Ivanka Trump is having trouble convincing the world that her father cares about women’s issues.
Trump spoke at a panel on women’s entrepreneurship at the W20 conference — a summit of G20 countries aimed at promoting women's workforce participation and equality — in Berlin, Germany, on Tuesday. During the panel, her comments in defense of her father’s treatment of women and his support for policies like paid family leave was reportedly met with boos and hissing from the crowd — and skepticism from the panel moderator herself.
“I’m very proud of my father’s advocacy, long before he came into the presidency, but during the campaign including in the primaries, he’s been a tremendous champion of supporting families and enabling them to thrive,” she said.
As she said this the audience began to protest aloud, which in turn compelled the moderator to acknowledge the booing and pose a skeptical question to Trump.
“You hear the reaction from the audience, so I need to address one more point — some attitudes toward woman your father has publicly displayed in former times might leave one questioning whether he is such an empowerer for women,” Miriam Meckel, editor of German business magazine WirtschaftsWoche, said.
Trump responded by suggesting that her father’s poor reputation was a media myth, which elicited yet another round of boos: “I’ve certainly heard the criticism from the media, and that’s been perpetuated.”
“But I know from personal experience and I think the thousands of women who’ve 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 to do the job as well as any man,” she said.
You can see it all in the ABC clip below, although the audience reactions are barely audible on it:
As the video shows, Trump was on the panel with several high-powered, accomplished female world leaders, including German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Queen Màxima of the Netherlands, and International Monetary Fund director Christine Lagarde.
In the run-up to her visit to Germany, much of the German press was openly derisive toward her.
“What does a daughter with no political experience have to do in the White House?” Andrea Seibel, an opinion editor at Die Welt, the conservative-leaning Berlin daily, told Politico. “Ivanka Trump isn't elected, she is a daughter. She didn't say anything in the elections when he was saying nasty things about women and migrants,” Seibel said. “She is his voice, but somehow she has a nicer face.”
Trump has been involved in business and entrepreneurship her whole life, so her appearance on a panel about entrepreneurship wasn’t unreasonable. But her role as an adviser and surrogate for her father means that she has to answer for his behavior and his policies — even if she presents them with a more sophisticated touch.