Wednesday 21 August 2019

Sexual harassment should never be tolerated, says Ivanka

Ivanka Trump called for women to be treated with more respect. Photo: Reuters
Ivanka Trump called for women to be treated with more respect. Photo: Reuters

Rachael Alexander

Sexual harassment of women should "never be tolerated", Ivanka Trump told an audience in Tokyo yesterday, calling for women to be treated with greater respect at work.

The speech came as global headlines are dominated by sexual harassment claims against prominent men in entertainment and politics.

The new round of claims has revived memories of her father, US President Donald Trump's boasts about groping women, which emerged during the presidential campaign.

Speaking at the World Assembly for Women in Tokyo, she said: "All too often, our workplace culture fails to treat women with appropriate respect.

"This takes many forms, including harassment, which can never be tolerated," she added.

The issue of sexual harassment has been in the spotlight since bombshell claims against Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein, with allegations emerging against a host of others in the entertainment industry.

In Britain, Westminster has been engulfed by sex harassment claims this week, with Michael Fallon being forced to quit as defence secretary after a cabinet colleague accused him of making lewd remarks.

The Labour Party suspended a senior MP after an activist claimed that he sexually harassed her.

The US president has also faced allegations of sexual harassment. A videotape of Mr Trump, which emerged last October, showed him boasting about being able to get away with inappropriate behaviour.

"When you're a star, they let you do it," he said. "Grab them by the p----. You can do anything," Mr Trump added.

He said the comments were "locker-room banter". Several women subsequently accused him of sexual misconduct, which he denounced as lies.

Ivanka Trump said women should not be defined by whether they work inside or outside the home.

"Truth be told, on Sunday nights, after a messy and wonderful weekend with my children, I am far more exhausted than on Friday evenings, after a long week of work at the office," she joked.

Despite the increase in the percentage of women at workplaces, corporate expectations have remained "stagnant" and still operate on "a single-honour mindset" with expectations for mothers to stay home to provide full-time care, she said.

It "disproportionately" impacts women and most likely causes them to leave jobs or curtail ambitions.

"This isn't a woman's issue, it's a family issue," she said.

Irish Independent

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