Ivanka Trump, on her debut as the US first daughter at a women’s summit in Berlin yesterday, was forced to defend her father’s viewpoint of women.
Sitting on a G20 panel with women leaders, including German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Donald Trump’s daughter drew chuckles when she praised “my father’s advocacy” on the issue and his role as “a tremendous champion of supporting families and enabling them to thrive”.
The panel moderator – a finance journalist – interjected, saying: “Some attitudes toward women your father has publicly displayed might leave one questioning whether he is such an empowerer of women.”
Ivanka, 35, replied: “I’ve heard the criticism from the media and that’s been perpetuated.
“I think the thousands of women who have worked with and for my father for decades, when he was in the private sector, are testament to his belief and solid conviction in the potential of women and their ability to do the job as well as any man.”
Former model Ivanka, who has her own fashion line, has worked for her billionaire-father’s company – and now has an office in the White House.
She said her father encouraged and enabled her to thrive. “I grew up in a house where there were no barriers to what I could accomplish.
“There was no difference for me and my brothers,” she said.
Merkel is seen as cultivating a good relationship with Ivanka as a key communication channel with the Trump presidency.
News magazine Der Spiegel saw the meeting as “a summit of the two women who are supposed to moderate US President Donald Trump – if that is even possible”.
It said: “The hopes of the free world rest on the two women, because they supposedly have the power to influence the man who looks down on women.”
The Sueddeutsche Zeitung daily said that for Merkel to “have lured Ivanka is a veritable coup for the chancellor”.
Even though there are higherranking US officials, it said: “It would be difficult to find a more important and influential representative.”
Ivanka has been accused in the US of benefiting from nepotism. Asked whether she was in Berlin to represent her father, the American people, or her business, she said: “Certainly not the latter.
“I am rather unfamiliar with this role as well, it is quite new to me.”