JIDDA, Saudi Arabia -- Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton spoke to young women at a Saudi women's college here on Tuesday, the site of a spirited exchange five years ago with a female official of the Bush administration over the rights of women in Saudi Arabia.
But despite Mrs. Clinton's invitation to raise the issue, none of the women in the audience asked her about it. The discussion, while lively, focused on the same foreign-policy and security themes that have dominated her visit to the Persian Gulf, notably Iran and the Middle East peace process.
Mrs. Clinton said she wanted to hear the views of the students on women's rights, noting that "American media presents a very unidimensional portrayal of Saudi women," focusing on the black veils most wear.
She called for women to get better access to education and to play a bigger role in society. But she avoided criticism of Saudi Arabia, instead praising King Abdullah for his support of coeducational and women's-only institutions, like the one that played host to her visit, Dar al-Hekman College.
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