Ivanka Trump, Merkel come face to face

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Ivanka Trump

Ivanka Trump arrived in Berlin to attend a women’s conference on Tuesday, bringing her face to face with German Chancellor Angela Merkel for the second time since her father Donald Trump took office as president of the United States.

The so-called Women20 Summit brings together around 100 delegates fromthe Group of 20 countries including Christine Lagarde, head of the International Monetary Fund, Canadian Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland and Queen Maxima of the Netherlands.

The event provides access to the “first daughter” at a time when leaders including Merkel are still trying to gauge the foreign policy stance of Donald Trump, whose initial decisions in office seem to contradict the “America First” message he conveyed during his campaign.

Ivanka Trump is scheduled to participate in a panel discussion on the economic and professional advancement of women, as well as visiting a vocational college, the US Embassy and Berlin’s famed Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe.

Ivanka Trump converted to Judaism ahead of her 2009 marriage to Jared Kushner, who has also assumed an official role in her father’s administration.

Ivanka Trump gave up the management of her fashion brand to serve as an unpaid White House adviser.

She has yet to reveal how she plans to implement the child care and parental leave policies she promoted during her father’s presidential campaign.

Ahead of her visit, Ivanka Trump called for initiatives for women’s empowerment in a Financial Times editorial she co-authored with Jim Yong Kim, the president of the Word Bank.

“We need to increase access to finance, redistribute care work, accelerate progress to financial inclusion, and offer programmes that train female entrepreneurs and help them access higher value markets,” Ivanka Trump and Kim wrote in Monday’s editorial.

“We need to develop new legal and regulatory frameworks to boost women’s growth and productivity. The right skills training enhances women’s capacity to manage their businesses,” the pair wrote.

Berlin-based activists were planning to hold a demonstration outside the Deutsche Bank-sponsored Kunsthalle museum later on Tuesday in a effort to highlight “the hypocrisy of Ivanka Trump’s participation in the W20.”

“How can Ivanka Trump refer to women’s ’empowerment’ while President Trump cuts funding for reproductive health?

Ivanka’s silence on such life-or-death issues says everything,” said Kathleen Brown of the left-wing opposition Die Linke party.

Merkel and Ivanka Trump met in Washington in March during the German leader’s first official visit to the Trump White House.

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