The lack of women in elected positions globally, becomes particularly evident when you start seeing photographs of international forums.
Such was the case with the G20 Summit in Hamburg last week. The traditional family portrait from the event became a gross reminder that men still hold the overwhelming majority of the world’s most powerful positions.
As I wrote on Monday, the lack of women was as awkward as ever.
And perhaps that’s why Ivanka Trump’s presence at the event – especially when she took a seat at a table of elected leaders — has been such a point of contention.
When Trump needed to step away for a discussion with world leaders, his daughter took a place with the leaders of Germany, the UK, China, Russia and Turkey.
— Brian Klaas (@brianklaas) July 8, 2017
Should Ivanka’s presence there really bother us? She is a key advisor to her father on matters of gender equality and particularly on women’s entrepreneurship. We’re supposed to be thankful that there is at least one voice on such issues in the White House.
And her participation certainly didn’t seem to bother G20 host and German Chancellor Angela Merkel, who defended Ivanka filling in for her father during the “partnership with Africa, Migration and health” session. She said that as Ivanka belonged to the American delegation, her taking the seat was in line with what delegations do. “And it is known that she works at the White House and carries responsibility for certain initiatives.”
Merkel too, is possibly searching for that voice of reason in the White House, and her relationship with Ivanka appears to be a productive. Last week the US committed $50 million to a World Bank initiative supporting women entrepreneurs worldwide.
It’s not just that Ivanka stands out at the event: It’s not hard, when you’re one of only a handful of women present at a major global gathering of power — although at this point at least, she was one of three women in the discussion (the other two just happened to have been elected to their positions).
It’s also that the US President is handing over stuff he either doesn’t understand, or can’t be bothered with, to his daughter. Nepotism in the Trump camp is moving beyond creepy.
Would Chelsea Clinton have taken the seat, if the election result had been different? Apparently not.
Good morning Mr. President. It would never have occurred to my mother or my father to ask me. Were you giving our country away? Hoping not. https://t.co/4ODjWZUp0c
— Chelsea Clinton (@ChelseaClinton) July 10, 2017
And even if Chelsea had been asked, with a PhD in international relations, she may at least have had the qualifications to participate.