Nadine Labaki and Rami Malek at Expo 2020 International Women's Day events

Three days of events will feature talks by path-breaking women as well as a special concert and tour

Nadine Labaki and Rami Malek are among celebrity guests attending the celebrations for International Women's Day at Expo 2020 Dubai. Getty Images
Powered by automated translation

Expo 2020 Dubai will mark International Women’s Day on Tuesday. Three days of events — from March 6 to 8 — under the 2022 theme of Break The Bias are taking place.

The events explore different perspectives to tackle the “invisible barriers holding women back in politics, business and culture”, organisers said, while also celebrating those already breaking the bias.

“The world continues to face extraordinary challenges, and it is clear that these issues cannot be solved without half the global population having a seat at the table,” said Reem Al Hashimy, UAE Minister of State for International Co-operation and Director General, Expo 2020 Dubai. “We must tackle stereotypes, cultural and societal norms that create bias against women and hinder their ability to contribute — a change that cannot be achieved by one policy or actor alone.

“On International Women’s Day, we celebrate the women who have broken the mould across sectors and the men who have championed them. We welcome the world to Expo 2020 Dubai to learn how each of us can create an enabling environment for women, one that will ultimately secure a brighter future for all humanity.”

On Sunday, the Middle East’s first female-led music festival, We, The Women, was held at Festival Garden, bringing together international artists from diverse backgrounds, including Alo Wala, Natacha Atlas and Dina El Wedidi.

Here are some other events to look out for:

Break the Bias Assembly

Starting proceedings on International Women’s Day will be the Break the Bias Assembly, which will feature government leaders and diplomats from the UAE, Switzerland and Paraguay discussing the 2022 edition of the Women in Diplomacy Index, as well as a talk by Gina Abercrombie-Winstanley, chief diversity and inclusion officer of the US State Department.

There will also be a discussion by women shaping the world of business, who will discuss overcoming barriers in all industries. Participants include Laura Lane, chief corporate affairs officer, UPS and Sabine Holl, IBM vice president technical sales and chief technology officer for Middle East and Africa.

March 8; 9am-1pm; Hall 2A South, Dubai Exhibition Centre

Break the Bias Forum

Curated by the Women’s Pavilion in collaboration with French luxury goods company Cartier, the Break the Bias Forum will feature a talk from the UAE’s first female minister, Sheikha Lubna bint Khalid bin Sultan Al Qasimi, former UAE Minister of State for Tolerance, who will share her experiences.

The afternoon will also host the Redefining the Future for Women session, featuring leaders and policymakers across cultures and sectors, including Sheikh Hasina, Prime Minister of Bangladesh; Dr Anwar Gargash, diplomatic adviser to the UAE President; and Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, director general, World Trade Organisation.

The forum will also feature a group of celebrities, including Lebanese actress, director and activist Nadine Labaki, who will read aloud letters written to the next generation of girls inviting them to take their rightful place in society to drive gender equality forward.

March 8; 1pm-6pm; Hall 1B South, Dubai Exhibition Centre

Walking Through (Her)Story

Explore the central role women have played in the development of societies around the world with a self-guided walking tour leading up to International Women’s Day.

Starting out at the Women’s Pavilion, visitors will be able to explore how women have contributed to empowerment and gender equality through history.

The tour will then take visitors to the Benin Pavilion to learn about women kingdom-builders, before heading to the Bangladesh Pavilion, where a showcase explains the country’s success in women’s empowerment.

Next, visitors will swing by the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation Pavilion, which highlights unity in diversity and women’s central role in the Islamic way of life, before ending at the African Union Pavilion, where visitors can listen to the stories of African women and their contributions to the development of the continent.

The self-guided Walking Through (Her)Story visitor journey is accessible via the Expo 2020 Dubai app.

Until March 8; 10am-10pm; starting at Women’s Pavilion

Al Wasl Dome Ceremony

The ceremony, organised by Cartier, will round off the day’s celebrations, attempting to answer the question: What makes a better world? The evening will feature a guest appearance from Oscar-winning actor Rami Malek, alongside performances from slam poet Emi Mahmoud, and the orchestra of renowned composer Thomas Roussel. There will also be dance and gospel music performances.

March 8; 8pm-8.45pm; Al Wasl Dome

Updated: March 07, 2022, 1:38 PM