As a devoted Queen Rania fan for many years, it pained me to see her walking recently into Trump Tower for what Vanity Fair wrote was a meeting with Ivanka Trump. She must go, of course, as a leading voice trying to keep President Obama and Hillary Clinton's international women's agenda alive. Also, Queen Rania represents the Palestinians, with her own heritage and with Jordan having the largest number of Palestinian refugees in the region.
The two women met before, definitely in March 2010 when Ivanka Trump joined then married Wendi and Rupoert Murdoch for the "magical baptism" of their two daughters Grace and Chloe in Jordan. Queen Rania organized a memorable three-day tour of Jordan's historic and natural treasures, including Petra, Wadi Rum and the Dead Sea.
Ivana Trump posted on her Facebook timeline June 20, 2013 what she called "A must read -- a truly inspiring letter by Queen Rania of Jordan to girls all over the world. In July 2016 Ivanka Trump posted on her own website one of Queen Rania's famous quotes:
"Whatever title or office we may be privileged to hold, it is what we do that defines who we are."
For her part, Ivanka Trump chose her own words carefully last week, as she explained publicly the changes in her own life priorities:
"My husband, Jared, and I will be moving with our family to Washington, D.C., where Jared will serve as Senior Advisor to the President. I plan to take time to settle our three young children into their new home and schools."
The Trump daughter explained:
"When my father takes office as the 45th President of the United States of America, I will take a formal leave of absence from The Trump Organization and my eponymous apparel and accessories brand," she wrote. "I will no longer be involved with the management or operations of either company."
Ivanka specifically addressed women's issues in her statement:
"I'm grateful for the overwhelming amount of outreach I've received from people all across America who have shared their stories and offered to extend their ideas and expertise in the areas I am deeply passionate about, including the education and empowerment of women and girls; leveling the playing field for female entrepreneurs and job creators and unleashing the potential of women in the workplace. I am eager to hear more from them as I determine the most impactful and appropriate ways for me to serve our country."
In her pursuit of a better understanding of women's issues, the Trump daughter joined a dinner party of high-level women leaders at a secret dinner party at close friend Wendi Deng's home on Thursday, January 12. Deng is no longer married to Rupert Murdochbut she and Ivanka remain very close friends.
Will Ivanka Trump Stand for Planned Parenthood?
There's no word yet on whether Planned Parenthood was on the Deng dinner agenda, but the topic promises to once again be front and center in the new Trump Administration's legislative agenda.
We'll see if Ivanka Trump stands against the ultra-religious right-wing that doesn't even believe in birth control in America or around the world.
Trump can quickly make her mark on women's issues, standing against House Speaker Ryan's intention to defund Planned Parenthood in the budget reconciliation process. Vice Pesident-elect Mike Pence and many members of Donald Trump's proposed cabinet support Personhood legislation that equates the civil rights of a fertilized egg 24 hrs. old with the civil rights of the mother -- or incubator, as she has been called.
Some Republicans like Susan Collins in the Senate and Pa's Charlie Dent in the House totally object to making the defunding of women's health care via Planned Parenthood a top priority. And new research indicates that 50% of Trump voters are opposed to defunding PP, as we wrote recently.
Republican Actions Always Restrict Women's Rights, In Spite Of A Positive Result In Reducing Terrorism Say America's Generals, Queen Rania & Hillary Clinton
Under the Bush administration, all US aid to women internationally carried a no contraception activities by the organization mandate. Surely, they will want to implement the same policy again under Trump. Never -- not in either Bush administration or Ronald Reagan's -- has Americans right-wing Christian community enjoyed so much power and influence.
It's noteworthy that some of Trump's generals will attest to the fact that the emancipation of women worldwide is considered to be the strongest deterrent to terrorism. Both Secy Clinton (State) and Secy Gates (Defense) testified together on women's rights being the most effective deterrent. It's very possible that Trump's military leaders will also intercede when Republicans try to roll back the progress in international women's rights made under the Obama Administration.
For her part, Queen Rania, who has often articulated a deep understanding of the relationships of female empowerment and terrorism, explains:
"You cannot kill an ideology with a bullet. Education is an investment we make in our people to protect them from exploitation and falling vulnerable to recruitment.
A huge factor in the future of this war against extremist ideology is our narrative, and we need to employ quality education to offer a counter-narrative, as well as promise and opportunities, in order to quash the evil forces that are trying to drag the whole world behind."
Her Majesty Queen Rania Al Abdullah of Jordan's commitment to girls' education runs very deep. Asking two weeks ago if the future is still female, Forbes writer Beth Doane profiled five women leaders, including Queen Rania. And there is exciting news to learn that Queen Rania has joined Michelle Obama's Let Girls Learn initiative, recently profiled here on AOC.
In these days before Donald Trump's inauguration as President on Friday November 20, and theWomen's March in DC on Saturday, November 21, women's rights are in a state of undefined flux in the new Trump administration -- one that is fundamentally opposed to feminism and any formalized commitment to women's rights as part of its legislative agenda.
We will see which Trump appointees stand for an expansion of women's rights at home and abroad versus those who seek to redefine them in a way that rolls back the clock.
Many women's groups and female leaders will be leaning on Ivanka Trump to persuade her father to veto key pieces of Republican legislation unless the proverbial add-ons are removed. Whether she is up to the task -- or her father has the stomach for the fight -- remains to be see. In my own view, the odds are against us. ~ Anne