March 9, 2023 | 12:09 PM
Critics accused the White House of “diminishing” women by honoring a biological male on International Women’s Day.
Alba Rueda, a transgender woman who serves as Argentina’s special envoy for sexual orientation and gender identity, received an International Women of Courage Award Wednesday at a ceremony hosted by first lady Jill Biden and Secretary of State Antony Blinken.
The 17th annual event honored a “group of 11 extraordinary women from around the world who are working to build a better future for all,” the State Department said in a press release.
Rueda was welcomed onstage by Kathleen Hicks, United States Deputy Secretary of Defense, who mispronounced her name as “Ru-ada” in her opening remarks.
Rueda “is a transgender woman who was kicked out of classrooms, barred from taking exams, refused job opportunities, subjected to violence and rejected by her family,” Hicks said as the honoree approached the podium and kissed the first lady on the cheek.
“But despite these challenges, she worked to end violence and discrimination against the LGBTQI+ community.”
Arkansas Governor Sarah Huckabee Sanders was the most prominent Republican to discredit Rueda’s award on Twitter.
“It’s International Women’s Day — a good time to remember that the Democrats can’t even tell you what a woman is,” she wrote.
“Why are the Democrats working overtime pushing the trans agenda?” asked New Hampshire GOP House nominee and former White House assistant press secretary Karoline Leavitt.
“Nice of FLOTUS to encourage the reduction of women on ‘international women’s day’. Erasing women is abusive,” tweeted conservative radio host Dana Loesch.
Other users of the social platform derisively compared giving Rueda the award to previous awards given to transgender assistant health secretary Rachel Levine and college swimming champion Lia Thomas.
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau countered the criticism, writing on Twitter: “Trans women are women.”
“We will always stand up to this hatred — whenever and wherever it happens,” Trudeau tweeted Wednesday.