Well he did.
George and Laura Bush invited a number of their closest Afghan and Iraqi women friends to a reception at the White House the other day. In his remarks, Mr Bush was nostalgic about his first meeting with the guest of honour: Raja Habib Khuzai, one of three women on the US-appointed Iraqi governing council. Apparently she turned up for her audience at the Oval Office weeping tears of joy, declaring: "My liberator."
It is a fairly safe guess that would not be a typical female reaction to meeting Mr Bush. On the very first day of his presidency, he imposed a ban on US foreign aid to any agency offering abortion advice. A year later, the US government withheld more than $30m for a United Nations population control programme because it espoused "reproductive rights". It also opposed UN measures to help girls and women raped during times of war in case that assistance included advice about the morning-after pill or abortion. Programmes for Aids victims have been advised not to mention the word "condom".
At home, the White House closed its office for women's outreach, the labour department's network of women's offices and other agencies monitoring gender discrimination at the workplace. Last September, Mr Bush proposed diverting $2bn in welfare funds to programmes promoting marriage. Two months later, he presided over the most significant retreat on abortion rights in 30 years by signing into law a ban on late terminations.
But with an election next November, that record is inconvenient. Mr Bush would much rather be remembered in his new role as the global saviour of downtrodden women, the liberator of Ms Khuzai and so many other hapless, hijab-wearing millions.
To that end, Mr Bush enlisted his normally retiring wife, Laura, to make an opening speech. He also announced the appointment of both his sister, Dorothy, and a daughter of the vice-president, Dick Cheney, to a UN commission on the status of women.
The centrepiece of Bush's argument was that America went to war in Iraq and Afghanistan not to fight al-Qaida or to hunt out and destroy a dictator's weapons of mass destruction, but to improve their sorry lot in life.