Sorry, Ivanka. I’m not buying that Donald Trump will be a champion for women

On Thursday night at the GOP convention, Ivanka Trump gave a rousing speech in which she talked about the need for equal pay and affordable child care. I could not agree more. But that's about the extent of our agreement.

Ivanka went on to claim that her father, GOP presidential nominee Donald Trump, would be a champion for working women, making sure that women will be paid equally to men, and that he will "focus on making quality child care affordable and accessible for all." Unfortunately, it seems that Ivanka is not familiar with her father's own record on these issues, so let me shed some light on a few relevant facts:

  • When asked by a "Make It Work" activist about his position on affordable child care at a campaign event in Iowa, Trump gave a pathetic response dripping with condescension. In short, he said that he didn't have time to discuss the issue.
  • When asked about child care by someone else at a different campaign event, he reduced the matter to providing a swing and a few blocks for employees. Besides demonstrating the fact that he has clearly never cared for a small child, he misses the point entirely about the need for high quality care, as well as the importance of affordability and paying caregivers a living wage.

While he fails to take this issue seriously, child-care costs continue to rise to what is now more than what the average family spends on rent or food, according to a ChildCare Aware study. So, forgive me Ivanka, but I have strong reason to believe that your father will not be making sure that families have quality, affordable child care anytime soon. And I suggest you base your assertions on his record next time.

"Sorry Ivanka, I'm not buying that your dad is a champion for women — in fact he's shown himself time after time to be just the opposite. You may have the right stance on these issues, but your dad does not, and unfortunately he's the Trump running for president."

Now let's look at equal pay — an issue that is not only central to the issue of women's equality generally, but also to the economic health of families around the country, as women are primary breadwinners in 40 percent of all American households, as Ivanka herself pointed out.

While Ivanka hails the importance of paying women, and specifically mothers, equally — hear, hear to that! — it seems that her father feels a tad differently. Let me point you to a few choice quotes:

Oh, and let's not forget Donald Trump's view of working women in general. In reference to putting his first wife (Ivanka's mother) in charge of running his casino in Atlantic City, he famously stated: "I think that putting a wife to work is a very dangerous thing." Indeed, he has repeatedly talked about a wife's place NOT being in business. (Though he clearly has a different standard for his daughter — not exactly equality.)

I'm not sure about Trump, but the rest of us are living in the 21st century, when women are primary or co-breadwinners in almost two-thirds of all households.

It's surely no coincidence that Ivanka put these issue front and center in her speech. I'm sure she has access to the same polling data that we do, which tells us that these issues are hugely popular with voters. Indeed, in polling that "Make It Work" conducted last year, we found that 93 percent of all voters support equal pay, including 79 percent of Republicans, and 75 percent of voters support making affordable, quality care available nationally.

The difference is that there are millions of women and men who want actual change on these issues, not the lip service provided by Ivanka Trump to woo voters, many of whom might not be aware that her father not only isn't likley to champion these issues, but will probably set the clock back with his retrograde attitudes toward women. As a working mom, she may understand the importance of equal pay and child care, but it's clear that her father certainly does not.

Sorry Ivanka, I'm not buying that your dad is a champion for women — in fact he's shown himself time after time to be just the opposite. You may have the right stance on these issues, but your dad does not, and unfortunately he's the Trump running for president.

Commentary by Vivien Labaton, co-founder and co-director of "Make It Work," a campaign working to advance economic security for women, men and families across the country, and "Make It Work Action," the nonpartisan advocacy arm of "Make It Work." Follow her on Twitter @vivienlab.

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