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The rise of the female diplomat

Women were not allowed to work in the Foreign Office until the 1940s. Why did it take so long for this last bastion of sexism to fall?

By Helen McCarthy  

US Ambassador to the UN Samantha Power is one of the world's leading female diplomats

Can a woman be a diplomat? This might seem an odd question in the 21st century, when women can be astronauts, business executives, media tycoons or anything else they set their mind to. But in Britain in the first half of the 20th century, the capacity of a woman to represent her nation overseas was a topic of hot debate. Feminists clamoured for equality, while the Foreign and Commonwealth Office chiefs warned that the…

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