Rewiring mentalities, inclusive approaches necessary for sustainable empowerment of women
Several senior government officials, business leaders, philanthropists, behavioral scientists and storytellers highlighted the positive and multidimensional contribution of women to society. They also offered solutions to tackle gender discrimination and the active role men can play in advocating for gender equality.
The forum called for immediate political action to enable more equitable and family-friendly work environments and a better work-life balance for working parents. In addition, the event showed how some governments are placing women at the heart of their recovery programs to better rebuild and create resilient and inclusive societies for all.
Speakers included: HE Andrea Matteo Fontana, EU Ambassador to the United Arab Emirates; HE Mona Ghanim Al Marri, Vice President of the United Arab Emirates Gender Balance Council; SAR Princess Lamia Bint Majed Al Saud, philanthropist and gender advocate at Alwaleed Philanthropies; Krister Nilsson, Secretary of State to the Minister of Foreign Trade and Nordic Affairs of Sweden, Mateja Ribič, State Secretary to the Minister of Labor, Family, Social Affairs and Equal Opportunities of the Republic of Slovenia; Sir. Stefan Schleuning, Head of Unit at the Service for EU Foreign Policy Instruments (FPI); Dr. Mouza Al Shehhi, Director of the UN Women Liaison Office for the CCG and Veronica Squinzi, CEO of Mapei.
In her opening speech, Her Excellency Mona Ghanim Al-Marri, Vice President of the United Arab Emirates Gender Balance Council, said: “We would like to thank the delegation of the European Union and its partners for organizing this event, bringing together world leaders and experts to engage in stimulating dialogues that will further strengthen the influence of women. our key objectives during the United Arab Emirates Council must transform the discussions that take place throughout these events into effective and collaborative partnerships, concrete plans and actionable strategies that realize the full potential of women and strengthen their vital role in socio-economic development around the world. ”
Her Excellency added: “Today, government leaders are more aware than ever that the economic empowerment of women and the achievement of gender balance are essential for advancing sustainable economies, advancing national development and build prosperous societies.Based on our experience in the United Arab Emirates, and in particular the United Arab Emirates Gender Balance Council, we have worked to improve women’s economic rights with reference to global reports and understanding best practices for women in the economy. across the world. “
Addressing the first panel, entitled Empowering women at all stages of their professional careers, HE Stella Ronner-Grubačić, EU Ambassador for Gender and Diversity, said: “To achieve lasting change and advancing women’s leadership in socio-economic and political decision-making, we need an inclusive and holistic approach, involving men and boys. We also need our own awareness that we want things to change and that we have to start now ”.
Speaking at the second panel, titled “Family-friendly policies and more equitable burden-sharing of childcare,” Mateja Ribič, State Secretary to the Minister of Labor, Family, Social Affairs and Equal Opportunities of the Republic of Slovenia said: “Slovenia has one of the best family policies in the world. Projects such as “Action dad” encourage both parents to be equally involved in the education and care of a child. Also, thanks to a well-regulated kindergarten system, which allows a rapid transition of women to the labor market, Slovenia has had the highest proportion of full-time employed women with young children in the EU for decades, while enjoying a small pay gap. “
As part of its interventions on panel 3 entitled “Political action and exchange of good practices”, Krister Nilsson, Secretary of State to the Minister of Foreign Trade and Nordic Affairs of Sweden, said: “Empowering women is key to sustainable development, and there is also overwhelming evidence that gender equality drives economic growth. Sweden has a feminist government that pursues a feminist foreign policy with a clear focus on the rights, representation and resources of women and girls. A gender perspective is at the heart of all our work, including trade policy. Gender equality is not only good for society, but it is also good for business. “
Hind Alowais, Vice President of the International Participants Department at Expo 2020 Dubai said: “The Expo 2020 Dubai Women’s Pavilion, in collaboration with Cartier, is pleased to create a space to host important conversations with partners. important. The session on “Women and Career Progression” highlighted the necessary strategies and policies, such as child care, flexible working hours and quotas to promote more women in leadership positions. However, if the goal is true and irreversible gender equality, we must move the wheels of culture, reprogram our mentalities and fight against social norms and the visible and invisible prejudices that hold back women. “
The event was organized in partnership with the embassies of Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, the General Commission of Italy for Expo 2020 Dubai and UN Women and hosted at the Women’s Pavilion by Expo 2020 Dubai in collaboration with Cartier.
Participants were also invited to a networking lunch hosted by SE Liselott Andersson, Ambassador of the Kingdom of Sweden in the United Arab Emirates and in the ES Andrea Matteo Fontana, EU Ambassador to the United Arab Emirates at the Swedish Pavilion, while opening the “Emirati Dads” photo exhibition by renowned Swedish photographer Johan Bävman.
SOURCE The European Delegation to the United Arab Emirates