Ivanka Trump made the bold decision to speak on women’s rights during a message in Saudi Arabia. During her speech on Sunday, Trump spoke on female empowerment to one of the most oppressed women groups in the world. These women aren’t allowed to drive, they have to wear head coverings, and they are primarily controlled by the men in their life.
While speaking to a small group of successful women, Trump said the following:
“In every country, including the United States, women and girls face challenges. Saudi Arabia’s progress, especially in recent years, is very encouraging. But there’s still a lot of work to be done.”
Ivanka and Melania both view women’s rights strongly and the President has clearly allowed them to show their belief through voice and actions. During the trip, President Trump allowed Ivanka and his wife sit in public meetings with Saudi officials. This was a hint that women hold the same rights as men.
Another action the ladies took was not to wear the traditional headscarves. The tradition has always been that any first lady who visits will wear one. But for Melania and Ivanka, they wanted to show the freedom that women can have. Their decision to do so has created outrage and praise on social media.
Ivanka also stated her goal in the Trump administration saying she was a “female leader within the Trump administration” and that she wanted “to empower women in the United States and around the globe.” She addressed concerns about affordable child care and the pay gap and even addressed the issue of women around the world not having the capital and markets to do what they need to start a business.
Princess Reema bint Bandar hosted Ivanka’s time. Bandar, head of the women’s section of the General Authority of Sports, said she met with Trump because of their connection with retail, but have since changed direction:
“And today, we both find ourselves quite interestingly in governmental positions where we hope to make a difference for the future of women.”
A White House official did clarify that the administration did talk about segregation of sexs and guardianship laws. And though this had little impact, the country is seeing a change in their laws. A recent decree eased some of the rules surrounding the guardian system which demands a man accompanying a woman outside of her house. However, they still cannot travel outside of the country without their guardian.
The event has taken a broad range of comments, but the overall trip and speech went well, and hopefully, Saudi Arabia will see some change with their rights for women.
Credit: Washington Post