HYDERABAD, India (AP) - Ivanka Trump described the hurdles faced by women during a speech Tuesday at a business conference in India, which is treating her trip like a royal visit.
But her solo outing also highlighted questions about whether her message of empowering poor women matches her actions.
Trump’s speech at the Global Entrepreneurship Summit in the southern city of Hyderabad was broadcast live throughout India by major news channels.
A buildup worthy of a Bollywood musical included cultural references that ranged from independence leader Mahatma Gandhi to the movie “Slumdog Millionaire.”
The city had cleared away beggars and filled potholes ahead of the visit by Trump, the daughter of President Donald Trump and a senior presidential adviser.
“As a former entrepreneur, employer, and executive in a male-dominated industry, I’ve seen firsthand that all too often women must do more than their male counterparts to prove themselves at work, while also disproportionately caring for their families at home,” Trump said in her speech.
But the conference’s focus on female entrepreneurs raises questions about some of the commercial decisions made by Trump and her namesake brand.
Critics have faulted her for failing to use her leadership role to call out labor and human rights abuses, particularly in China, where the bulk of her U.S. merchandise ships from. And they point out that she has failed to take a public stand on alleged abuses in her brand’s own supply chain.
Trump stepped back from day-to-day management of her brand before taking on an official role as White House adviser, but still retains an ownership interest.
“After my father’s election, I saw an opportunity to leave my businesses for the privilege of serving our country, and empowering all Americans to succeed,” she said in the speech.