Break The Bias: International Women's Day at Expo 2020 Dubai

From the Women's Pavilion to the Italian Pavilion, events for gender equality and the emancipation of women in all sectors

Break down prejudices, stereotypes and discrimination for an inclusive world. It is the central theme of International Women's Day 2022.

The International Women's Day it is celebrated on March 8 every year to commemorate the social, economic and political achievements that women have achieved in history. The day also represents a call to action to accelerate gender equality.

The claim of the 2022 International Women's Day campaign is #BreakTheBias. 

IWD invites you to fold your arms to show solidarity and share #BreakTheBias (image, video, resource, presentation or social media article) using #IWD2022 #BreakTheBias to encourage others to create an inclusive world.

International Women's Day at Expo 2020 Dubai

On the occasion of the International Women's Day, Expo 2020 Dubai presented a rich schedule of events from 6 to 8 March.

evento Education for Women’s Empowerment a Expo 2020

The events promoted the empowerment of women in all sectors to build a way that is fair and free from stereotypes and discrimination. 

"We have to face stereotypes, cultural and social norms that create prejudices against women and hinder their ability to contribute, a change that cannot be achieved by a single politician or actor". His Excellency declared Reem Al Hashimy, Minister of State for International Cooperation of the United Arab Emirates and Director General, Expo 2020 Dubai.

International Women's Day is part of the Program for People and Planet of Expo 2020 Dubai.

The celebration included the two-day music festival "Noi, le donne" on 6 and 7 March.

Among the activities for International Women's Day at Expo 2020 Dubai, the “Walking Through (Her) Story”, one of the personalized itineraries for visitors.

The tour started at Women's Pavilion to discover the important roles women have played throughout history and continue to play. It continued on Benin Pavilion, West African country, then al Bangladesh Pavilion, which showed the country's success in empowering women.

The pavilion of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation accompanied visitors on a journey of investigation and understanding highlighting unity in diversity and the central role of women in the Islamic lifestyle. To close the tour on Pavilion of the African Union where visitors heard the stories of African women and their contribution to the development of the continent.

Under the theme #BreakTheBias, which promotes a fair world, free from prejudice, stereotypes and discrimination, there were initiatives and a series of round tables in various pavilions of Expo 2020 Dubai.

The San Marino Pavilion composed of a managerial staff of four women, the Director Letizia Cardelli, Media Manager Ilaria Brizi, Sales Manager Sara Conti and Protocol & Accreditation Manager Elisabetta Bucci, accepted the appeal of the #BreakTheBias campaign, participating in the recording of a video, from the homonymous title of the campaign, released on the channels of Expo and the Women's Pavilion.

The Canada Pavilion with a round table named "Women who inspire women" brought together 10 of Canada's leading women in STEM disciplines (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics). 

Their testimonials honored the innovative contributions women and girls have made in science, technology, education, politics and business.

The French Pavilion celebrated advances and achievements in women's rights around the world. In the session entitled 'When Women Advance, We All Advance' a study was presented on the condition of women, their reflections on the progress of equality and work dynamics, which involved 8,000 people in 10 countries. 

In Poland Pavilion the challenges faced by modern women were discussed. The Polish Women's Seminar indicated a path towards international recognition of their achievements.

During the forum on forecasting the future of women's empowerment organized by General Women's Union in collaboration with A Women, discussed the challenges, including those presented by the digital revolution, facing women. The forum also highlighted the achievements of Emirati women and their role in nation building.

The events will continue after International Women's Day. The summit UN Women SDG 5, which will be held on March 9 a Dubai Exhibition Center, will bring together senior officials from the public and private sectors, academia, the media, civil society and women's organizations in an effort to make progress towards sustainable development (SDG Goal 5: Achieving Gender Equality) of the 2030 Agenda.

International Women's Day at the Women's Pavilion

Women's Pavilion, the first pavilion present at a universal exhibition dedicated to women, was the protagonist in the celebration of International Women's Day.

Expo 2020 - esterno Padiglione donne Expo Dubai

On 7 March with the panel "Strengthening the role of women in times of crisis: women as a force for change " the women ofInternational Organization of the Francophonie (OIF), committed to the education and empowerment of women, shared their experiences. 

On the occasion of International Women's Day, the women's pavilion promoted two events recalling the theme Break The Bias. A morning assembly and an afternoon forum, during which world leaders and experts intervened to promote the empowerment of women in all sectors. 

The Assembly was characterized by a series of discussions on promoting female leadership in the context of diplomacy, industry, health, art, sport, climate and youth. During the event, the UAE's first female minister, His Excellency Sheikha Lubna bint Khalid bin Sultan Al Qasimi, former UAE Minister of State for Tolerance, shared her experience. 

International Women's Day in the Italian Pavilion

The Italy Pavilion at Expo 2020 joined the celebration of International Women's Day at Expo 2020 Dubai.

