The Women’s Pavilion in collaboration with Cartier at Expo 2020 Dubai.
The Women’s Pavilion in collaboration with Cartier at Expo 2020 Dubai.
Image: Supplied/Cartier

Expo 2020 Dubai unveils the Women’s Pavilion in collaboration with Cartier, reaffirming a shared commitment to closing the gender gap.

Expo 2020 Dubai has reaffirmed its commitment to gender equality and women’s empowerment, unveiling creative content and programming for the Women’s Pavilion in collaboration with Cartier that will celebrate women change-makers around the globe.

Taking place in Dubai from October 1 2021 to March 31 2022, Expo 2020 Dubai is the first World Expo since the 1900s to have a stand-alone pavilion dedicated to women. 

Breaking stereotypes and deconstructing misconceptions on women’s roles, the pavilion will raise awareness by showcasing female and male contributors to women’s empowerment and gender equality, inspiring visitors of all ages to become change-makers within their own communities and beyond. 

Driven by a common conviction that the global 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 the world that full and equal participation of women in all fields is essential to building a more equitable and just world.

Under 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, leading up to the present. Celebrating the 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 women still face, especially as the world navigates through the Covid-19 pandemic and works towards a more sustainable future.

The Women’s Pavilion features five structures with different narratives located on the ground floor: 

Introduction expressing the purpose of the pavilion;

  • Achievements: shining a light on women’s impact on the world;
  • Challenges: acknowledging what is holding women back;
  • Solutions: highlighting the initiatives enabling women to thrive so humanity can thrive; and
  • Engaging: encouraging visitors to become champions of gender equality and women’s empowerment and take the journey forward. 

The international community has made progress in gender equality and women’s empowerment, but much more needs to be done. By welcoming visitors from across the planet and from every walk of life, Expo 2020 Dubai is a powerful platform that will drive the necessary attention to this issue.

Gender equality and women’s empowerment has been a central principle of the UAE since its inception 50 years ago as shown in initiatives by great female leaders such as Sheikha Fatima bint Mubarak and Sheikha Hind bint Maktoum bin Juma Al Maktoum.

We in the UAE have practised empowering women as integral to national development, and so it has proven in half a century of unprecedented growth. The pace of our development is only going to quicken with what we aim to achieve in the next 50 years. Unless we place gender equality and women’s empowerment centre stage, we will not progress at the pace we need to.
Reem Al Hashimy, UAE minister of state for international co-operation and director-general of Expo 2020 Dubai

The international community has made progress in gender equality and women’s empowerment, but much more needs to be done. By welcoming visitors from across the planet and from every walk of life, Expo 2020 Dubai is a powerful platform that will drive the necessary attention to this issue.

Drawing on Cartier’s pioneering role in fostering creative dialogue and supporting artistic expression, the Women’s Pavilion has gathered a diverse community of creators and artists to contribute both to its design and curation:

  • Inspired by references from Cartier’s creative heritage, Spanish interior architect Laura Gonzalez reimagines the upper part of the pavilion’s façade, with Dubai-born artist Kholoud Sharafi and French light designer Pauline David.

  • Artist El Seed, who was born in France to Tunisian parents, has delved into his heritage and learnt to read and write standard Arabic. Using Arabic calligraphy to spread messages of peace, unity and to underline the commonalities of human existence, his artwork transforms the lower part of the pavilion’s façade. 

  • Lebanese actress and first female Arab director to be nominated for an Oscar in the category for Best Foreign Language Film, Nadine Labaki entered the official competition at the Cannes Film Festival, with the powerful and moving Capharnaum. As a filmmaker, she is known for demonstrating everyday aspects of Lebanese life and covering a range of political issues such as war, poverty, and feminism. Labaki will be directing the inauguration movie of women’s pavilion revolving around the brand’s manifesto: “When women thrive, humanity thrives”.

  • French actress, filmmaker, singer, and pianist Mélanie Laurent takes over the second floor of the pavilion and offers an immersive exhibition showcasing stories of women from all over the world as they navigate through their experiences. 

* This article was paid for by Cartier.

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