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Ivanka Trump: Saudi Arabia’s Progress is very Encouraging | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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A photo of Ivanka Trump with a group of Saudi women that she published on her Twitter account on Sunday

Riyadh- US President Donald Trump’s daughter Ivanka said Sunday that the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia made inspiring progress in empowering women but encouraged Saudi females to continue their pursuit for more advancement.

“Saudi Arabia’s progress, especially in recent years, is very encouraging,” Trump’s daughter told a group of Saudi women she met in Riyadh while accompanying her father on a visit to the kingdom. She did however say a lot of work still needs to be done.

“I met with Saudi Arabian women leaders and learned directly of their accomplishments, challenges & vision for the future,” Ivanka Trump tweeted on Sunday.

Earlier, US First Lady Melania Trump visited the American International School of Riyadh and gave out books. On Sunday, she met with General Electric all-female service center and praised the “empowerment of women”.

During the second day of the visit, Ivanka sat at a roundtable of women led by Princess Reema bint Bandar, deputy president of the Women’s Sports Authority. Saudi and Arab women expressed their pleasure for the chance of exchanging expertise with Trump’s daughter.

She was invited to the event by the Princess who described Ivanka as an elegant and diplomatic lady who shared her experiences with the women.

Princess Reema and Ivanka first met through retail industry.

“That life in retail took us through to various journeys and exposed us actually to what other women’s experiences in the workplace were,” Princess Reema said.

She stated that Ivanka’s participation was interesting to everyone because of her journey as a woman from private to public sector. She added that in business, the challenges are the same whether in Saudi Arabia or the US.

Princess Reema explained that over the past two years many things have changed for Saudi women, saying: “our laws change to meet our people’s needs.”

Riyadh has pledged a program of social and economic reforms as part of Vision 2030 launched last year.

In February, a Saudi woman, Sarah al-Suhaimi, was appointed to head the Saudi stock exchange, Tadawul, while Rania Mahmoud Nashar was appointed as head of Samba bank.