The World’s Most Powerful Women: February 24

More than a month into the Trump presidency, one lingering question is what role First Daughter Ivanka Trump will have in her father’s administration. Last week, the Washington Post published a story with the headline “What exactly is Ivanka Trump doing?”

It’s a fair question, especially since the United States is not used to having adults as first children.

Her initial role has seemed to be Listener-in-Chief. She’s hosted private dinners and the sit-down attended by female CEOs, her father, and Canadian PM Justin Trudeau to talk about women’s economic issues. On Wednesday, she met with minority business owners, most of whom were from Baltimore, and yesterday she reportedly held a “listening session” on domestic and international human trafficking.

But a Bloomberg story details at least one active role Trump intends to take. She is reportedly encouraging members of the House and Senate to support paid maternity leave and a child care tax benefit. She’s working with presidential economic advisor and ex-Goldman exec Dina Powell to ensure that any tax overhaul includes both a child care benefit and a requirement that employers provide paid maternity leave—two policies she pushed for on her father’s campaign trail.

In her speech at the Republican National Convention in July, Trump vowed that her dad would “focus on making quality child care affordable and accessible for all,” but that “for all” part seems to lacking in the measures she’s pushing for. There’s not a ton of detail on her parental leave proposal, but the six-week plan then-candidate Donald Trump introduced in September only applied to mothers—not dads, and the tax credit proposal would benefit more affluent, dual-income families the most.

Sheila Marcelo, founder and CEO of, a platform for finding caregivers, attended one of Ivanka Trump’s earlier dinners and is concerned the child care plan, as it currently stands, doesn’t help families with incomes too low to pay taxes. She told Bloomberg: “It actually doesn’t help make child care affordable for the vast majority of working families.”




Not buying itNike has released an online ad featuring Arab women fencing, boxing and spinning on ice-skates. The video—shared 75,000 times on Twitter in 48 hours—has stirred controversy over its attempt to smash stereotypes. Some are receptive to it, calling the spot an empowerment tool, but others argue it is not representative of Arab women. In Saudi Arabia, for instance, physical education is prohibited in all-girls public schools, and women's gyms remain illegal because female athleticism is deemed un-Islamic.Fortune


Top cop
London's Metropolitan police has named its first female head, Cressida Dick. A former senior Scotland Yard officer who had quit policing to join the Foreign Office, she will lead the police force after winning the support of Home Secretary Amber Rudd and London Mayor Sadiq Khan. Dick, 56, was a surprise choice since her policing career appeared over and because she's never led a force before. She said she is "very humbled" to be chosen for the "extraordinary privilege."

Doing it May's way
France's far-right presidential candidate Marine Le Pen cast herself in Theresa May's image late Wednesday. She said the U.K. PM is "running the U.K. using policies that I want to run." The flattery by Le Pen, an advocate of "drastic limitation" of immigration, will likely sit poorly with May, who's already facing criticism at home for not being quick enough to condemn Trump's travel ban.


Didn't last long
Rumana Ahmed was the only hijab-wearing Muslim in the West Wing during her time in the Obama administration. When Trump was elected she opted to stay on in her role at the National Security Council, hoping she could provide the administration with "a more nuanced view of Islam, and of America's Muslim citizens." She lasted eight days, quitting after Trump established his travel ban that targeted majority-Muslim countries. "I knew I could no longer stay and work for an administration that saw me and people like me not as fellow citizens, but as a threat," she writes in an essay.

Conway, cont'd.
After a week hiatus from TV, top Trump surrogate Kellyanne Conway appeared on Fox News Wednesday night and denied reports that the White House had benched her from on-air appearances. She blamed the break on family commitments. She was center stage again yesterday at the Conservative Political Action Conference, where she criticized the current feminist movement and took a swing at participants of the Women's March. "It turns out that a lot of women just have a problem with women in power," she said. "This whole 'sisterhood' this whole 'let's go march for women's rights,' just constantly talking about what women look like or what they wear or making fun of their choices or presuming that they're not as powerful as the men around."

Gabby says go
Republican lawmakers nationwide are facing hostile town halls in their home districts, with some growing so raucous that safety is a concern. Rep. Louis Gohmert (R-Tex.) went as far as to cite the 2011 shooting that severely injured former congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords and killed six others as a reason to not attend. Giffords responded yesterday and made clear she disagrees with members of Congress who are dodging the public. “To the politicians who have abandoned their civic obligations, I say this: Have some courage,” Giffords said. “Face your constituents. Hold town halls.”
Washington Post


Arresting development
After being charged with drug trafficking, Sen. Leila de Lima, a critic of Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte, was arrested yesterday after a judge found "sufficient probable cause for the issuance of the Warrants of Arrest" against de Lima and two others. Her supporters are denouncing the move. A graphic reading "One for Leila" circulated on social media and a close ally, Sen. Kiko Pangilinan, asked social media users to "please share (it) as a sign of our outrage against political persecution."

Bribes from Beijing?
Regina Ip, candidate for Hong Kong chief executive, claims that leaders in Beijing have offered her top jobs at national bodies in exchange for dropping out of the race. Ip said the central government is "insecure," suggesting Beijing was worried she would take votes away from her rival Carrie Lam, who has secured more votes from the Election Committee that will pick the city's leader next month.
South China Morning Post



Ellen Pao: Toxic behavior at Uber reveals tech's existential rot

Millennial women are confident they can close the gender gap
Financial Times

Gretchen Carlson: The time is now for women to run for office

Rihanna is named Harvard University's humanitarian of the year
Rolling Stone

Living as a lesbian in Iran, where being gay is illegal

Where in the world is Sarah Palin? Her political star is fading
USA Today

Beyonce pulls out of Coachella festival she was supposed to headline


"If you can't stand the heat, get out of the...Congress."
--Hillary Clinton, responding to news reports that Congressional Republicans are ducking angry constituents as they return to their home districts.

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