I have experianed the same “…single woman” excuse though in a subtle manner. It was the Brits. I didn’t let them have their way though, wrote a complaint email to the emabssy and those other organizations based in Addis and supported by DFID. I was asked to send my passport back to Nairobi to get the visa. It was too late to attend the conference I was applying for by the time the visa came. But I think its always good to confront bigotry because you can’t always expect people to be mannered.