Former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright was honored Tuesday with the "Trailblazer Award" at Running Start's Young Women to Watch Awards in Washington, D.C.
The nonprofit, which works to educate young women about the political process and inspire them to run for elected office, highlighted Albright's advocacy for women's rights at a gala at the National Museum of Women in the Arts.
“It’s nice to be called a trailblazer, especially after being called so many other names in the recent past,” Albright joked about the controversy over her recent comments about critics of Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonCountering the ongoing Republican delusion Republicans seem set to win the midterms — unless they defeat themselves Poll: Democracy is under attack, and more violence may be the future MORE.
Albright, who is backing the Democratic front-runner's presidenetial bid, said recently that there was a "special place in hell" for women who didn't back Clinton.
After criticism, Albright backtracked in a New York Times op-ed.
“I absolutely believe what I said, that women should help one another, but this was the wrong context and the wrong time to use that line," she wrote. "I did not mean to argue that women should support a particular candidate based solely on gender.”
On Tuesday, Albright, the nation's first female secretary of State, said she was glad to be in the company of women working to help one another.
“While I admit that it was a bit undiplomatic of me to imply that a bunch of women were going to hell, I do want to be clear that there is also a special place in heaven for women who help one another, so that’s why I’m very glad to be in this company tonight,” she said.
Mekia Matthews, a 2014 Running Start fellow, introduced Albright as a global icon who paved the way for all women to “take a place at the table.”
Albright, who is known for her fashionable pins, honored the women’s suffrage movement with her outfit.
Usually, her pins reflect issues she is advocating. She told the audience she was wearing an old pin from England featuring the colors of the suffragette movement: purple, green and white.
She said the movement for women's rights was based on the principle that every individual counts.
“It is only with this principle behind us that we can see before us a day where every girl will be confident that her life will be valued, her rights protected, and her future determined solely by her own ability and character," said Albright.
"That is when we will be able to say that Running Start has finished its job," she continued. "But there is an awful lot to do."