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Dubai Women Establishment announces programme for Global Women’s Forum Dubai 2020

Dubai Women Establishment announces programme for Global Women’s Forum Dubai 2020
  • The Forum is the largest in the field of women’s advancement, in terms of topics, panel discussions and speakers
  • More than 3,000 delegates from 87 countries will attend over 60 workshops and sessions to be addressed by over 100 inspirational speakers and experts
  • The We-Fi MENA Regional Summit is taking place on the sidelines of the forum for the first time in the Middle East and North Africa region
  • Thought leaders from the World Bank, IMF and OECD announced by Dubai Women Establishment as speakers for GWFD 2020
  • GWFD 2020 set to introduce ‘Game-Changers’ – sessions showcasing the inspiring personal stories of women and their journeys to success

Manal bint Mohammed: The UAE will continue its unwavering support and encouragement for women to realise their full potential – a commitment which will always remain a top national priority.

Mona Al Marri: As a landmark event that will drive the advancement of women on a national, regional and international level forward, GWFD 2020 is another key milestone in the UAE’s ongoing journey to further the influence of women across all sectors

Hala Badri:  GWFD 2020 provides us with a valuable opportunity to learn about the most important and successful international experiences in this field, and engage with a group of global leaders and experts to exchange ideas that will contribute to developing and supporting women’s capabilities.

Khawla Al Mehairi: The Forum’s agenda and theme are aligned with DEWA’s efforts to promote women’s participation in the development sectors, with a particular emphasis on the fields of energy and innovation.

Lamia Khan: World experts and leaders will address progress in women’s advancement at Global Women’s Forum Dubai 2020.  The speakers who are joining us this year are renowned for their expertise in gender-friendly practices and discourse, and are at the forefront of the Forum’s discussions on advancing women’s inclusion. 

Dubai, UAE, 4 February 2020: The agenda and speaker list for Global Women’s Forum Dubai (GWFD) 2020 have been announced by Dubai Women Establishment (DWE), with some of the world’s foremost thought leaders and decision-makers to be featured on February 16 –17 at the Madinat Jumeirah in Dubai, UAE. The Forum will be held under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the United Arab Emirates, and Ruler of Dubai. 

The theme of GWFD 2020, ‘The Power of Influence’, will be a key focal point throughout many of the keynote speeches, discussions and workshops, as the achievements and capabilities of dynamic women across all sectors are showcased to the world. 

Her Highness Sheikha Manal bint Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, President of the UAE Gender Balance Council, President of Dubai Women Establishment, and wife of His Highness Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan, UAE Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Presidential Affairs, highlighted the significance of GWFD 2020’s theme, stating that furthering women’s positive impact and influence is essential to the overall elevation of societies and development of nations at large. 

Reflecting on the UAE’s success in its longstanding support for women, H.H. stated: “If we look at the UAE, the impact of our leadership’s vision over the past fifty years has made our nation synonymous with unprecedented achievements across numerous fields, and has always been inclusive of women. We have become a reference point on how to transform perceived challenges into ground-breaking opportunities. We will continue our unwavering support and encouragement for women to realise their full potential – a commitment which will always remain a top national priority.”

Distinct speakers

The GWFD 2020 agenda features five main plenary sessions which will explore a wide range of topics, from transformative strategies for global gender balance and the future of women at work during the Fourth Industrial Revolution, to propelling female entrepreneurship in the MENA region. The Forum will also address women’s active role in government, and the importance of female engagement in achieving the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) 2030, among other topics. 

The Forum speakers and agenda were announced during a media briefing held on February 4 at the Government of Dubai Media Office.  Her Excellency Mona Al Marri, Chairperson of the Board and Managing Director of DWE; Her Excellency Hala Badri, Vice President of the DWE Board of Directors and Director General of Dubai Culture and Arts Authority; Khawla Al Mehairi, Executive Vice President of Strategy and Government Communications at Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA) and Lamia Abdulaziz Khan, CEO of Global Women’s Forum Dubai, addressed media representatives and Forum partners in attendance. Her Excellency Shamsa Saleh, CEO of Dubai Women Establishment and Sultana Saif, Director of the Women Development Department at DWE, were among the attendees.  

