"I have noticed it is easier for me in European countries than it is here. There is a different dynamic. In the UK it is more difficult. They are very conservative. There is a scepticism and more misogynist behaviour here. Although, while there were people against me, there were also people living here who were incredibly supportive."
The British Iraqi architect, who designed the London 2012 Aquatics Center in the Olympic Park and recently inaugurated the building site of The Middle East Centre St Anthony College in Oxford, used hard words to describe woman discrimination in the field.
"People used to think women did not have enough logic. Well, that is absolute nonsense. I don't know the ego of a man, or how their mentality works, but there is no difference at all in capability, not formally in terms of the buildings at least. There might be differences in women's leadership qualities or in their ego issues, but we can design in the same way if we have the chance."
The declarations came just a few days after the announcement of the launch of AJ Women in Architecture organized by the Architects Journal. The campaign and awards promote the status of women in architecture while encouraging role models for young women in practice.
Zaha Hadid, winner of the Jane Drew Prize during last year’s AJ Women in Architecture “for her outstanding contribution to the status of women in architecture”, comments "What AJ is doing is very good and the editor, Christine Murray, has been very active, but I doubt anything has changed much over the last 30 years."
The award winning architect also highlights the disparity between man and woman in the type of commission assigned and clients.
"I am sure that as a woman I can do a very good skyscraper," she said. "I don't think it is only for men."