Expo 2020 Dubai to highlight UAE’s efforts towards gender balance

Organisers of World Fair sign an MoU with the UAE Gender Balance Council

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Women’s empowerment will come under the spotlight at Expo 2020 Dubai, as the UAE seeks to underline the importance of female equality during the six-month event.

Sheikha Manal bint Mohammed, president of the UAE Gender Balance Council said the organisation would host an array of activities and discussions at the World Fair.

Expo 2020 Dubai will include a Women’s Pavilion, intended to highlight the contribution women make to society. The space will also focus on how the sexes must work together to battle inequality.

Sheikha Manal said Expo 2020 Dubai was an opportunity to celebrate the UAE’s achievements in women’s equality in the past 50 years.

“The daily successes we are witnessing in social, economic, political and cultural spheres, signifies the shared vision of the late Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan and our founding fathers,” said Sheikha Manal, who is also president of the Dubai Women Establishment.

“Our leadership today continues their wisdom, including a commitment to the principles of gender balance and the advancement of women across diverse fields, and also recognises the important role women will play in bringing to life the ‘towards the next 50’ strategy.”

Reem Al Hashimy, Minister of State for International Co-operation and director general of Expo 2020 Dubai, signed the agreement for enhanced co-operation in an online ceremony with Mona Al Marri, vice president of the UAE Gender Balance Council.

Ms Al Hashimy highlighted how the World Fair could be a platform for progressing women’s rights.

“The progress and success of Emirati women are key to enhancing the UAE’s global standing. We will share our vision with the world and showcase the strength of co-operation through our country’s achievements over the past five decades,” Ms Al Hashimy said.

“We will work with participating countries, organisations and the international community to shed light on our achievements and future goals in promoting gender balance worldwide, utilising history’s most comprehensive Expo as a platform.”

Ms Al Marri said Expo 2020 Dubai will provide the UAE with an opportunity to promote knowledge sharing with international organisations and countries working to advance female equality.

A commitment to equality

The UAE Gender Balance Council was established in 2015 under the guidance of Sheikha Manal, with the purpose of encouraging equality throughout the Emirates, in accordance with the country’s commitment to the UN Sustainable Development Goals 2030.

Legislation, including a 2019 directive to increase the representation of women in the Federal National Council to 50 per cent, has placed the UAE among leading countries in terms of female parliamentary representation.

Government statistics from 2020 show that 77 per cent of Emirati women enrol in higher education after secondary school, and women comprise 70 per cent of all university graduates in the country.

As a consequence of this progress, the UAE currently ranks 18th globally and first in the region for female empowerment, according to the UN’s Gender Inequality Index.

Expo 2020 Dubai will start on October 1, and run for six months.

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Updated: September 21st 2021, 6:38 AM