For the first time ever, the World Expo — scheduled to be held in Dubai from Oct 1 to March 31, 2022 — will include a stand-alone pavilion dedicated to women. In a recent announcement, Expo Dubai 2020 (like the 2020 UEFA European Football Championship, it retains the year the event should have been held in) unveiled a unique partnership with French jewellery and watch maker Cartier.
Reaffirming its commitment to gender equality and women’s empowerment, the World Expo committee and Cartier will be presenting creative content and programming for the Women’s Pavilion that will celebrate women change-makers around the globe.
Driven by a common conviction that the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals and aspirations for a peaceful and prosperous world cannot be achieved without gender equality and women’s empowerment, Expo 2020 and Cartier will come together to remind nations that full and equal participation of women in all fields is essential to building a more equitable and just world.
In the exhibition titled New Perspectives, the Women’s Pavilion will invite visitors to recognise the central role women, known and unknown, have played throughout history. Celebrating the significant — and often forgotten — contributions of women, the pavilion will demonstrate an important principle: When women thrive, all of humanity thrives. It will highlight important contributions women have made in advancing societies, as well as the challenges they still face, especially as the world navigates the Covid-19 pandemic and works towards a more sustainable future.
On its part, Cartier has been actively involved in championing the abilities of women all over the world. Most notable is the Cartier Women’s Initiative, an annual international entrepreneurship programme founded in 2006 that aims to drive change by empowering women entrepreneurs.
In addition to the seven existing Regional Awards, the initiative has launched the Science & Technology Pioneer Award, a new thematic category for the 2021 edition that aims to support women impact entrepreneurs at the forefront of scientific and technological innovation.
“At Cartier, we believe that empowering women has a multiplier effect, helps drive economic growth and development, and benefits society and humanity at large,” says Cartier president and CEO Cyrille Vigneron. “As gender inequality persists and continues to impact women’s lives, the imperative to show unity and togetherness in promoting female empowerment has become ever clearer.
"We are honoured to enhance our long-standing support to women change-makers by collaborating with Expo 2020 Dubai and present the Women’s Pavilion to a global and diverse audience. More than ever, we remain committed to sharing our vision of a future where all women are empowered to reach their full potential and of a more inclusive society for generations to come, with women and men across the globe.”
The Women’s Pavilion will feature five structures with different narratives located on the ground floor: an Introductory area that expresses the purpose of the pavilion; an Achievements section that shines a light on women’s impact on the world; the Challenges area that acknowledges what is holding women back; the Solutions domain that highlights the initiatives enabling women to thrive so humanity can thrive; and the Engaging with Visitors sector that encourages invitees to become champions of gender equality and women’s empowerment, and to take the journey forward.
Across the six months of the expo, the Women’s Pavilion will host an array of events, programmes and meaningful dialogues — the Women’s World Majlis addresses the role of women in creating a cleaner and safer planet, the Women in Arabia and Islam series highlights real-life stories of women who have led the way in history, while Cartier will fete International Women’s Day next March with a global forum themed Creating New Perspectives.
Bearing in mind that travel restrictions remain in place for several countries around the world, the Dubai Expo 2020 will run on a hybrid model, offering both physical as well as virtual experiences to global visitors. October is still far off, but for a preview of what is to come, visit the expo here.
This article first appeared on June 28, 2021 in The Edge Malaysia.