During Donald Trump’s presidential election, Ivanka Trump played an active role in his campaign, even more so than his wife, Melania. In fact, some of Trump’s proposed policies during his campaign were influenced by his daughter, like a plan to guarantee six weeks of paid maternity leave to mothers and to deduct parents’ cost of child-care expenses from their income taxes.
Ivanka Trump plays an interesting role in the new presidential administration because she uses her brand and agenda to influence her father. A successful businesswoman herself, she has positioned herself as an advocate for working women.
Her website has a section dubbed “Women Who Work,” where her company publishes blog posts dedicated to working remotely, preparing for maternity leave, and balancing a professional and personal life; she also has a new book out in the spring titled, “Women Who Work: Redefining the Rules for Success.” During the Republican National Convention, she passionately advocated for her father’s platform of helping working women.
Indeed, while Republicans have traditionally not been associated with “liberal” policies like paid family and maternity leave, Ivanka Trump is already using her position to champion for causes important to her and her label.
The children of presidents taking an active role in national leadership is not new; According to Politico, widowers Thomas Jefferson and Martin Van Buren enlisted the help of their daughters to act as the official White House hostesses. Susan Ford, 17, stepped in as a hostess during her father’s diplomatic reception while her mother was recovering from a mastectomy.
While Ivanka Trump has failed to address past allegations of sexual assault on her father’s behalf, Trump is getting heat from critics about her role, insisting that she is not campaigning so much for female empowerment but for business.
One example is after the 60 Minutes interview with the President-elect and the rest of the Trump family, where Ivanka’s brand sent out an email to several reporters, publicizing the sale of a bracelet she was wearing on the segment.
Other critics in the New York Times also commented on her advocating for and profiting off of a demographic that has been oppressed by her father in the past.
Whether we agree with how she preaches her ideology or not, Ivanka Trump is set to be one of the most influential American women over the next four years, more so than her stepmother. Already, she has set up a meeting between her father and Al Gore, is rumored to be looking at space in the White House, and is participating in calls and meetings between Trump and other heads of state.
One can only hope that no matter how she or her father got to the White House, that she can finally use her position to fight the battles working mothers have long had to face.
Do you think Ivanka Trump will use her position as the First Daughter for good? Tweet @issabasco.