Ivanka Trump forced to defend father at women's summit

Ivanka Trump was invited to speak at a G20 women's conference in Berlin by German Chancellor Angela Merkel, but found herself defending her father against reports of bias and misogyny. VIDEO: REUTERS
Some of the most powerful women of the G20, including first daughter and assistant to the US president, Ivanka Trump, arrive in Berlin to participate in the W20 Summit.
First Daughter and advisor to the US President Ivanka Trump attends a panel discussion at the W20 women's empowerment summit sponsored by the Group of 20 major economic powers on April 25, 2017 in Berlin.
First Daughter and advisor to the US President Ivanka Trump attends a panel discussion at the W20 women's empowerment summit sponsored by the Group of 20 major economic powers on April 25, 2017 in Berlin. PHOTO: AFP
US President's daughter Ivanka Trump, International Monetary Fund's managing director Christine Lagarde and German Chancellor Angela Merke share a laugh at the start of a panel discussion at the W20 women's empowerment summit on April 25, 2017 in Ber
US President's daughter Ivanka Trump, International Monetary Fund's managing director Christine Lagarde and German Chancellor Angela Merke share a laugh at the start of a panel discussion at the W20 women's empowerment summit on April 25, 2017 in Berlin.PHOTO: AFP
Chrystia Freeland, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Canada, Daughter of U.S. President Ivanka Trump, Stephanie Bschorr, President Association of German Women Entrepreneurs, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Queen Maxima of the Netherlands, UN Secret
Chrystia Freeland, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Canada, Daughter of U.S. President Ivanka Trump, Stephanie Bschorr, President Association of German Women Entrepreneurs, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Queen Maxima of the Netherlands, UN Secretary General's Special Advocate for Inclusive Finance for Development and Honorary Chair of the G20 Global Partnership for Financial Inclusion at the family photo at the W20 Summit under the motto "Inspiring women: scaling up women's entrepreneurship" in Berlin, Germany, April 25, 2017.PHOTO: REUTERS
(From left) co-chairwoman of the W20 Stephanie Bschorr, First Daughter and Advisor to the US President Ivanka Trump, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Queen Maxima of the Netherlands and German Family Minister Manuela Schwesig arrive to pose for a fam
(From left) co-chairwoman of the W20 Stephanie Bschorr, First Daughter and Advisor to the US President Ivanka Trump, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Queen Maxima of the Netherlands and German Family Minister Manuela Schwesig arrive to pose for a family photo during the W20 women's empowerment summit sponsored by the G20 Group of 20 major economic powers on April 25, 2017 in Berlin.PHOTO: AFP
(From left) Canada's Minister of Foreign Affairs Chrystia Freeland, First Daughter and Advisor to the US President Ivanka Trump, co-chairwoman of the W20 Stephanie Bschorr, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Queen Maxima of the Netherlands pose for
(From left) Canada's Minister of Foreign Affairs Chrystia Freeland, First Daughter and Advisor to the US President Ivanka Trump, co-chairwoman of the W20 Stephanie Bschorr, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Queen Maxima of the Netherlands pose for a family photo during the W20 women's empowerment summit sponsored by the G20 Group of 20 major economic powers on April 25, 2017 in Berlin.PHOTO: AFP

BERLIN (AFP) - Ivanka Trump, on her overseas debut as the US "First Daughter" at a Berlin women's summit with German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Tuesday (April 25), was quickly forced to defend her father's attitude towards women.

Sitting on a G20 panel with female leaders, Donald Trump's daughter drew chuckles from the audience when she praised "my father's advocacy" on the issue and his role as "a tremendous champion of supporting families and enabling them to thrive".

The panel moderator, a finance journalist, interjected, saying "some attitudes towards women your father has publicly displayed... might leave one questioning whether he is such an empowerer for women".

"I've certainly heard the criticism from the media and that's been perpetuated," replied Ivanka, 35.

"But I know from personal experience that I think the thousands of women who have worked with and for my father for decades, when he was in the private sector, are testament to his belief and solid conviction in the potential of women and their ability to do the job as well as any man.

"As a daughter, I can speak on a personal level, knowing that he encouraged me and enabled me to thrive. I grew up in a house where there were no barriers to what I could accomplish beyond my own perseverance and my own tenacity ... There was no difference for me and my brothers."

Ivanka, a glamorous former model who started her own fashion line, has worked for her billionaire-father's company and now has an office in the White House.

On her first official trip in the role, she appeared on the panel with high-powered guests including IMF chief Christine Lagarde and Queen Maxima of the Netherlands, on Women's Economic Empowerment and Entrepreneurship.

Ivanka had previously met Merkel in March at the White House, where they co-hosted a talk of business leaders on vocational education and workforce development.