Ivanka Trump draws flak for wearing 'hijab' at UAE mosque

Ivanka Trump, daughter and special adviser to US President Donald Trump, arrived in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) on Saturday (Feb. 17) to take part in the Global Women's Forum in Dubai and meet Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the crown prince of Abu Dhabi.

While visiting the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque, the largest mosque in the country, she chose to wear a 'hijab' (a headscarf worn by Muslim women), for which she is garnering widespread criticism, independent.co reported.

'A tool of religious subjugation'

Ivanka Trump hijab

"could someone get her some acting lessons?"

"NOT helping women"

Ivanka Trump hijab

"kiss their a$$"

Ivanka Trump hijab

"Have empathy for those woman who are flogged & jailed in the Middle East"

Ivanka Trump hijab

While many criticized her look, others saw it as just showing respect at a place of worship.

"Just respecting the holy place."

Ivanka Trump hijab

"A gesture of respect."

Ivanka Trump hijab

During their state visit to Saudi Arabia in 2017, both she and First Lady Melania Trump chose not to wear the headscarf.

Ivanka lauds UAE, Saudi Arabia for women's rights reforms

During her keynote address at the two-day Global Women's Forum, the first daughter heaped praise on Arabic nations for embarking on "significant reforms" to advance women's rights.

"We know that when women are free to succeed, families thrive, communities flourish and nations are stronger," Trump said.

She congratulated Saudi Arabia for its recent changes in the law that allows women to travel abroad and obtain a passport without the permission of a male relative. In 2018, Mohammad-bin-Salman, the crown prince of Saudi Arabia, lifted the ban on women driving cars.

She commended Bahrain for introducing legislation against discrimination at workplace; Jordan for eliminating legal restrictions on women's ability to work at night; Morocco for expanding women's land rights and Tunisia for introducing laws to combat domestic violence. She lauded Emirati leaders for "removing barriers to women joining the workforce and developing a national strategy that recognizes that women are central to sustainable growth".

She drew attention to the fact that although 70 per cent of Emirati university graduates are women, only 10% of the UAE's total national income is derived from women.

"We know that this going to grow and flourish in the years ahead," she said.