President Trump’s first foreign trip has been very beneficial to his daughter Ivanka and her pet project.
Ivanka Trump praised Saudi Arabia’s progress on women’s rights after the country and the United Arab Emirates pledged to donate $100 million to a fund for women entrepreneurs that she proposed.
The Women Entrepreneurs Fund is a charity that Ivanka proposed to the World Bank in April. The fund’s money is controlled by the World Bank.
The donation raised some eyebrows, since Donald Trump regularly excoriated the Clinton Foundation for accepting donations from repressive Middle East regimes like Saudi Arabia.
The Independent reports:
Speaking in Saudi Arabia as her father met with Arab and Islam leaders, Ms Trump said progress in the nation was “encouraging” but said there was “still a lot of work to be done”.
“In every country around the world women and girls continue to face unique systematic, institutional, cultural barriers, which hinder us from fully engaging in and achieving true parity of opportunity within our communities,” she said at a roundtable of women leaders in society, businesswomen and elected government officials.
”Each of you know this to be true. And yet the stories of Saudi women, such as yourselves, catalysing change, inspire me to believe in the possibility of global women’s empowerment.”
Progress includes women being allowed to vote in local elections, and a decreasing amount of power held by the religious police.
“The need to empower and engage women transcends borders and cultures. Whether in the United States or in Saudi Arabia, women play a critical role in a movement that unites us all,” she said.
Journalists were asked to leave the room before issues around women’s equality could be brought up, such as women not having the right to drive, go anywhere alone or be included in public life.
US officials did not raise these concerns, as noted by the US state department’s past reports on human rights.