The first-ever exclusive pavilion reserved to showcase the tremendous talent and growth of the Middle-East women is officially inaugurated. The moment was celebrated spectacularly at Al Wasl Plaza by the Expo 2020 Dubai and Cartier. Various talents across the world took the centre stage and gave exceptional performances.
Official Inauguration of the Women’s Pavilion
The inauguration celebration was held under the patronage of Sheikha Manal bint Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, President of the UAE Gender Balance Council and President of the Dubai Women Establishment.
After inaugurating the event, Reem Al Hashimy, UAE Minister of State for International Cooperation and Director General, Expo 2020 Dubai mentioned that women are challenging the misconceptions and the stereotypes around them. She also said Expo 2020 would reinforce the critical role of women’s empowerment and gender equality in protecting the future of humanity.
Cyrille Vigneron, President and CEO of Cartier International added that the path to gender equality is a long one and we’ve to move forward even if it faces any setbacks.
A Two-Day Celebration
The astonishing and mind-blowing Pavilion was curated and designed by the gifted brilliant artists – Laura Gonzalez, Nadine Labaki, eL Seed, and Melanie Laurent. The women’s pavilion is designed around the central theme of “New Perspectives” which showcases the contributions made by women throughout history and the challenges they face even today. It amplifies the central message loudly: when women thrive, humanity thrives.
The inauguration celebration is hosted by Liz Bohannan, a social entrepreneur. The guests of the evening were entertained by the spectacular performances of the artists such as Diana Vishneva, Russian Prima ballerina of Mariinsky theatre. She was accompanied by the principal dancer of the Bolshoi theatre Denis Savin.
Emi Mahmoud, the Sudanese-American poet, and activist tied the audience’s attention with her powerful poem which celebrates the strength and resilience of women.
The event also saw a conversation between Phumzile Mlambo-Nggcuka, former Executive Director of UN Women, and Cyrille Vigneron. It was moderated by the Vice President of the International Participants Departments at Expo 2020 Dubai, Hind Alowais. The conversation focussed on the ripple effect women’s empowerment has on society.
Dedicated to Women and Peace, Jean-Pierre Raffarin, Former Prime Minister of France and president of Leaders pour la Paix, gave a keynote speech. The speech was followed by a conversation between Irina Bokova, Former Director-General of UNESCO, Dania Kaouach, President of Tunisiennes Fières, and Zarifa Ghafari, the youngest Afghan Mayor.
The Lebanese actress and the first female Arab director to be nominated for an Oscar, Nadine Labaki talked about the crucial need for alternative thinking and how we should transition to where we should be.
It is noted that ‘Friends of the Maison’ Ramla Ali, Amira Casar, Vanessa Kirby, Monica Belluci, Fouz Al Fahad, Fatima Albanawi, Farida Khelfa, Dhafer L’Abidine, and Elisa Sednaoui attended the inauguration celebration. The evening was concluded with a children’s choir from La Maîtrise des Hauts-de-Seine de l’Opéra National De Paris and an exceptional musical performance by the pianist Khatia Buniatishvili.