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Expo 2020 Dubai: When women thrive, humanity thrives – Gulf News

Expo 2020 Dubai’s Women’s Pavilion is a beacon of light for generations to come.
Ushering in a collective round of applause amongst those in the know when whispers of a pavilion dedicated to celebrating female tastemakers began to garner attention, the unparalleled excitement, energy and perhaps, sigh of relief, was undeniably justified. For the first time in more than a century,
Expo 2020 Dubai is the first world exposition to house a standalone pavilion entirely devoted to women – and we couldn’t be happier.
In collaboration with Cartier, a fully immersive exhibition titled “New Perspectives”, finds its home at the aptly named Women’s Pavilion, inviting visitors to celebrate and champion the significant role women have played throughout history. By showcasing their contributions to society, as well as highlighting the challenges that women around the world face (and continue to encounter when it comes to empowerment) the pavilion – a space that will also host a variety of events throughout the expo’s six-month duration – is both physically and symbolically built with female empowerment at its core. This sentiment no more apparent than in the Women’s Pavilion tagline principle; when women thrive, humanity thrives. Celebrating the achievements of women is by no means unchartered territory for French jewellery house, Cartier, which is why a partnership with what is one of Expo 2020 Dubai’s most progressive pavilions was the perfect coupling.
highlighting the challenges that women around the world face (and continue to encounter when it comes to empowerment) the pavilion – a space that will also host a variety of events throughout the expo’s six-month duration – is both physically and symbolically built with female empowerment at its core. This sentiment no more apparent than in the Women’s Pavilion tagline principle; when women thrive, humanity thrives. Celebrating the achievements of women is by no means unchartered territory for French jewellery house, Cartier, which is why a partnership with what is one of Expo 2020 Dubai’s most progressive pavilions was the perfect coupling.
“At Cartier, women have always held a pivotal role, as a driving force and an endless source of inspiration. The Women’s Pavilion is an exciting new chapter in the Maison’s longstanding commitment to supporting women change makers,” Cyrille Vigneron, President and CEO of Cartier International reveals.
Featuring five unique rooms, each with its own narrative, visitors can expect to experience a multi-sensory journey through the pavilion, with a diverse community of creators and artists contributing both to its design and content curation, beginning with the building’s impressive façade. A truly awe-inspiring artistically informed structure, Dubai-born artist, Kholoud Sharafi collaborated with interior architect, Laura Gonzalez and light designer, Pauline David to create the striking design of the upper section of the building. Street artist, eL Seed, renowned for unique artwork that incorporates traditional Arabic calligraphy coined as ‘calligraffiti’, has emblazoned an exclusive piece across the lower part, with an arresting design that graciously scripts a poem paying tribute to a female activist from the 1950s, famed for advocating for women’s rights.
Upon entry on the ground floor, the Introduction Room showcases the key principle of the pavilion through the eyes of children, in a film directed by Lebanese actor and director Nadine Labaki, the first female Arab director to be nominated for an Oscar in the category of Best Foreign Language Film. The piece beautifully highlights how enabling young women and girls to fulfil their dreams and create their own destinies can drive social progress, and help to create a more inclusive society – setting the tone for the “New Perspectives” exhibition. Moving into the Achievements Room, a dimly lit, star-spangled space shines a light on the faces and names of women that have made a positive impact on the world, including Emmeline Pankhurst, founder of the Women’s Social and Political Union in the United Kingdom who led the Suffragettes activist movement for women’s voting rights in the early 20th century.
The celestial design of this incomparable space coupled with the many female faces that are celebrated in such a special manner, undeniably leaves visitors in awe. The Challenges Room candidly concentrates on the detrimental obstacles women face in areas such as politics and peacebuilding, economic independence, safety and well-being, and the impact COVID-19 has inflicted on job security and access to valuable education. While the Solutions Room focuses on questioning stereotypical views regarding the roles of men and women to foster a more inclusive society for all. Finally, the upper floor houses an exhibition curated by French actor, screenwriter, director and pianist, Mélanie Laurent.
The first section highlights the universal link between women and their environments through sculpture and a series of exclusive photographs shot and selected by Mélanie. The second section invites guests to discover a virtual reality film, showcasing stories of women, known and unknown, as they navigate through their experiences. The third and final section brings an exclusive audio-visual artwork to life reflecting women’s voices across the globe., The pavilion is much more than an exhibition, it is an inclusive space for all to engage in constructive and solution-oriented conversations surrounding women’s empowerment.
Thought provoking events and inspirational dialogues led by a diverse line-up of speakers will be hosted at the pavilion until March 31, 2022 including the “Women’s World Majlis”, which will address the role of women in creating a safer, healthier world, and the “Women in Arabia and Islam” series, highlighting real-life stories of those who have led the way throughout history, inspiring other women from across the world.
Thanks to the Women’s Pavilion honouring, recognising and respecting women at a moment in time when the topic of gender equality has found its voice, we couldn’t think of a better place to showcase a new era of equality than in Dubai, a pioneering city that is wholeheartedly leading the way in creating a brighter future, for everyone.

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