For a fair, inclusive and sustainable world, more women are needed in leadership positions at the institutional, corporate and academic levels. This is the theme of the forum "More Women Leadership for a Better World: Care as a Driver for Our Common Home", which took place at the amphitheater of the Italian Pavilion on Sunday 6 March, promoted in collaboration with theCatholic University of the Sacred Heart of Milan and the Portuguese Pavilion. 

The international research project based on the concept of care is the result of the collaboration between the Centesimus Annus Pro Pontifice Foundation (Capp) and of Strategic Alliance of Catholic Research Universities (SACRU), an international network of Catholic universities of which the Catholic University of the Sacred Heart is the leader.  

The research will be conducted in ten countries and the final results will be presented after the summer at the Holy See.

Among others, the following took part in the forum, in presence and remotely: Franco Anelli, rector of the Catholic University of the Sacred Heart, Anna Maria Tarantula, president of the Capp Foundation, Isabel Capeloa Gil, director ofUniversidade Catòlica Portuguesa e Lisa Sowle Cahill, Professor of Ethics of the Boston College

Franco Anelli

As he explained Franco Anelli the key word is care. “We are all called to care and take care. Care, as we know, has different shades of meaning: care for each other, care for the planet, but also care for institutions, including universities ". 

Annamaria Tarantula

According to Anna Maria Tarantula “Current situations, characterized by health, climate and social crises, require new leadership figures with a long-term vision and sensitivity to diversity, inclusion and sustainability. Leaders driven by cooperative competition. These are the characteristics of women, who are still subject to discrimination, prejudice, stereotypes and violence that prevent their development ". 

For a more equitable, inclusive and sustainable world there is a need for greater involvement of women “In top positions and their presence in the post-pandemic reconstruction process to facilitate a new development model”, Tarantola underlined. 

Strengthening the presence of women in institutions and culture.

On the occasion of International Women's Day, the international event took place at the amphitheater of the Italian Pavilion, divided into two sessions, entitled Women's Status in Institutions and Culture: Consolidation and Enhancement ", organized by the Italian Pavilion, the French Pavilion and the European Union.

The first session talked about the institutional gender dimension by sharing EU and GCC best practices, including in the justice sector. The second panel looked at women's participation in the cultural and creative sectors and gender responsive policies to ensure equal participation on equal terms, particularly in finance and finance.

The Minister of Justice, Marta Cartabia. The minister pointed out, data in hand, that there is still a long way to go to achieve gender equality in public institutions. "On average, the parliaments of EU member states only have 32% of seats held by women and no parliament in Europe has a majority of women."

Marta Cartabia

The Minister for Equal Opportunities and the Family, Elena Bonetti in her video message she stressed the need for greater involvement of women in all sectors of society. “It is time to act, with structural reforms of the welfare and investment system. We must increase the presence of women in decision-making roles, ensure equal opportunities for men and women to reach the highest positions in companies and professional careers. We must implement a new global strategy to increase the leadership of women in politics and in all sectors of society ”.

Elena Bonetti

Also for the Minister of State for Government Development and the Future, Ohood bint Khalfan Al Roumi, now is the time to take action for gender equality and inspire girls to change.

Ohood bint Khalfan Al Roumi

“Globally, the World Economic Forum reported that it will take over a century to achieve gender equality in politics, the gender gap in political empowerment has widened in recent years. A century is a time that we cannot afford, the need for change is urgent and the time to act is now ”. As for the United Arab Emirates, the minister said that “Over the years we have increased the number of female parliamentarians from 22% to 50%. 27.5% of the Emirati cabinet are women. Women play a key role in shaping the future ”.

A strong partnership between the European Union and the United Arab Emirates to promote the advancement of women's emancipation.

The work that the European Union is carrying out on gender equality and women's emancipation has spoken about it Andrea Matteo Fontana, EU Ambassador to the UAE and EU Commissioner General at Expo 2020 Dubai.

Andrea Matteo Fontana

"Gender mainstreaming is at the heart of the EU Gender Equality Action Plan III for 2021-2025, an ambitious framework to promote gender equality and women's empowerment across all action outside the EU. We remain committed to working with our partners in the UAE and across the region to promote women's empowerment across all sectors, ”she said. Andrea Matteo Fontana.

Inclusiveness and equality with particular attention to female empowerment it is one of the “five issues on which the European Union has focused throughout the Expo, confirming our commitment to build a Union of Peers”, added Fontana. “On International Women's Day, we reaffirm this commitment through a series of round tables in collaboration with our Member States, actively contributing to the activities planned by the Women's Pavilion and other international partners. Our participation in Expo is closely coordinated with EU Member States and their pavilions, following what we call the Team Europe approach ”. The EU ambassador to the United Arab Emirates praised the work carried out during the months of the universal exhibition underlining the importance of the dialogues which "have identified areas of mutual interest and areas where we can add value and we look forward to to explore them further. Expo 2020 Dubai has also been a platform for learning, partnerships and innovative thinking. It also made it possible to bring people-relationships with people closer ”.