On Tuesday, Ivanka Trump attempted to defend her father’s support of women while speaking at a panel for the international W20 summit in Berlin, Germany. Just one day prior, published internal documents showed that President Donald Trump is cutting aid to developing countries by more than one-third and is completely eliminating the budget for the Office of Global Women’s Issues, the State Department team promoting gender equality around the world.
According to a 15-page State Department budget published by Foreign Policy, Trump plans on completely eliminating the office’s 2016 budget of $8.25 million, including the position of ambassador-at-large, in 2018. The ambassador-at-large position is currently vacant, but it was first established under President Barack Obama in 2009.
During the Obama administration, the office launched several initiatives and grants geared toward elevating women and girls around the world, as well as ending—and seeking justice for survivors of—gender-based violence. Such programs have assisted in ending female genital mutilation for more than 65,000 girls, offering vocational training and college scholarships for Afghan women and girls, and preventing early and forced marriages in countries affected by the Syrian refugee crisis.
Musimbi Kanyoro, the president and chief executive of the Global Fund for Women, told the Independent that Trump’s proposed cuts sends a troubling signal about the United States’ dedication to women’s human rights globally.
“[The office] took a leadership stance on women’s rights, amplified the voices of grassroots women’s leaders, and enacted important policies like the US global strategy to empower adolescent girls, which carried the potential to ensure more girls globally are educated, healthy, and free from violence,” Kanyoro said. “An action like this de-prioritizes women and girls and holds the threat that we will actually see global women’s rights recede rather than advance under the watch of this administration.”
Trump’s proposed budget follows his considerations to cut maternity care from his Obamacare replacement bill and his reinstating of the global gag rule on abortion, blocking federal funding for any international nongovernmental organization that provides abortion or mentions abortion as an option.
Despite Ivanka’s insistence that her father’s employment of women shows his support of them, Trump’s actions speak louder than words.
H/T the Independent