Washington (CNN) - Secretary of State Hillary Clinton used an event commemorating the 100th anniversary of International Women's Day to stress the importance of female valor around the world and specifically in countries experiencing social unrest.
"Women in Egypt and Tunisia and other nations have just as much right as the men to remake their governments, to make them responsive, accountable, transparent," Clinton said Monday at the State Department. "We will certainly be watching and the world will watch."
Clinton said women deserve to be at the table as countries in Africa and the Middle East rebuild, "making those choices that will affect their lives and the lives of their daughters and their sons no matter what government emerges."
The former first lady presented ten women with the International Women of Courage Award including Roza Otunbayeva, the president of the Kyrgyz Republic, who was the first head of state to receive the honor.
"Their courage, their compassion, their commitment, their quiet moral authority has come from putting the well being of others before their own," Clinton said. "Each and every one of these women is remarkable."
First lady Michelle Obama was on-hand for the annual event, thanking the group of prominent women for accepting risks, without which change would not be possible.
"Time and again these women have discovered a very simple truth, that courage can actually be contagious," Obama said.
She said the awards send a message to women that "you are never alone in your struggle."
"America will continue to walk with you, people everywhere who care about freedom and justice and equality will walk with you," Obama said.
Clinton also used the occasion to announce a new partnership with investment bank Goldman Sachs to provide business and management training to 100 women over the next two years.
Clinton said Indonesia and Haiti will be the first recipients of the funds that will supplement the Goldman Sachs 10,000 women program.
"We are launching a new partnership designed to help business women in developing countries make the most of their talents," Clinton said.