The ongoing Expo 2020 Dubai is trying to transform the perception of Emirati women. It is the first time that a world expo is almost entirely helmed by women leaders — about 60 percent of the core team comprises women leaders.
While Her Excellency Reem Al-Hashimy, UAE Minister of State for International Cooperation and Director General, Expo 2020 Dubai commands the reins of the expo, other women leaders such as Chief Sales and Marcomms Officer, Manal AlBayat; Vice President, District 2020 Nadimeh Mehra; Chief Experience Officer, Marjan Faraidooni; Head of Sustainability Operations, Dina Storey; Chief of Staff, Director General Office, Nadia Verjee and Senior Vice President of International Participants Department, Hind Al Owais are overseeing core aspects of the expo.
According to Hind, the Expo 2020 Dubai is a launchpad for women empowerment in the region.
The inclusivity at the expo is a part of a larger gender inclusivity effort in the UAE.
Hind shared that the UAE has adopted a new law on having a 50/50 representation of men and women in the Federal National Council. The FNC, a 40-member body, is an consultative council, the parliamentary body of the UAE.
On her participation at the Expo 2020 Dubai, she says, “It is a privilege to be a part of expo’s diverse team. Through the expo, we attribute a fundamental part of its success to its women labour force that earnestly contribute to all stages, across departments, teams, and diverse cultures. We strongly believe that an event of this scale will certainly highlight the determination and diligence of female leaders at Expo 2020 Dubai.”
One of the main attractions at the Dubai Expo 2020 is the women’s pavilion at Sustainability District for which the expo collaborated with Cartier, Hind says. It has over 150 events lined up to highlight the contributions made by women and push the agenda of women empowerment. Paris-headquartered Cartier is a French luxury products conglomerate.
The “New Perspectives” exhibition at the women’s pavilion recognises the central role that women have played throughout history, leading up to the present, she says.
“Celebrating the significant – and often forgotten – contributions of women, the pavilion is demonstrating an important principle: when women thrive, all of humanity thrives. It highlights important contributions women have made in advancing societies, as well as the challenges women still face, especially as the world navigates through the COVID-19 pandemic and works toward a more sustainable and environment friendly future,” she adds.
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Climate change is also another focus area at the expo.
The Women’s Pavilion hosted a Women’s World Majlis on ‘The First Defenders of Mother Nature: Women Leading the Fight to Save Our Planet’, as part of Climate and Biodiversity Week at Expo 2020 Dubai. The session emphasised the role of female participation in the battle to save the planet.
“Nobody can imagine having this Expo without paying a tribute to women who have played a significant role in nation-building,” she says.
With over 60 live events each day, Expo 2020 Dubai is expected to run for 182 days. People from around the globe are visiting the expo which has pavilions from 192 countries to showcase their history, culture, art, and cuisine.