Hillary Rodham Clinton came to South America to talk to women about women. And she triggered an outpouring of enthusiasm with her speeches to politically oriented audiences - the first ladies of the hemisphere and the multiparty Women's Political Network in Uruguay.

But her campaign for women's rights - to be addressed again today with a speech to 400 women of all socio-economic levels from all the Americas - wasn't just about political success.It was about money, too.

Not easy stuff, but the details: unsexy topics, like access to credit.

Such access "is one of the surest ways to change women's lives around the world," enabling them to start their own businesses, generating income for their families, she told the Uruguayan women packed Thursday into an ornate ballroom of the Legislative Palace.

"Unfortunately, many commercial banks don't see women as good credit risks," she said, despite studies showing poor women paid off their debts at a rate of 95 percent to 99 percent.

What to do?

Change the attitudes of people with money, most of whom are "educated, affluent men who don't think much of poor, uneducated women's chances to be economically independent," she said.

And that requires political power.

"Clearly, you cannot advance the cause of women without active participation by women in the political process," she said.

Changing attitudes of all kinds is essential, she said, revving up the intensity, and speed, of her speech.

Of prime concern to her was what she called the "old thinking" that women's issues concerned women's problems. In truth, she said, they are society's problems.

"It's not a women's issue to equip women to be self-sufficient and economically independent," she said. "That is an economic issue."

"It is not a woman's issue to make sure domestic violence is treated as a crime. That is a legal issue," she said.