WASHINGTON – White House senior advisor Ivanka Trump called the late Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) an “American patriot” and a “true hero.”
“As we gather here today, I want to extend my deepest sympathies to the family of Sen. John McCain, an American patriot who served our country with distinction for more than six decades,” she said in her address at the Organization of American States on Monday during “Financial Empowerment of Women for the Sustainable Social and Economic Development of the Americas.”
“The nation is united in its grief and the world mourns the loss of a true hero and a great statesman,” she said.
President Trump faced criticism Monday morning for only lowering the flag on the White House grounds to half-staff until Sunday evening. By late Monday, the flag was lowered to half-staff again and Trump released an official statement on McCain’s passing, which had occurred on Saturday.
Ivanka Trump’s address, which took place the day after Women’s Equality Day, was focused on “women’s economic empowerment” in the Western Hemisphere.
“Advancing economic opportunity for women in our hemisphere is essential to fostering lasting peace, stability and opportunities to prosper in Central and South America and far beyond,” she said.
In the Western Hemisphere, Trump said women face “barriers” to participating in every aspect of their country’s economy.
“Here in North America, women still are underrepresented in boardrooms and in politics as well as in critical fields such as science and technology. We continue to experience a persistent gender wage gap in both the developed and developing worlds,” she said. “Women are, in fact, one of the greatest under-tapped resources for accelerating global economic growth. Research has shown the strong correlation between prosperity of a country and its level of gender equality.”
Trump cited a recent study, which estimated that “increasing Latin American women’s participation in the workforce could grow the Latin American economy by over $1 trillion within a decade.”
“Our administration is committed to the economic empowerment of women across the globe as a matter of national security. When women are empowered, communities thrive and countries prosper, which is the best and most sure path to self-reliance,” she said.
As an example, Trump named the White House’s partnership with the World Bank as the “founding member of the Women Entrepreneurs Finance Initiative.”
“Through this initiative we have increased access to capital, markets and mentorship so women in the developing world can start and grow a business,” she said. “A first allocation of $120 million is expected to mobilize over $1.6 billion in additional public-private sector funds, which will unlock vast opportunities for women entrepreneurs across the developing world.”
Trump also mentioned USAID’s “WomenConnect Challenge,” which is focused on increasing access to digital technology among women in low- and middle-income countries.
Trump said the White House is “committed” to helping eliminate “the legal and cultural barriers” preventing women from “fully and freely” participating in their local economies.
The First Daughter also said the Trump administration would continue to promote the Overseas Private Investment Corporation’s 2X Women’s Initiative because “when we invest in women, our economies soar, our communities flourish and our nations achieve greater stability and peace.”