Ivanka Trump to promote women’s initiative in South America

National News

Ivanka Trump, the daughter of President Donald Trump poses for photographs during a “Pledge to America’s Workers” ceremony in the State Dining Room of the White House in Washington, Thursday, July 25, 2019.(AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

WASHINGTON (AP) — Ivanka Trump will travel to South America in September to focus on issues that make it difficult for women in developing countries to prosper financially, including lack of access to credit and limits on employment.

President Donald Trump’s daughter and White House adviser plans to visit Paraguay and Argentina to promote the Women’s Global Development and Prosperity Initiative, a program started six months ago, by focusing on three key areas: job training, financial assistance and encouraging legal and regulatory changes.

During the trip, aides said Ivanka Trump will advocate for laws and other changes that will allow women to access courts and other institutions, build credit, own and inherit property, travel freely and work the same jobs as men.

Ivanka Trump, who had a business selling clothing and accessories before joining her father’s administration, said these laws, while not exhaustive, are “foundational to building strong societies where women can freely participate in the economy.”

Owning property, either land or a home, is one avenue to financial independence for women, but 40% of all countries limit women’s property rights, according to research by the global development initiative.

Women cannot run a business in nearly two-thirds of the world’s nations. In 17 countries, they are prohibited from traveling without permission and, in 37 nations, they are not even allowed to apply for a passport. Many nations also limit women’s occupations and work hours.

Advisers to the president’s eldest daughter point to changes underway in Ivory Coast as an example of the kind of change that can help women in developing countries.

Ivanka Trump promoted the development program in Ivory Coast and Ethiopia in April, though the marriage code change was under consideration before her visit. Under the revised code, husbands and wives will have equal say in managing household assets and making financial decisions.

In Paraguay, most women work in informal jobs where they are subject to vulnerable working conditions and no access to social security, according UN Women, a division of the United Nations dedicated to gender equality and women’s empowerment.

Women in Paraguay also participate in the labor market at a significantly lower rate than men.

Ivanka Trump launched the Women’s Global Development and Prosperity initiative in February with her father’s full backing and an initial investment of $50 million from the U.S. Agency for International Development.

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