Ivanka Trump was alternately applauded, booed and prodded during her first high-profile excursion as an emissary for her father’s White House, while participating in a prestigious Berlin panel on women’s issues Tuesday afternoon.
The trip, to the international W20 summit on women’s entrepreneurship, was an illustration of both the power and the complexity of that role: The audience clapped for Ivanka Trump’s stated support of issues such as paid family leave and increased access to child care, but some jeered or groaned at mentions of the president she was there for.
“My father has been a tremendous champion of supporting families,” she told the moderator.
Several audience members in the ballroom of the Intercontinental Hotel began to audibly groan and hiss, prompting Meckel to speak over the noise: “You hear the reaction from the audience,” she said. “Some attitudes toward women that your father has displayed might leave one questioning whether he’s such an empowerer of women.”
Ivanka responded that she could speak about her father’s support for women “as a daughter,” saying in her household, there were never barriers or expectations based on gender.
After the panel, she answered questions from a cluster of reporters, including a few on whether she thought the moderator had questioned her more harshly than the other panelists.
“I’m used to it,” Trump said, smiling. She said that she thought it was important for people to learn to disagree in respectful ways, which is what she thought had happened at the conference. She spoke excitedly about an international fund that had been discussed during the panel – one that would provide female business owners access to capital, another issue about which she feels passionate.
(c) 2017, The Washington Post · Monica Hesse