A Tough First Week at Work for Karen Hughes

Karen Hughes VNRKaren Hughes "started her first week as the State Department's top public relations officer with a 'listening tour' of Egypt, Saudi Arabia, and Turkey." After Hughes' meeting with Egyptian students on U.S. scholarships, one student said, "I'm glad she spoke to us, but I didn't find her answers very convincing." In Turkey, Fatma Nevin Vargun told Hughes, "War makes the rights of women completely erased." Turkish activist Hidayet Sefkatli Tuksal said there is "no chance for America to make its image better ... while the war in Iraq is still going on." Tuksal also said she was "feeling myself insulted" by some of Hughes' comments. In Saudi Arabia, several of the 500 women at an event with Hughes took exception to her wish that Saudi women be allowed to drive and "fully participate in society." An ob/gyn countered, "There is more male chauvinism in my profession in Europe and America than in my country."