BERLIN (AFP) - Ivanka Trump, making her overseas debut as the US "First Daughter" at a women s summit in Berlin, drew groans and laughter on Tuesday as she defended her father s attitude towards women.
Sitting on a G20 panel with female leaders including German Chancellor Angela Merkel and IMF chief Christine Lagarde, Donald Trump s daughter caused the audience to bristle when she praised "my father s advocacy" 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 toward 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 the 35-year-old Ivanka about her father, who faced public outrage during the campaign over a 2005 video in which he was heard making degrading remarks about women.
"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."
Trump enabled me to thrive
Ivanka, a 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.
She said her father "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."
President Trump meanwhile tweeted he was "proud" of Ivanka for "her leadership on these important issues".
Merkel is seen to be cultivating a good relationship with Ivanka as a key communication channel with the Trump presidency, given that Berlin and Washington have differed on issues from refugees, to NATO defence spending to Germany s trade surplus.
News magazine Der Spiegel saw the meeting as "a summit of the two women who are supposed to moderate Donald Trump -- if that is even possible".
It said "the hopes of the free world rest on the two women because they supposedly have the power to influence the man who looks down on women".