First daughter and special assistant to the President, Ivanka Trump certainly made waves and left an impact at the G-20 summit in Hamburg, Germany. President Trump showed his confidence and trust in his daughter and close adviser by sharing the spotlight with Ivanka as she helped launch a loan program for women.
Ivanka also created quite a stir- though, no fault of hers- by briefly occupying her father’s seat at the table alongside other world leaders.
Ivanka has always been an advocate of women empowerment and she has embraced women’s issues as one of her signature policy areas. The G-20 occasion served as a good platform to highlight her core concerns and even her competencies.
The World Bank saw the G-20 summit as a good occasion to launch a public-private loan program aimed at providing over $1 billion to support women entrepreneurs in developing countries , which Ivanka herself initiated just five months ago.
World Bank President Jim Yong Kim said at the kick-off program:” This is not a cute little project. This is going to be a major driver of economic growth in the future… and it’s going to drive gender equality at the same time.” Kim also stressed the importance of having a champion like Ivanka Trump to galvanize action on an important issue.
The women entrepreneurs fund had attracted $325 million from donors including the United States, Germany, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, and would be matched by hundreds of millions of dollars from private capital. The U.S. alone pledged $50 million to the fund as declared by President Trump himself.
The program aims to start awarding loans before the year ends. It will also work with governments “to improve laws and regulations that are stifling women entrepreneurs” and would also push for banks to free up funds for female-owned enterprises. It would also create an online platform to serve as a mentoring tool to match women business owners in developing countries with advisers such as Ivanka Trump.
At a closed-door leaders meeting, Ivanka also briefly sat in her father’s chair during a session on African development, as Kim gave a speech.
Ivanka’s photo sitting in for her father once posted on social media created a stir among users, with the usual Trump haters and critics having a field day slamming Ivanka for giving herself way too much importance, and for wielding such “undeserved” influence.
But even German Chancellor could not help but respond to such ridiculous and misplaced criticisms of Ivanka for briefly sitting in for President Trump. Merkel said that there’s nothing extraordinary or irregular about the simple act as she also clarified that other delegations do it, too.
Merkel added: “The delegations decide who will sit on the table if the president isn’t there, which can happen from time to time. And Ivanka belongs to the U.S.delegation.”
President Trump also defended his daughter and described her as “a champion.” He said of Ivanka: “She’s a champion. If she weren’t my daughter, it would be so much easier for her. Might be the only bad thing she has going, if you want to know the truth.”