Dubai Expo 2020 will bring together leading women in science who have broken gender stereotypes to share their success stories.
The goal is to raise awareness of gender equality in Stem fields – science, technology, engineering and maths – during the world fair, being held from October 1 to March 31.
The announcement was made on February 11 to commemorate International Day of Women and Girls in Science and the UAE’s Mars mission, whose science team is 80 per cent female.
“To address the complex challenges of today, the world needs science, and science needs women and girls,” said Reem Al Hashimy, Minister of State for International Co-operation and director general of the expo.
“By teaming up with these distinguished organisations, International Day of Women and Girls in Science will see Expo activate its programming to foster a deeper understanding of how women and girls can further be at the forefront of scientific and economic development.”
Women lead the way in the UAE space and science sector, but the field is male-dominated in other parts of the world.
The World Economic Forum reported in 2019 that 83 per cent of scientists and engineers in Europe are male. Globally, 72 per cent of scientific researchers are men.
The Dubai Expo is collaborating with the UAE’s Ministry of Industry and Advanced Technology, United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs and other UN offices to create discussion around the challenges faced by women in these fields.
Sarah Al Amiri, Minister of State for Advanced Technology and chairwoman of the UAE Space Agency, said the Emirates Mars Mission had “set an unprecedented standard” for the inclusion of women.
Women made up 34 per cent of the mission and 80 per cent of its science team.
“From our homes, to our communities and workplaces, women’s daily extraordinary contributions are crucial and cannot be overlooked," Ms Al Amiri said.
“In fact, the Emirates understands that the inclusion of women and their celebration throughout industry and society is a necessary function of our way of life, without which, our economy would fail, and our communities would collapse.
“The UAE is a global outlier in its commitment to enabling women to rise to positions of leadership. The success of our model crafts a new standard for our regional and global partners to emulate. Our continued investment in women’s education and the recognition of their growing contributions in all areas of government is vital to the future of our prosperity.”