Ivanka Trump, her father’s ambassador for women’s rights, is taking her campaign on the road for the second time, traveling to South America to urge nations to remove barriers to economic empowerment for women.
Trump, Deputy Secretary John Sullivan, and other high-level officials will make stops next week in Colombia, Argentina, and Paraguay to talk up the administration’s Women’s Global Development and Prosperity Initiative established in February.
A senior administration official called the three nations “like-minded” and said that the delegation will also host bilateral meetings to “deepen our collaboration” on issues including drug trafficking, economic development, and the effort to bring democracy to Venezuela.
Women are the foundation to a strong 💪 society.#WGDP is committed to ensuring that ALL women can fully & freely participate in the economy. I look forward to continuing this mission during my upcoming trip to Latin America! https://t.co/HRRHSRRuKZ
— Ivanka Trump (@IvankaTrump) August 28, 2019
It will be Ivanka Trump’s second trip for the initiative. She earlier traveled to Africa and won a $1 billion commitment to help women gain access to business capital, vocational training, and legal help.
That and other promises made during the trip, and those expected during next week’s travels, have gone a long way to dismiss claims from critics that the initiative is weak and Trump ineffective.
She has won applause for her efforts from several world leaders and even the Brookings Institution. In June, she was invited by Japanese Prime Minister Shinzō Abe to make her case at a “women’s economic empowerment” session.
Officials have bristled at the criticism and suggested that having President Trump’s daughter and top aide lead the initiative is proof of the administration’s dedication to the global effort. In fact, during a background call on her South America trip, when a reporter suggested Trump doesn’t have a “particular expertise” as a world diplomat, an official rebuffed, “we’re not going to dignify that question with a response.”
Trump has said that the initiative helps to aid 50 million women by 2025 by striking down prohibitions in dozens of countries to allowing women to set up businesses and gain investment capital.
Officials said Friday that if those barriers were erased, there would be a resulting explosion in women-run firms that would add $12 trillion in economic growth.