Renowned Travel Writer Honored | International Woman of Courage

Elizabeth Gowing, a renowned travel writer and activist, has been recognized with the prestigious International Woman of Courage Award by the U.S. State Department.

Gowing, who has traveled to over 50 countries around the world, has made a name for herself by advocating for women’s rights, cultural preservation, and mental health awareness. She is perhaps best known for her work on the “Rug and Rock” project in Kosovo, where she worked with local women to preserve the traditional Albanian art of Qilim weaving.

The International Woman of Courage Award recognizes women around the world who have shown exceptional courage and leadership in advocating for women’s rights and empowerment. Gowing is one of 14 women to receive the award this year.

In a statement, the U.S. State Department praised Gowing for her commitment to promoting women’s rights and cultural preservation. “Through her work, Elizabeth has helped to preserve the rich cultural heritage of the Balkans, while also advocating for the empowerment of women in the region and beyond,” the statement read.

Gowing, who is based in the United Kingdom, said that she was honored and humbled to receive the award. “I have seen firsthand the incredible strength and resilience of women around the world, and I am committed to using my platform to amplify their voices and support their efforts to achieve equality and justice,” she said in a statement.

The International Woman of Courage Award is just the latest recognition for Gowing, who has received numerous awards and accolades for her work as a travel writer and activist. Her story is a powerful reminder of the impact that one person can have on the world, and the importance of standing up for what you believe in.


  • Renowned – This means famous and well-known for something.
  • Activist – An activist is someone who campaigns for social or political change.
  • International Woman of Courage Award – This is a prestigious award given by the U.S. State Department to women who have shown exceptional courage and leadership in advocating for women’s rights and empowerment.
  • Cultural preservation – This refers to efforts made to protect and maintain cultural heritage or traditions.
  • Mental health awareness – This refers to efforts made to raise awareness about mental health issues and promote better understanding and support for those who are struggling with mental health.
  • Qilim weaving – This is a traditional Albanian art of weaving, which involves making rugs and carpets using a specific technique.
  • Empowerment – This refers to the process of giving someone the power or authority to do something, or the process of making someone stronger and more confident in their abilities.
  • Resilience – The ability to recover quickly from difficult situations or setbacks.
  • Equality – This refers to the state of being equal, where everyone is treated fairly and given the same opportunities.
  • Justice – This refers to the concept of fairness and the idea that people should be treated justly, without discrimination or bias.
  • Accolades – These are expressions of approval or admiration for someone’s achievements or contributions.
  • Impact – The effect or influence that something has on a person, situation or event.

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About The Story

  • What inspired Elizabeth Gowing to become an advocate for women’s rights?
  • How did the “Rug and Rock” project contribute to the preservation of Albanian culture?
  • Can you name some other countries that Elizabeth Gowing has visited during her travels?
  • What does the International Woman of Courage Award recognize?
  • How did Elizabeth Gowing react to receiving the International Woman of Courage Award?
  • Why do you think Elizabeth Gowing is committed to using her platform to amplify women’s voices?
  • What other awards and accolades has Elizabeth Gowing received for her work?
  • What are some of the challenges that women face in the Balkans?
  • How can cultural preservation contribute to social justice?
  • What can we learn from Elizabeth Gowing’s story about the importance of advocacy?
  • How can travel writing help to promote understanding and empathy between different cultures?
  • What impact do you think Elizabeth Gowing’s work has had on the world?

About You

  • Have you ever heard of Elizabeth Gowing before reading this story?
  • Do you think Elizabeth Gowing deserves the International Woman of Courage Award? Why or why not?
  • Which of the causes that Elizabeth Gowing advocates for do you think is the most important?
  • Do you think more people should get involved in advocating for women’s rights?
  • What do you think are the benefits of preserving traditional cultural practices like Qilim weaving?
  • Have you ever been to Kosovo or any other country in the Balkans?
  • Do you think mental health awareness is an important issue to advocate for? Why or why not?
  • Have you ever faced a situation where you had to stand up for what you believed in? What happened?
  • Do you think one person can make a significant impact on the world? Why or why not?
  • How can we support women’s empowerment and promote gender equality?
  • Would you consider becoming an activist for a cause you are passionate about? Why or why not?
  • What do you think are the qualities of a courageous leader?