Leader of Bangladesh Praises Democracy

After her speech, Hasina fielded questions from the audience. Questions were asked in English and Hasina answered in Bangla, the national language of Bangladesh. Her translator then spoke to the audience in English.

After multiple questions from male audience members, an event coordinator asked for a question from a woman.

That question, the final one of the evening, concerned the Prime Minister's most formidable challenge as a female leader.

"Women have a handicap and a long way to go, but it can be easily achieved," she answered.

Her answer was met with an enthusiastic round of applause.


In her opening introduction of Hasina, former Canadian Prime Minister Kim Campbell praised her for disproving the stereotype that only men can rule in times of crisis and handle the difficult decisions.

Audience member Nehal S. Patel '02 said she was impressed by Hasina's speech. She said the Prime Minister's gender made "it all the more amazing that she's done what she has."

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