Tuesday Ivanka was invited to attend a panel and dinner with German Chancellor Angela Merkel. The panel, where Ivanka represented the United States at the W20 Summit, was an international convention “dedicated to the economic empowerment of women.” The first question was right to the point.
“Whom are you representing?” the moderator continued, as the audience burst out in laughter. “Your father as the president of the United States, the American people, or your business?”
Ivanka replied by saying “certainly not the latter.”
“I am rather unfamiliar with this role as well as it is quite new to me,” she continued. “As an entrepreneur and an individual prior to this in the private sector, I cared very much about empowering women in the workplace. And the opportunity to have an elevated platform, to be able to sit here on this stage — and thank you chancellor for your very gracious invitation — I am humbled to be here with so many formidable leaders, to engage in dialogue, to learn, to bring the advice, the knowledge back to the United States, back to both my father, and the president, and hopefully that will bring about incremental positive change, and that is my goal.” (CNN & ThinkProgress)
Later, when asked about Trump’s attitude towards women, Ivanka defended her father.
“I certainly heard the criticism from the media, and that’s been perpetuated, but I know from personal experience, and I think the thousands of people who have worked with and for my father for decades when he was in the private sector are a testament to his belief and solid conviction in the potential of women and their ability do to the job as well as any man.”
The female delegates in the audience booed and hissed at this response, as well as when she stated her father was “a tremendous champion of supporting families, and enabling them to thrive” throughout his campaign.
Afterwards, she is expected to tour the Siemens Technik Akademie, the Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe, then join Merkel for a W20 gala dinner. There is currently no US Ambassador to Germany, nor is there a White House Chief of Protocol.
Ivanka has made women’s economic empowerment a key issue to tackle. CNN reports in a document they obtained, “the White House counted ‘helping women and minorities’ as a key accomplishment during the first 100 days, citing the Canada-US Council, an initiative for historically black colleges and universities, the ‘Promoting Women in Entrepreneurship Act,’ and ‘Women and Space Exploration’ as examples of success.”
Based on reports in German papers, the people there are quite critical of Ivanka’s role in the White House. They think she is either “The Whisperer” to the President or part of an Autocracy, and not her own person; she is rather just a pretty face speaking Donald Trump’s words. Whichever the case, or perhaps both, she has certainly increased her role and her profile in recent weeks. She is stepping as a formal member of the White House administration, and she is unapologetic about it.