Outgoing United Nations ambassador Nikki Haley on Wednesday night said that while highlighting sexism is important, people should also recognize that around the world, "the absence of freedom hurts women the most.”

Haley, who is leaving her post at the end of the year and has been touted as a future potential GOP presidential candidate, made the comments at the annual dinner of the the Independent Women's Forum. She was on hand to accept the Barbara Olson award, named after a beloved conservative commentator who was killed in the Sept. 11 attacks.

“The IWF was founded on the revolutionary notion that not all women think alike – imagine that," she said in accepting the award. "Women like Barbara Olson understood that some contemporary women’s groups that claim to speak for all women, don’t. The truth is the majority of women’s groups don’t speak for women who aren’t liberal.”

Haley spoke of her background as governor of South Carolina and spent much of the speech discussing her experiences in the United Nations, which she said felt like a private club when she first got there, and played up her clashes with U.S. adversaries.

“I’m an ambassador who has gone toe-to-toe with my share of autocrats and strong men to defend America’s interests and values," she told the audience, before quipping, "I’ve always said, I wear heels, it’s not a fashion statement. It’s for ammunition.”

Later, she spoke specifically of all the women she met traveling around the world who were struggling just to remain safe and keep their children alive.

“The feminist Left is very focused on sexism," she said. "Of course there is sexism and we must never tolerate it. But there’s also something else that tremendously disadvantages women. It gets less attention. And that’s the actions of government and the effects of lawlessness. In place after place that I’ve worked on over the past two years, this phenomenon has stuck."

She explained, "In South Sudan, where rape is used as a weapon of war, it is obviously women who suffer the most. But it’s not just there. In Syria, where the dictator uses chemical weapons against his own people, it is women and children who are the most victimized. In Venezuela, where a once well-off people have become impoverished by the disasters of socialism, it is women who are disproportionately left to care for children without medicine and feed their families without food. Time after time, government corruption, the trampling of human rights, and the absence of freedom hurts women the most.”