Expo 2020 Dubai: Address biases against women to create lasting empowerment, say leaders

Dubai - To achieve change, an inclusive approach that involves boys and men must be also be taken, the experts said at a forum

By Staff Report

Published: Sat 23 Oct 2021, 6:40 PM

Last updated: Sat 23 Oct 2021, 6:44 PM

European and global leaders gathered at a high-level forum at the Expo 2020 Dubai to discuss policy actions needed to unlock women’s potential.

The conversation brought together political, business and society leaders, who are bringing about positive change in their communities around the world, to highlight the multidimensional contributions of women to society.

Mona Ghanim Al-Marri, vice-president of the UAE Gender Balance Council, said: “Today, government leaders are more aware than ever that women’s economic empowerment and achieving gender balance are key to advancing sustained economies, progressing national development, and building prosperous societies.”

She added: “Based on our experience in the UAE, and specifically the UAE Gender Balance Council, we have worked on enhancing women’s economic rights through referring to global reports and understanding the best practices for women in the economy. We remain hopeful that with collective efforts and actions, we will continue to make important progress towards the empowerment of women across the globe.”

Meanwhile, Stella Ronner-Grubacic, EU ambassador for gender and diversity, said: “To achieve lasting change and advance women’ leadership in socio-economic and political decision-making, we need an inclusive and comprehensive approach, involving men and boys. We also need our own increased awareness that we want things to change and we need to start now”.


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Andrea Matteo Fontana, EU Ambassador to the UAE was also present at the high-level discussion.

Hind Alowais, vice-president of the international participants department at Expo 2020 Dubai said: “If the goal is true and irreversible gender equality, we need to move the wheels of culture, rewire our mindsets and address visible and invisible social norms and biases that hold women back.”

The event was held in partnership with the Embassies of Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, the Commissariat General of Italy for Expo 2020 Dubai and UN Women and hosted at the Women’s pavilion by Expo 2020 Dubai in collaboration with Cartier.

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