Ivanka Trump lauded close US allies Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates on Sunday, for embarking on “significant reforms” to advance women’s rights, while speaking at a gathering of women entrepreneurs and regional leaders in Dubai.
Trump congratulated Saudi Arabia for recent changes in the law that allow women to travel abroad and obtain a passport without the permission of a male relative. In 2018, a ban on women driving cars was lifted. The changes are part of Saudi Arabia's Vision 2030, which aims to diversify Saudi Arabia’s economy beyond oil and gas and to promote private sector growth and entrepreneurship. It includes the goal of increasing women’s labor force participation from 22 percent to 30 percent.
Trump pointed to changes in other Mideast countries, as well. She said Bahrain had introduced legislation against discrimination in the workplace; Jordan had eliminated legal restrictions on women’s ability to work at night; Morocco had expanded women’s land rights; and Tunisia had introduced laws to combat domestic violence.
“We know that when women are free to succeed, families thrive, communities flourish and nations are stronger,” says @IvankaTrump at the #GlobalWomensForum in Dubai.https://t.co/n6gdSCCLRG pic.twitter.com/LZIIwM5rXo— Al Arabiya English (@AlArabiya_Eng) February 16, 2020
She said, though, more work needed to be done. She noted that across the region, women on average still have only half the legal rights of men.
Trump, adviser to US President Donald Trump, was delivering the keynote address at the two-day Global Women’s Forum.
“We know that when women are free to succeed, families thrive, communities flourish and nations are stronger,” Trump said.
The 38-year-old mother of three has positioned herself as an Oval Office confidante while spearheading initiatives that broadly back women’s empowerment. Her husband Jared Kushner has become a top adviser on US Mideast policy.
Once the owner of an eponymous fashion line, Ivanka Trump has wielded her proximity to the president to promote policies affecting women and deliver speeches around the world about women’s economic empowerment. She meets with world leaders as a key White House official.
The audience for her speech in the UAE included Dubai ruler Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Dubai Crown Prince Hamdan bin Mohammed Al Maktoum, World Bank President David Malpass and International Monetary Fund chief Kristalina Georgieva.
During her two-day visit to the UAE, Trump met with women entrepreneurs and discussed a US government project she’s leading that’s aimed at helping women in developing countries. The Women’s Global Development and Prosperity Initiative was launched last year with backing by her father.
- With The Associated Press