Ivanka Trump's role within her father's administration seems to continue expanding. The first daughter and fashion mogul is now considered a special adviser to the president, and even received her own West Wing office in March. But as her role within the administration grows, so does her influence, and many are calling for Ivanka to begin taking action on promoting women's rights and gender equality, both issues she has claimed to be passionate about in the past. On Tuesday, Planned Parenthood President Cecile Richards called on Ivanka to begin doing more to advance women's rights.
"She apparently has the portfolio for all women's issues in the White House," Richards said of Ivanka at the TIME 100 Gala. "And women are waiting to see a sign from this White House that they're on our side."
The two women previously had a private meeting together in January just after President Trump's Inauguration. According to POLITICO, the purpose of the meeting was for Richards to show Ivanka how Planned Parenthood actually works, and to explain that federal funding does not go towards abortion services. President Trump has repeatedly threatened to defund the organization that provides women's health resources based on an inaccurate belief that government money is funding abortions.
Ivanka has been criticized throughout her father's presidency for failing to do more to advocate for women. Although she lists the "education and empowerment of women and girls" as one of her primary concerns, she has so far not introduced any initiatives on this subject in her high-profile role, or spoken out against any of her father's controversial executive orders that seem to be in conflict with these beliefs. Critics have even called her "complicit" in her father's seemingly anti-feminist agenda.
Still, Richards expressed optimism that things may change, and hinted that she may play a greater role in ensuring that they do.
"I'm very hopeful that we see something dramatically different than we've seen these first 100 days." she said. "That's what we're working on."
On Tuesday, Ivanka participated in a panel on women's empowerment and entrepreneurship at the W-20 Summit in Germany at the invitation of German Chancellor Angela Merkel. During the discussion, she was booed by the audience after claiming that her father has "been a tremendous champion of supporting families and enabling them to thrive."
Participating in forums that seek to advance women's equality globally is at least a step in the right direction on Ivanka's part. But according to Richards, she still has a lot of work to do.