A few dollars a day for long hours

Princess Ivanka is in Hyderabad pretending to be an important person who Advocates for stuff, but the veneer is too thin to be convincing.

Ivanka Trump called Tuesday for greater efforts to help women start businesses and contribute to the global economy, but there was no mention of her company’s use of low-wage garment workers.

Empower women! Boop boop!! But pay no attention to those peasant women working for pennies an hour in my factories.

To some, her appeals for women empowerment contrasted sharply with her own business practices.

Ivanka Trump’s apparel company, which she still controls, exclusively relies on foreign factories in places such as Bangladesh, Indonesia, China and India, where mostly female workers are paid a few dollars a day for long hours, industry experts have said. Earlier this year, The Washington Post found that Trump’s apparel company lags behind many others in the industry in the way it monitors treatment of its workers, most of them women.

Never mind that! Empower women! Ivanka is right-on!

She headlined an event focused on uplifting and supporting women entrepreneurs, but there was no mention of her apparel company’s use of low-wage workers in India and other countries to stitch her clothes.

Entrepreneurs and business leaders praised Ivanka Trump, describing her as an elegant and professional working mother who built her own business and has been a strong advocate for women.

“She is a very fierce and independent woman. That’s what I admire about her,” said Renuka Diwan, co-founder of an agriculture start-up in Pune. “She’s successful in her own right. Nobody has to introduce her as Donald Trump’s daughter. She has made a name for herself.”

Uh, no. She’s not, they did, she didn’t. If she weren’t Donald Trump’s daughter no one would pay the slightest attention to her. She markets dull, mediocre clothes, end of story. Without Daddy she might be a buyer for Bloomingdale’s, or maybe Target.

She touted the administration’s work reducing “job-crushing regulations” that hurt small business owners, its proposal for paid family leave and her efforts to lobby to pass tax cuts.

“We must ensure that women entrepreneurs have access to capital, access to networks and mentors and access to equitable laws,” she said. She noted that if India closed its labor force gender gap by half, the economy could grow by $150 billion in three years.

But don’t expect her to pay higher wages. She’s far too busy lobbying for tax cuts that will make her that bit richer.

Women make up less than 25 percent of the enrollment in higher education, notes Vijayaraghavan M. Chariar, a professor of rural development and technology at the Indian Institute of Technology in New Delhi.

“There are a few success stories but there are very serious issues of patriarchy and gender stereotyping that are preventing a lot more creative women from joining the ranks of entrepreneurs,” Chariar said.

Ivanka Trump, he went on “is a nice Barbie doll. Everybody wants to have a picture taken with her. But there are much more substantial women who are entrepreneurs we ought to be celebrating.”

Well, she’s a Barbie doll. I doubt she’s nice, given her associations.

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