Quiz: How many ambassadors to the United States are women?

Quiz: How many ambassadors to the United States are women?

For those of you who don’t subscribe to the bimonthly print edition of Foreign Policy, you’re missing a great feature: the FP Quiz. It has eight intriguing questions about how the world works.

The question I’d like to highlight this week is:

How many ambassadors to the United States are women? 

a) 3    b) 15    c) 25

Answer after the jump …


C, 25. The number of female ambassadors posted in Washington is at an all-time high, the Washington Post recently reported. Some have attributed it to the "Hillary effect," with U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton bringing more women into the diplomatic corps. With three of the past four U.S. secretaries of state being women, some ambassadors and diplomats have said it makes it easier for heads of state to choose a woman for ambassadorship to the United States.

And no, these female ambassadors aren’t coming from countries like Sweden. Many of these 25 female ambassadors are from areas of the world not commonly perceived as being on the leading edge of women’s rights:

  • 11 are from African countries, including Mozambique and Burundi.
  • 4 are from Caribbean countries.
  • 3 are from Europe (Croatia, the Netherlands, and Liechtenstein — where women didn’t get the right to vote until 1984).
  • 2 are from Middle Eastern countries. (Bahrain’s Houda Ezra Ebrahim Nonoo is the first Jewish ambassador from an Arab state, and Oman’s Hunaina Sultan Al-Mughairy, who assumed her post in 2005, is the first female ambassador from an Arab country to the United States.)
  • 2 are from Asian countries (India and Singapore).
  • 3 are from Colombia, Kyrgyzstan, and Nauru.

And for more questions about how the world works, check out the rest of the FP Quiz.