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Leigh Sales talks gender discrimination elimination with Hillary Clinton

/ Jan 30, 2013 9:36AM / Print / ()

VIDEO

Hillary Clinton joined Leigh Sales for her final 'townterview' as US secretary of state. (Image: MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images)

Outgoing US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton joined ABC journalist Leigh Sales for a final interview this morning, to bid a virtual farewell to a global audience.

Sales travelled to Washington DC for the "townterview" event, a mix of live television, social media and audience participation.

Fielding questions from around the world via social media, Clinton spoke about her biggest regrets during her time as secretary -- including the death of four US officials killed during the Benghazi mission -- and her greatest unfulfilled ambitions during her four years in the job.

She also shared some future plans – look out for the memoir – and vowed to remain committed to "the cause of my life" – fighting for women's rights and eliminating the "tremendous amount of discrimination and outright abuse of women".

"When you put barriers in the way of half the population you in effect are putting breaks on your own development as a nation," she said.

Clinton conceded there is still a significant amount of gender discrimination leveled at women entering  politics. "Although it is better than it was, having been in and around politics for many years now, there is still a double standard" she said.

"That exists from the trivial, like what you wear, to the incredibly serious, like women [who] can't vote."

She said more women need to participate in politics if governments are to take full advantage of their citizens' potential. "I do want to see more women compete for the highest positions in their countries," she said. "I will do everything I can to make sure women compete at the highest levels."

For those hoping to hear a concrete answer to her future in politics, she provided little insight, deftly sidestepping questions about a presidential run in 2016, reiteratingthat she wasn't "thinking" about it.

"I am looking forward to finishing up my tenure as secretary of state and then catching up on about 20 years of sleep deprivation," she joked.

Clinton has set records as the most travelled secretary of state in US history, logging 949,706 miles, visiting more than 100 countries and holding 1,700 meetings with world leaders.

The "townterview" was a global wrap up for Clinton, after recent health issues prevented her from taking her final world tour. She will be succeeded by Massachusetts Democratic senator John Kerry after a senate vote confirmed him as the next secretary of state.

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