Ivanka Trump has been conspicuously absent from International Women’s Day (IWD) events as her father sets aside millions for her global women’s initiative.
On Saturday (AEDT), US President Donald Trump reportedly allocated $US100 million ($141 million) in the 2020 budget for his daughter’s Women’s Global Development and Prosperity Initiative to empower “50 million women in developing countries”.
But the usually vocal women’s advocate, who pushed Mr Trump for a paid parental-leave scheme, was far from the limelight at the IWD Women of Courage event in Washington DC this week.
“Where is First Lady Ivanka?” one Twitter user posted in response to First Lady Melania Trump instead addressing the conference to acknowledge the record number of women in Congress.
“We now have more women in Congress than any other time in our nation’s history,” the First Lady told the audience.
The best Ivanka could do was post on Twitter her father’s White House presidential message to her 6.2 million followers.
On Twitter, Ivanka didn’t get much airtime either.
High-profile figures, including Oprah Winfrey, Barack Obama, Reese Witherspoon and Emma Watson stressed the importance of IWD.
Ivanka tweeted throughout the day about recognising women’s contribution to the economy and her W-GDP initiative, the acronym for her organisation which promotes the idea that women are at the heart of boosting gross domestic product.
But the backlash to one of her posts was a far cry from a sisterhood discourse, with some saying she reeked of “hypocrisy”.
Ivanka, your hypocrisy and lack of awareness are pitiful. Save yourself and go back to New York. You just make a fool of yourself with every fake tweet about caring for women, or anybody but your money.
— Vote Dem for the Planet (@Brasilmagic) March 8, 2018
It echoed ongoing criticism of Ivanka’s association with her father’s administration, which has rolled back equal-pay initiatives, attempted to revoke free access to birth control for women and limited access to abortion referrals.
The snub comes as the First Daughter – and husband Jared Kushner – have reportedly been sidelined from the White House inner circle, and lost their lustre among the general populace.
A January 2017 Politico poll showed 49 per cent of voters had positive impressions of Ivanka. Eighteen months on, An Ipos/Daily Beast poll found her favourability had slipped to 43 per cent, but more tellingly, her “un-favourability” had soared from 16 to 46 per cent.
Dad hands out the money
The White House will release the budget on Monday with the $US100 million ($141 million) going towards the Women’s Global Development and Prosperity Initiative.
Since joining Mr Trump’s administration in early 2017, Ivanka has focussed on women’s “economic empowerment”.
In a statement to the The Associated Press, Ivanka stressed the initiative was “working towards our goal of economically empowering 50 million women in developing countries by 2025″.
The funding will come through the US Agency for International Development, which initially set up a $US50 million ($70 million) fund for the effort using already budgeted money.
Ivanka’s initiative hopes to train women for jobs, offer financial support and put forward legal or regulatory reforms with the support of government agencies including the State Department and the National Security Council, as well as private investment.