12:44 GMT19 January 2021
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    Earlier in February, Swedish Environment Minister Isabella Lövin taunted US President Donald Trump by posting a picture of herself surrounded by only women. "We are a feminist government, which is clearly visible in this picture," she said in a written comment to Swedish national broadcaster SVT. Trump did not leave it unanswered.

    Trump's repartee in the online skirmish featured yet another image. On Monday, Trump, who is habitually labeled as "misogynist," "racist" and "patriarchal" by Swedish critics, launched a new "women's initiative," whose aim is to get more women in key positions.

    "We focus on the important role of women in our economy," Donald Trump said.

    The new initiative was aptly illustrated by a picture of Donald Trump sitting at his desk at the White House surrounded by a group of only women and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, with whom a joint statement on continued cooperation in energy and finance was signed the same day.

    ​With Trudeau at his side, President Trump pledged to launch the United States Canada Council for the Advancement of Women Business Leaders-Female Entrepreneurs, which would work to support women in the workplace. The meeting to discuss the initiative was held in the presence of women CEOs, including Trump's daughter Ivanka Trump.

    ​In her Twitter bio, Ivanka Trump claims herself to be a "passionate advocate for the education and empowerment of girls." In May 2017, Ivanka's new book titled Women Who Work: Rewriting the Rules for Success is scheduled for release. The proceeds are expected to go to charity.

    In early February, Sweden lashed out against Trump's anti-abortion law, colloquially referred to as a "gag law," for stopping assistance to international organizations that support abortion. In a dig against Trump, Swedish Environment Minister Isabella Lövin parodied the image of Trump signing off on the anti-abortion law in male company by posting an image of herself surrounded by women only.

    Sweden's current red-green leadership prides itself in being the world's first 'overtly feminist' government, yet was recently drowned in bitter criticism for hypocrisy for its failure to make a grand stand for women-kind during its fence-mending trip to Iran. During the past weekend's business trip to Tehran, all eleven women in the high-ranking Swedish delegation topped by Prime Minister Stefan Löfven notoriously sported Islamic headdress and kept an "appropriate" distance from men in order to comply with Iranian law, which was called "a walk of shame" by non-governmental human rights NGO by UN Watch.

    ​​Iranian women's right activist Masih Alinejad, who previouslyurged European female politicians "to stand for their own dignity" and to refuse "compulsory Hijab," accused European politicians of betraying their principles to mercantile interests.

    In light of Sweden's recent beef with Donald Trump over women's rights, this prompted renowned Swedish columnist Ivar Arpi to accuse the Swedish government of double standards and "creeping to dictatorships."

    "It is certainly a peculiar diplomatic strategy the government has adopted: picking a fight with democracies and crawling for dictatorships," Ivar Arpi wrote in Svenska Dagbladet.


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    feminism, women's rights, Isabella Lövin, Stefan Löfven, Donald Trump, Scandinavia, Sweden, Iran, US
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