Ivanka faces tough questions over Trump in Berlin

Taking part in women-focused summit, Ivanka Trump says she is still 'rather unfamiliar' with role of first daughter.

    Ivanka Trump has faced tough questions over her father's attitude towards women as well as scorn for his track record while making her first international outing as a White House adviser.

    Ivanka Trump, 35, pledged to push for "incremental, positive change" for women in the US economy on Tuesday and told a Berlin conference on women that she is still "rather unfamiliar" with her role as first daughter and adviser to President Donald Trump.

    Groans and hisses could be heard as she described her father as "a tremendous champion of supporting families".

    Ivanka Trump's one-day visit was at the invitation of German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

    Merkel and Ivanka Trump were part of a high-powered panel discussion at the W20 Summit, a women-focused effort within the Group of 20 countries, entitled Inspiring Women: Scaling up Women's Entrepreneurship.

    They were joined by Chrystia Freeland, Canada's foreign minister; Christine Lagarde, International Monetary Fund chief; and the Netherlands' Queen Maxima among others.

    Ivanka Trump stepped away from running her fashion brand and from an executive role at the Trump Organization to become an unpaid White House adviser.

    She said she is still finding her feet in her new role.

    'I'm listening'

    Asked whether she represented the president, the American people or her business, Ivanka Trump replied: "Well, certainly not the latter, and I am rather unfamiliar with this role as it is quite new to me, too. It has been a little under 100 days.

    "I'm listening, I'm learning, I'm defining the ways in which I think that I'll be able to have impact" in empowering women in the US economy and beyond.

    Ivanka Trump said she plans "to bring the advice, to bring the knowledge, back to the United States, back to both my father and the president - and hopefully, that will bring about incremental, positive change. And that is my goal".

    Merkel invited Ivanka Trump to Berlin in order to have a direct line to the White House, according to Christine Berzina from the German Marshall Fund.

    "It is remarkable that Merkel invited Ivanka to the summit to provide an American perspective," Berzina told Al Jazeera.

    "It is remarkable as an act of diplomacy because it is cunning in many ways. We know that when you have Ivanka in the room speaking to Merkel, you have the US president paying attention."

    Ivanka Trump has been a vocal advocate for policies benefiting working women and vocational training. But she has faced a backlash in the US, particularly from liberals who think she has done little to temper her father's conservative agenda.

    SOURCE: Al Jazeera and news agencies


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