EU to host Global Conversation about Women and Career Progression on 22 October at the Expo

The European Union (EU) is convening a high-level global event aimed at shining the spotlight on the formidable contributions of women in society, exchanging best policy practices to accelerate women’s empowerment and showcasing political, business and society leaders who are championing gender equality in the workplace. 

The hybrid event, entitled ‘Women and career progression: How to fully harness human potential is taking place on 22 October 2021 at the Women’s Pavilion by Expo 2020 Dubai and in partnership with the Embassies of Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, the Commissariat General of Italy for Expo 2020 Dubai and UN Women.

The event is bringing together government leaders, business executives, civil society actors, philanthropists, media representatives and storytellers from across the globe, including Mr. Stefan Schleuning, Head of Unit at the EU Service for Foreign Policy Instruments (FPI); H.E. Mona Ghanim Al-Marri, Vice President of the UAE Gender Balance Council; HRH Princess Lamia Bint Majid Al Saud, philanthropist and advocate for gender equality at Alwaleed Philanthropies; Krister Nilsson, State Secretary to Minister for Foreign Trade and Nordic Affairs of Sweden, Mateja Ribič, State Secretary to Minister of Labour, Family, Social Affairs and Equal Opportunities of the Republic of Slovenia and Hayla Ghazal, YouTube vlogger, entrepreneur and UN Change Ambassador, among others.

Speaking in the lead up to the event, H.E. Andrea Matteo Fontana, EU Ambassador to the UAE and EU Commissioner General for Expo 2020 Dubai said: ‘Gender equality is a core value of the EU and a fundamental right. We are proud that the EU is a global leader in gender parity. However, women continue to be under-represented in the labour market and decision-making positions both in politics and business and they still carry a disproportionate burden of unpaid care work – which has been accentuated by the pandemic.’ 

He further added: ‘We are looking forward to a great exchange with inspirational leaders and changemakers from around the world to discuss how to accelerate women’s career progression to unlock human potential and build prosperous societies for all. We are also excited to partner with the Women’s Pavilion by Expo 2020 Dubai, which is the first pavilion in Expo’s history solely dedicated to women.

Speaking ahead of the event, Dr. Mouza Al Shehhi, Director, UN Women Liaison Office for the GCC said: “UN Women is proud of its partnership with the EU to advance women’s economic empowerment and career progression. At Expo2020, gender equality and women’s rights are at the forefront and our message about women’s economic empowerment is clear: the world needs strong participation and leadership from women in all fields to build more robust economies, and more inclusive and equitable societies, especially in a post COVID-19 world.”

Gender inequality, if left unchanged, undermines global economic stability. Investment in women empowerment reaps rewards across generations, communities and countries, reshaping societies and unlocking women’s full potential. As a society, the onus lies with each one of us. We must all continue to work collaboratively to achieve gender parity. In doing so, we continue to challenge social and cultural norms, all whilst contributing to the development of a sustainable economy where no woman is left behind.’, said Her Royal Highness Princess Lamia Bint Majed Saud AlSaud, Secretary General of Alwaleed Philanthropies.