Notable thought leaders confirmed to speak at GWFD 2020 include Kristalina Georgieva, Managing Director of the IMF and David Malpass, President of the World Bank Group, who will deliver the Forum’s opening remarks. Her Highness Sheikha Latifa bint Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Chairperson of Dubai Culture & Arts Authority, will share her perspectives on leadership through culture and art. 

The most effective and transformative approaches to achieving global gender balance will be discussed during a plenary featuring Her Excellency Hessa Buhumaid, UAE Minister of Community Development. She will be joined by Pedro Conceição, Director of UNDP’s Human Development Report Office, among others. 

Another plenary will focus on women leaders in government, their contributions to decision-making roles and recommended best practices to ensure women’s advancement in this field. During this session, Her Excellency Mariam Almheiri, UAE Minister of State for Food Security, will join Her Excellency Rania Al Mashat, Minister of International Cooperation in Egypt, Her Excellency Lana Nusseibah, UAE Ambassador and Permanent Representative to the UN, and prominent Kosovar politician Mimoza Kusari Lila, who was also the first woman to become a mayor in her country.

With the Fourth Industrial Revolution set to significantly change the future of work, a plenary will explore the expected fast-paced transformation of the economy, and provide insights into the various ways women can establish steady careers and pursue greater success. Emma Mortinho-Truswell, COO and Co-founder of Oxford Insights, as well as Caitlin Kraft-Buchman, Founder and CEO of W@TT are set to take part in this panel.

Female engagement and its role in achieving the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals 2030 will be the focus of the final plenary session. Zohra Khan, Policy Specialist and Advisor at UN Women, alongside Stefania Fabrizio, Deputy Unit Chief of the Strategy, Policy and Review Department at the IMF, will be among the speakers on this panel.

The ‘Game-Changers’

A new series of sessions – the ‘Game-Changers’ – will be introduced during Global Women’s Forum Dubai for the first time. The sessions will showcase inspiring personal stories from women who have made great strides across various industries, providing insight into their journeys to success. Sessions will highlight these pioneering women’s diverse experiences – including the lessons learnt and obstacles overcome – as they delve into topics ranging across philanthropy, international relations, male-dominated industries, business, and more. 

Among the ‘Game-Changers’ set to be featured at GWFD 2020 are Captain Sheikha Mozah bint Marwan Al Maktoum, the first female pilot from the royal family in the UAE; Carla Harris, Vice Chairman, Managing Director and Senior Client Advisor at Morgan Stanley; Captain Brenda Berkman, a pioneering female firefighter (retired); Dr. Rana Dajani, Jordanian Molecular Scientist and founder of ‘We Love Reading’; Dr. Ghada Al Mutairi, Scholar at the University of California in San Diego; Dina El Shenoufy, Chief Investment Officer of Flat6Labs in Egypt;  Daniele Henkel, Canadian Businesswoman and We-Fi Leadership Champion; and Laura Lane, President of Global Affairs, UPS.

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) and Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) are the Global Knowledge Partners of GWFD 2020, and will spearhead positive dialogue on best practices related to global gender-friendly policies. This year’s Forum is the largest in the field of women’s advancement in terms of topics, panel discussions and speakers attracting more than 3,000 delegates from 87 countries who will attend over 60 workshops and sessions to be addressed by over 100 inspirational leaders and experts. 

In collaboration with the Women Entrepreneurs Finance Initiative (We-Fi) as the Forum’s International Strategic Partner, DWE is also co-organising the We-Fi MENA Regional Summit, which will be taking place on the sidelines of the Forum for the first time in the Middle East and North Africa region, hosting entrepreneurs from the region’s emerging economies. 20 female entrepreneurs from developing countries will engage with international experts and mentors to network and exchange insights.  

H.E. Mona Al Marri, Chairperson of the Board and Managing Director of DWE, stated: “As a landmark event that will drive the advancement of women on a national, regional and international level forward, GWFD 2020 is another important milestone in the UAE’s ongoing journey to further the influence of women across all sectors. In line with our wise leadership’s vision, the UAE has made significant strides in championing women’s valuable socio-economic contribution to the nation’s development, successfully enhancing female participation in the workforce and propelling more women into leadership roles.”

