Tales from the Trail

Who knew the Dalai Lama was a feminist?

February 18, 2010

World peace came first. But then the Dalai Lama told reporters he brought up to President Barack Obama during their White House meeting the issue of women in leadership roles. USA/

“I also mentioned the female, biologically, more sensitive about others’ pain … about others who are suffering,” the exiled Tibetan spiritual leader said, adding with a laugh that Obama agreed with that sentiment.

“I wish, you see, the amount of leadership more female … should take the leadership role,” he said.

The Dalai Lama in his world travels has met women in high-power jobs, including German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

After making his statement to the media on the White House driveway, draped in a burgundy robe with one arm bare  and open sandals contrasted against piles of snow, the Dalai Lama left to see a top female U.S. official — Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

USA/The White House issued a statement about Obama’s meeting with the Dalai Lama, but it didn’t include any mention of women in leadership roles.

“The President stated his strong support for the preservation of Tibet’s unique religious, cultural and linguistic identity and the protection of human rights for Tibetans in the People’s Republic of China,” the White House statement said.

Actually in the five sentences of the White House statement, China was mentioned three times.

For more Reuters political coverage, click here

Photo credit: Reuters/Yuri Gripas (Dalai Lama at White House)

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