Expo 2020 Dubai will be the first world exposition since 1900 to have a pavilion solely dedicated to women. It will put the spotlight on issues of gender parity and empowerment while paying homage to women's achievements.
Hind Alowais, Vice President, International Participants at Expo, said women all over the world are facing challenges and trying to overcome obstacles to empowerment, making it important to have a pavilion to celebrate their accomplishments.
“So, to have a space where we recognise them, we honour them where we rally the world to come together around this cause…around the agenda of gender equality and empowerment, is hugely important," she said, speaking at a press conference on Thursday to unveil the creative content and programming for the Women’s Pavilion in collaboration with Cartier.
Expo 2020 Dubai, dubbed “the world’s greatest show”, will begin on October 1 and aims to bring together millions of people from across the world under the theme ‘Connecting Minds, Creating the Future.’ Over 190 countries are participating in the 182-day long world fair.
The idea behind the women’s pavilion is to seize the opportunity when the world gathers in Dubai to amplify women’s voices and issues. It aims to celebrate the significant – and often forgotten – contributions of women, by demonstrating an important principle: when women thrive, all of humanity thrives.
The UAE has made great strides in gender equality. Half of the UAE’s parliament is women; many top ministerial and diplomatic portfolios of the country are also filled by Emirati women.
Reem Al Hashimy, UAE Minister of State for International Cooperation and Director General, Expo 2020 Dubai, said though progress has been made in gender equality and women’s empowerment, much more needs to be done.
“By welcoming visitors from across the planet and from every walk of life, Expo 2020 Dubai is a unique, powerful platform that will drive the necessary attention to this issue.”
Highlighting how gender equality and women’s empowerment (GEWE) has been a central principle of the UAE since its inception 50 years ago, the minister said, “Unless we place gender equality and women's empowerment centre stage, we will not progress at the pace we need to.”
Speaking at the event, Sophie Doireau, Managing Director of Cartier Middle East and India, said: “We strongly believe that empowering women, empowers everyone and benefits the world.
Highlighting the need to create awareness, she said small steps bring changes whether it is from a family, a community, NGO or from the government policy decisions.
Designed by women
Doireau said a collective of women have designed the façade of the pavilion.
With a ‘star constellation’, the pavilion will celebrate the achievements of both ordinary and extra ordinary women who are making a difference in their own ways, she said.
The pavilion will feature a majlis, a vibrant and inclusive space for everyone – including artists, scientists, thought leaders, politicians, entrepreneurs and business leaders – to engage in constructive and solution-oriented conversations on women’s empowerment.
Across the six months of Expo 2020, the Women’s Pavilion will host an array of events, programming and meaningful dialogues that will not only enhance knowledge and understanding of gender equality and women’s empowerment, but also drive tangible, collaborative action that can be shared with the world.
These include a Women’s World Majlis to address the role of women in creating a cleaner, safer, healthier world, and the ‘Women in Arabia and Islam’ series, highlighting real-life stories of women who have led the way throughout history, inspiring other women from across the world to reach new heights. Expo 2020 and Cartier will also celebrate International Women’s Day on 8 March 2022 by hosting a global forum under the theme of “Creating New Perspectives”.
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