Washington has a record number of female Ambassadors

Last Updated 03 May 2018, 01:18 IST

There are 25 female ambassadors including India's Meera Shankar who are presently posted in Washington, the highest number ever, according to the State Department, 'The Washington Post' reported today.

Prominent among other female ambassadors include Hunaina Sultan Al-Mughairy of Oman and Columbia's Carolina Barco.
While Al-Mughairy is the first female ambassador from an Arab country, Shankar is India's first female Ambassador in more than 50 years. Barco is Latin America's only female Ambassador to Washington.

There are as many as 182 ambassadors in Washington. Though with 25, female ambassadors remain a distinct minority, it is five times the number it had in late 1990s.
A key reason is the increase in the number of top US diplomats who are women, 'The Washington Post' said, what some call the "Hillary effect."
"Hillary Clinton is so visible" as secretary of state, said Amelia Matos Sumbana, Mozambique Ambassador, "She makes it easier for presidents to pick a woman for Washington," Sumbana was quoted as saying.

In fact, three of the last four secretaries of state, the office that receives foreign ambassadors have been women. Madeleine Albright became the first female US secretary of state in 1997. Condoleezza Rice served from 2005 to 2009.
"The pictures of US diplomacy have been strongly dominated by photos of women recently," Shankar told the daily. "That helps to broaden the acceptance of women in the field of diplomacy," she said.
According to 'The Washington Post' 11 of the 25 female envoys in Washington are from Africa. Four are from Caribbean nations. The others are from Bahrain, the Netherlands, Croatia, Kyrgyzstan, Singapore, Oman, Colombia, India, Liechtenstein and Nauru.
Heng Chee Chan, the Singaporean ambassador and the longest-serving female envoy in Washington, said it has been a "quantum leap" for women in diplomacy since she arrived here in 1996, the daily said.

(Published 11 January 2010, 08:00 IST)

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