Hillary Clinton laments 'double standards' for women in politics

Hillary Clinton

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said she was encouraged by street protests in India by young citizens demanding better treatment for women, as she rued the loss of life of the Delhi gangrape victim who she said could have contributed to India's future.

Clinton, who made a historic bid in 2008 to become the first US woman President, also said that women across the world still encounter "double standards" in politics.

The outgoing Secretary of State said in the years to come she looked forward for big changes in India where despite the fact that women have broken several glass ceilings there is still "tremendous amount of discrimination".

"I personally was very encouraged, and even proud, to see the young (in the) streets protesting the way that young women are treated by men who do not understand or have never been taught to accept that it's not just their sisters and their mothers that they should respect, but all girls and women. So I'm looking for big changes in India in the years to come," Clinton said in response to a question from an Indian during a global townerview.

Replying to a question on women in politics, Clinton acknowledged that there were still double standards.

"Although it is better than it was, having been in and around politics for many years now, there is still a double standard. And it is a double standard that exists from the trivial, like what you wear, to the incredibly serious, like women can't vote, women can't run for office, women are not supposed to be in the public sphere," she said.

"But there is a spectrum of the double standard and of the both legal and cultural barriers to respect for women, for the full participation of women," she said.

"So we do have ways to go, and even in democracies, and a democracy like yours (India), unlike mine, that's had a woman leader and has a woman at the head of the current governing party, where women have achieved a lot of political success, there is still a tremendous amount of discrimination and just outright abuse of women particularly uneducated women, women who can't stand up for themselves, but clearly, even, as we saw in the terrible gang rape, a woman trying to better herself, go to school.

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