Ivanka – known as the First Daughter – set up a government programme called the Womens’ Global Development and Prosperity Initiative (WGDP), which celebrated its first anniversary last week. The initiative promotes women’s empowerment through programmes sponsored by 10 US agencies and aims to “reach” 50 million women in developing countries by 2025. It will endeavour to help these women start small businesses, attend vocational schools and access loans, as well as working to change laws in dozens of countries that restrict the ability of women to own property or work in the same jobs as men do.
According to US officials, the initiative has already reached 12 million women, a figure that appears to count all women and girls living in countries where laws discriminating against women were changed after the WGDP pushed for reform.
Despite this apparent success, the initiative was anticipated to be looked on with disdain from Republicans when it was first suggested, according to 2019 book ‘Kushner Inc’.
Donald Trump’s chief White House strategist Steve Bannon insisted that Republican politicians did not care about this sort of initiative.
He spoke to Dina Powell, an Egyptian-born senior executive from Goldman Sachs who had previously worked for the George W Bush administration, who Ivanka hired to help her.
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Steve Bannon took a brutal swipe at Ivanka’s initiative
While Mr Bannon was impressed with Ms Powell, he was brutally honest about the scheme she was cooking up with Ivanka.
According to author Vicky Ward, he said: “Listen, I love it. I just don’t want to embarrass Ivanka.
“None of the Republicans on Capitol Hill care about this stuff… You understand that right?”
Ms Powell apparently replied: “I know.”
Ivanka Trump walking into her WGDP reception
However, she later refuted this description of events, telling Ms Ward that she had no recollection of Mr Bannon expressing any misgivings.
That said, Gary Cohn, former director of the US National Economic Council, told colleagues that it took Ms Powell “less than two months on the job to get away from working with Ivanka”, which many deemed a “thankless job”.
Ms Powell instead pitched herself to National Security Adviser HR McMaster and she was chosen to be the deputy national security adviser for strategy.
Despite Mr Bannon’s claim, Ivanka has plowed on with the support of her father.
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Ivanka appeared on the panel with Ambassador O’Brien and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo
WGDP is growing exponentially, starting out with $50million (£39billion) in funding that was doubled this year and there are plans to double it again next year.
Last week, the initiative was celebrated by the State Department in a reception that saw Ivanka get a standing ovation in acknowledgement of her work.
She sat at a table with national security adviser Robert O’Brien and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.
She said: “In the coming year, we can work to empower millions of women to lift their families out of poverty, to grow the economies in their country, to reduce dependence and to deliver on the promise of greater peace and prosperity.
“I look forward to working with each of you around this table as we advance this ambitious goal.”
Ivanka’s husband Jared Kushner is also a special adviser to the President, but for strategic planning.
It was Jared who spearheaded Mr Trump’s new Middle East Peace Plan.
Meanwhile, Mr Bannon is no longer in the employment of the Trump administration, having left in August 2017.
Ivanka brandishes the annual report
The Breitbart co-founder claimed he had always intended to stay with Mr Trump for one year, after first becoming involved during his presidential campaign in August 2016.
However, his critical comments about the President made to the author of ‘Fire and Fury’ imply there may have been some friction.
Mr Trump denounced his former ally for these comments.