H.E. added: “We look forward to welcoming some of the world’s greatest gender experts and thought leaders at GWFD 2020 this month to explore new solutions to the remaining challenges facing women today.”

The power and influence of arts and culture

Dubai Culture and Arts Authority has been announced as the Forum’s Cultural Partner, offering GWFD 2020 an added framework through which the power and influence of arts and culture can be explored. H.E. Hala Badri, Vice President of the DWE Board of Directors and Director General of Dubai Culture and Arts Authority, stated: “We are proud to be supporting the second edition of the forum as a cultural partner, which supports our mission to establish bridges of constructive dialogue with various nations and cultures. It also provides us with a valuable opportunity to learn about important and successful international experiences in this field and engage with a group of global leaders and experts to exchange ideas that will contribute to developing and supporting women’s capabilities, and empowering them across various sectors and communities.

“This partnership is a testament to our confidence in the importance of this event and its impact as a global platform which highlights the status of Dubai, in line with the vision of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, to strengthen the Emirate’s standing as a global cultural centre, in addition to an economic hub.” 

As Strategic Sustainability Partner of Global Women’s Forum Dubai 2020, Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA) will discuss future innovations and the company’s commitment to creating new opportunities for women in the sustainable energy sector. 

Reflecting on the partnership between DEWA and DWE, Khawla Al Mehairi, Executive Vice President of Strategy and Government Communications at Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA), stated: “We are pleased that DEWA is the Strategic Sustainability Partner of  Global Women’s Forum Dubai 2020. We thank Dubai Women Establishment for giving us the opportunity to take part in the Forum, which is a reflection of DEWA’s Corporate Social Responsibility and its strategy to further establish women as key partners in the development process. The Forum’s agenda and theme are aligned with DEWA’s efforts to promote women’s participation in the development sectors, with a particular emphasis on the fields on energy and innovation.”

She added: “Our stand  at GWFD 2020 will highlight DEWA’s key programmes and initiatives in innovation, creativity, and clean and renewable energy, as well as best practices and efforts in support of women.” 

Al Mehairi went on to say: “The total number of female employees at DEWA, until the end of 2019, was 1933, working effectively and efficiently in a positive and motivating environment that supports women in the workplace and helps them achieve a work-life balance. This includes 646 female staff in the engineering and technical sector. Emirati women make up 80 per cent of the total female employees at DEWA. DEWA’s female staff take part in numerous volunteering activities, both within the UAE and abroad. In 2019, DEWA’s female staff spent over 13,300 volunteering hours in 40 humanitarian and social initiatives, and actively participate in community awareness programmes, especially those that target women”.

Dubai – a centre for dialogue and knowledge exchange

Lamia Khan, CEO of Global Women’s Forum Dubai, said: “As a leading global platform that actively engages leaders and experts from around the world in constructive dialogue, Global Women’s Forum Dubai 2020 has the unique ability to effectively contribute to the creation of a better future for all. We can significantly increase women’s positive contributions by recommending improved policies based on international best practices, fostering goal-driven partnerships, and shaping sustainable communities. The agenda of the Forum explores how we can accelerate women’s inclusion across all levels and sectors, and the speakers joining us this year, who are renowned for their expertise in gender-friendly practices and discourse, are at the forefront of these discussions.”

She added: “This Forum is a testament to Dubai’s position as a centre for international dialogue and knowledge-exchange, as well as the UAE’s commitment to spare no effort in driving women’s progress and constant advancement.”

GWFD 2020’s partners include Squire Patton Boggs, the Federal Competitiveness and Statistics Authority (FCSA), Emirates Transport, and Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) as Support Partners; Dubai Media Inc. as Strategic Media Partner; The National as Podcast Partner; CNBC International and Sky  News Arabia as International Media Partners; Gulf News Etihad, Al Roeya, Dar Al Khaleej, and Dubai Press Club as Media Partners; ARN as Radio Partner; and Hills Advertising as the Forum’s Outdoor Advertising Partner. 

Global Women’s Forum Dubai 2020 is organised by Dubai Women Establishment and will engage leaders, experts, academics, entrepreneurs and students from across the world. The event will highlight how effective policies and partnerships across four key areas – Government, Economy, Society and the Future – can elevate women’s advancement. 

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