. The awards ceremony has seen an almost 50 percent increase in attendance for each of the past four years.
Haley, who is leaving office at the end of the year, was recognized for her strength, courage, and willingness to speak boldly on behalf of America’s interests, her work on human rights around the world, and her deep commitment to economic liberty and freedom.
Presenting the award, IWF Chair Heather R Higgins, said Haley has defended America’s interests “confidently, clearly, and with steadfast moral compass, and without apology.”
“Where reform was possible, for instance, in UN peacekeeping negotiations and operations, she has led the way,” said Higgins. “Thanks to her leadership, the UN’s peacekeeping efforts are now focused on fairness, compassion, respect, and importantly, actually achieving results.”
“In UN showdowns over everything from North Korean missiles and nuclear tests, to the use of chemical weapons in Syria, Ambassador Haley stood up to Russia, China, Iran, and their cohorts. She has called out their propaganda. She is a clarion voice for decency and truth,” she added. “Thanks to her leadership, the UN imposed the toughest sanctions yet on North Korea.”
Haley accepted the award and thanked IWF, saying the group “was founded on the revolutionary notion that not all women think alike.” She added that “the truth is, the majority of women’s groups don’t speak for women who aren’t liberals. That’s just a fact. IWF was created to be a voice for millions of women who are like me.”
Haley recounted her experiences and work for women over the past two years while serving as ambassador. “Of course, there is sexism and we must never tolerate it. But there’s also something else that tremendously disadvantages women that gets less attention, and that’s the actions of governments and the effects of lawlessness. In place after place that I’ve worked on over the past two years, this phenomenon has struck me,” she said.
“In Syria, where the dictator uses chemical weapons against his own people, it is women and children who are the most victimized. In Venezuela, where a once well-off people have become impoverished by the disasters of socialism, it is women who are disproportionately left to care for children without medicine and feed their families without food,” Haley continued. “Time after time, government corruption, trampling of human rights, and the absence of freedom hurts women the most.”
What next for Haley? Potentially, the sky is the limit, as suggested by the wave of women voters in the midterm elections. Haley could present the current administration with – pardon the pun – the trump card in this female wave of political change. Indeed, Newsweek is already suggesting Haley as a replacement for Vice President Mike Pence and it is not inconceivable that we could see a change of running mate for the 2020 campaign.