Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 5 June 2020

Ivanka Trump meets Emirati female entrepreneurs during tour of Abu Dhabi tourist spots

US president's daughter and adviser is in the UAE to address Global Women's Forum in Dubai

Ivanka Trump has discussed issues of female empowerment with UAE ministers and entrepreneurs as she toured some of capital’s best known sites.

The daughter and adviser of US President Donald Trump visited Louvre Abu Dhabi and Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque.

Ms Trump took part in a brief meeting with Minister of Culture Noura Al Kaabi, Minister of State for International Co-operation Reem Al Hashimi and Minister of Advanced Science Sarah Al Amiri and female entrepreneurs during her day of sightseeing.

“This is the perfect way to start out what is a short but hopefully very substantive and productive visit to the UAE,” she said in the meeting. “To hear directly from female entrepreneurs about the opportunities and the barriers that have been lifted in recent years and challenges ahead for each of you directly in your unique businesses and industries.”

Ms Al Hashimi and Ms Trump held a bilateral meeting before she was shown artefacts by museum director Manuel Rabate, including an 1822 portrait of George Washington by Gilbert Stuart and a frieze from a Christian monastery in Bani Yas Island.

The museum on Saadiyat Island opened in 2017 and has hosted a variety of public figures, including Jordan’s King Abdullah and French President Emmanuel Macron.

Later on Saturday afternoon, Ms Trump visited Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque where a tour guide showed her around and she signed a visitors book.

Ms Trump is in the UAE to give the keynote address at the Global Women’s Forum in Dubai on Sunday. The conference is expected to draw more than 100 global leaders and 3,000 delegates to discuss the advancement of women.

In 2017, the UAE and Saudi Arabia donated $100 million to Ms Trump’s Women Entrepreneurs fund, which provides microfinance to women in underdeveloped countries. The donation was made after Ms Trump visited Riyadh.

Ms Trump’s visit came two days after she unveiled a bipartisan effort in the US House and Senate to “establish women's economic empowerment as a core facet of the United States foreign policy”, according her speech at a White House event to launch the legislation.

The launch marked the first anniversary of Ms Trump’s Women's Global Development and Prosperity Initiative to increase women's involvement in the economy through vocational training, access to capital and markets and working with governments to reduce legal and cultural barriers to women’s employment.

The initiative aims to impact 50 million women in developing countries by 2025, and has already reached 12 million people, according to its annual report.

But critics say the effort is a patch for an administration that is cutting foreign aid to initiatives to empower women through family planning. In 2017, Mr Trump brought in legislation which required foreign NGOs receiving US government funding to prove they do not offer certain types of family planning advice.

The US poverty charity CARE welcomed the new US focus on women’s empowerment, but said more should be done to include reproductive rights.

“CARE is troubled by the lack of attention to women’s health in particular within the National Security Presidential Memo and we urge the Trump Administration to reverse policies that are harmful to women’s health and well-being,” it said in a statement last week.

A International Women’s Health Coalition report called the 2017 legislation, known as the Global Gag Rule, “harmful to the health and well-being of women, young people, and marginalised communities”, saying it exacerbated existing barriers to health care. The coalition carried out 170 interviews in Kenya, Nepal, Nigeria, and South Africa to investigate the rule’s impact.

Updated: February 16, 2020 09:42 AM



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