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Jeers as Ivanka defends father at Berlin summit

April 25, 2017

The crowd at the W20 summit in Berlin was not impressed with the first daughter blaming the media for allegations of sexism on the part of her father. Trump said her father has employed thousands of women over the years.

Deutschland W20 Konferenz in Berlin
Image: Reuters/H. Hanschke

Ivanka Trump defends her father at the W20 summit

Ivanka Trump was met with jeers from the audience of a female empowerment summit in Berlin on Tuesday when she tried to defend her father's attitude towards women.

The moderator asked if US President Donald Trump could really be seen as a champion of equal rights. The question alluded to the controversy that erupted last October, when leaked audio recordings of Trump bragging about sexually assaulting women caused a firestorm of controversy during the presidential campaign.

In response, Ivanka cited the number of women whom her father has employed in senior positions at his companies and his support of her own business career. Before this, however, she riled the audience by deflecting some of the blame for the scandal towards journalists.

"I certainly heard the criticism from the media, and that's been perpetuated," she said, to loud boos from the audience at the Women20 (W20) conference in Berlin.

Trump went on: "Thousands of women who have worked with and for my father…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."

Sitting next to German Chancellor Angela Merkel and International Monetary Fund (IMF) chief Christine LaGarde, Trump added that "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."

Ivanka Trump defends her father at the W20 summit

Trump vague on father's policies

The first daughter has made the economic empowerment of women a policy issue that she clearly claims to fight for. During a speech at the Republican National Convention last year, she promised to push for paid family leave and better childcare options for working parents.

However, when asked concretely about her father's plans to tackle inequality, Trump was vague. She said only that it was a priority for the administration to address the gender imbalance in the sciences and to break down "stifling" regulations, without elaborating which kind.

When asked earlier in the panel if she considered herself a feminist, Trump answered more emphatically in the positive than Merkel or LaGarde, though she added that the term had "become so loaded," that it "feels exclusionary of others."

Trump was furthered pressed to answer whether she was abroad representing herself a member of the US government or as a businesswoman. "Certainly not the latter," she said, but added that the role of being the president's daughter as well as one of his assistants was "rather unfamiliar," but that she was enjoying the "remarkable, incredible journey."

es/rc (AP, dpa, Reuters)