When you’re a Secretary of State, as [Condoleezza] Rice and Madeleine Albright and I have discussed — it’s perhaps unfortunate, but it’s a fact — that you’re treated as a kind of an honorary man or a unique woman who comes from another place outside of the religion, outside of the culture.
I never ran into any personal problems with that. I had very frank discussions on a full range of issues in a lot of countries where women were denied their rights. But I always raised women’s rights, so it could not be said or assumed by the leader that I was happy with the position of being the “honorary man,” the representative of the government of the United States. And I think you’d hear the same from Condi and Madeleine.
You know full well, your eyes are open, you’re going into this and the reason they’re receiving you — and you don’t have your head covered and, in my case, I’m standing there in a pantsuit and I’m shaking their hand and it’s going to be on the front page of their newspaper — that they see that as an exception.
And I keep trying to demonstrate they can learn from our experience in our country, where over the long history of the United States we keep trying to make a more perfect union, and of course that includes trying to ensure the full participation of women.
Photo: Clinton meets with delegates from an Afghan women’s civil society during an international conference on the future of Afghanistan in 2011 via Human Rights Watch