Ivanka Trump has always touted herself to be someone who champions for the rights of women and is a self-described feminist. Oddly enough, she claims that her feminist ideals and the woman she today is deeply rooted in the feminism of her father President Trump:
“My father is a feminist. He’s a big reason I am the woman I am today,” Ivanka Trump told the Sunday Times. “People talk about gender equality. He has lived it, he has employed women at the highest levels of the Trump Organization for decades, so I think it’s a great testament to how capable he thinks women are and has shown that his whole life.”
In her recent book, “Women Who Work,” (which itself is not without controversy), Ivanka writes about the importance of achieving work-life balance, something she hypocritically does not extend to her own workers. If she is the feminist she claims to be. why is it then that the very women she claims to uplift and support through her businesses via employing these women cannot even afford to live with their families? Using cheap overseas labor to raise her own profit margins no matter the cost, is more realistic a value she learned from her father, rather than the feminist values she so claimed.
As Lauren Kaori Gurley for Alternet writes:
The thousands of women who work in Ivanka Trump’s clothing factory in Subang, Indonesia, would laugh if they read her latest book, “Women Who Work,” a treatise on achieving work-life balance.
Many garment workers in Ivanka Trump’s Indonesia clothing factory are paid so little that they cannot afford to live with their children or purchase basic necessities without going into debt, according to a new investigation by the Guardian. The workers also face anti-union intimidation and verbal abuse, and are paid a $10.50 bonus if they continue to work throughout their menstrual cycle.
Many of the 2,759 factory workers—three-quarters of whom are women—make the region’s minimum wage, about 2.3 million rupiah, or $173 per month, which is in the running for the lowest in Asia.
For one minimum wage-earning factory worker who goes by Ali, this wage means that she must live in a boarding house, while her children stay with their grandparents hours away. She says she and the kids’ father can only see them once a month when they can afford the cost of gasoline.
Is this the gender equality Ivanka was going for? If she thinks that women are capable of great things, why doesn’t she pay them a livable wage in order to do so?
Several workers at the factory owned and operated by the Korean supplier company PT Burma mentioned being called “morons,” “monkeys” and “animals” by their superiors, and cited a pattern of firings before Ramadan to circumvent the “religious holiday bonus.” Others complained of sporadic compensation for their frequent overtime work.
This news follows the disappearance of several labor activists in China last week who were investigating abuses, including salaries lower than China’s legal minimum wage and violations of women’s rights, at a plant where Ivanka Trump shoes are produced.
“Ivanka Trump claims to be the ultimate destination for Women Who Work,” Carry Sommers, founder of the non-profit Fashion Revolution, told the Guardian. “But this clearly doesn’t extend to the women who work for her in factories around the world.”
The White House and Ivanka Trump’s brand declined the Guardian’s requests for comment.
What are your thoughts on the practices the Trumps use in foreign factories? Do you think that Ivanka is a hypocrite for claiming she is a feminist given the current practices of her company and how it treats its employees, especially women? Join the discussion in the comments below.
(Article By Tasha Sharifa)