Melania Trump’s invitation for high-powered women to join her at the White House was about more than the lunch they would eat, or the stated purpose of honouring International Women’s Day.
It marked a “coming out”, almost two months into President Donald Trump’s term, for a first lady described by her husband as a “very private person”. She had spent a couple of weeks hunkered down at the family’s midtown Manhattan penthouse while Trump got down to work in Washington. Now, the former model is taking her first steps into her very public new role
*Watch Ivanka And Melania arrive at the White House below**
Mrs Trump strode into the State Dining Room for her first solo White House event after an announcer intoned, “Ladies and gentlemen, the first lady of the United States, Melania Trump”, and was greeted by the all-female group of about 50 people, including ambassadors, Cabinet members, at least one US senator and stepdaughter Ivanka Trump.
Mrs Trump asked guests for suggestions on how best to empower women and girls worldwide, possibly foreshadowing women’s empowerment as an issue she would pursue as first lady. Trump said recently that his wife, who turns 47 next month, feels strongly about “women’s difficulties”.
“I will work alongside you in ensuring that the gender of one’s birth does not determine one’s treatment in society,” she told guests, according to a tweet by a White House official.
The first lady’s popularity has risen 16 percentage points since the January 20 inauguration, according to recent polling by CNN, climbing to 52 per cent, from 36 per cent.
Kate Andersen Brower, author of First Women, said the public saw Mrs Trump as a calming force and as someone who had embraced being a mother.
Who loves our First Lady?!