TOKYO: Sexual harassment of women should “never be tolerated”, Ivanka Trump told an audience in Tokyo on Friday, 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 Donald Trump’s boasts about groping women, which emerged during the US presidential campaign.
Speaking at the World Assembly for Women in Tokyo, the US president’s daughter 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.
Britain’s defence minister quit this week in a harassment scandal engulfing the country’s parliament.
The videotape of Trump, which emerged last October, showed Trump boasting about being able to get away with inappropriate behaviour.
Trump said the comments were “locker-room banter”. Several women subsequently accused him of sexual misconduct, which he denounced as lies.
His daughter was speaking just two days before Trump arrives in Japan at the beginning of a marathon Asian tour that will be dominated by concerns over North Korea.
Ivanka Trump will later hold talks with Abe to lay the groundwork for her father’s trip, which begins in Japan on Sunday.
She has joined the US president in hosting high-profile foreign leaders including Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, Germany’s Angela Merkel and Canada’s Justin Trudeau.
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.
Speaking at the same conference, Abe said he had a “strong commitment” to women’s rights himself, stressing: “I really feel that Japan has come a long way.”
“When women live up to their potential, many world issues can be solved,” said Abe.
The US president and Abe enjoy a close personal relationship and plan to fit in a round of golf in between the diplomacy while Trump is in Japan. – AFP