Manal bint Mohammed welcomes world leaders and experts to Global Women's Forum Dubai 2020

Dubai Women Establishment will host 3,000 delegates from 87 countries over two days at GWFD 2020

Manal bint Mohammed welcomes world leaders and experts to Global Women's Forum Dubai 2020
  • 100 speakers including the Rt. Hon Theresa May, Ivanka Trump, and leaders from the IMF, World Bank, UNDP and UN Women will participate
  • First We-Fi Regional Summit will spur action to accelerate women’s entrepreneurship in MENA 

Dubai, UAE: Over 100 leaders and experts from across the world will arrive in Dubai next week for Global Women’s Forum Dubai (GWFD) 2020 to engage in constructive dialogue on the advancement of women. The event, which has been organised by Dubai Women Establishment (DWE), is taking place from 16 – 17 February, 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.

More than 3,000 delegates from 87 countries are expected to attend over 60 workshops and sessions, including five dedicated plenaries, throughout the two-day conference. Over 250 government representatives, business leaders and women entrepreneurs from the region will also participate in the first We-Fi MENA Regional Summit, which is co-organised by the Women Entrepreneurs Finance Initiative (We-Fi) and Dubai Women Establishment, and taking place on the sidelines of the Forum.

The Forum will feature international speakers including David Malpass, President of the World Bank Group; Kristalina Georgieva, Managing Director of the IMF; the Right Honourable Theresa May, Member of Parliament and former Prime Minister of the UK; and Ivanka Trump, Advisor to the President of the United States of America.

Several notable speakers from the UAE will also share insights throughout GWFD 2020, including Her Highness Sheikha Latifa bint Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Chairperson of Dubai Culture & Arts Authority; Her Excellency Hessa Buhumaid, UAE Minister of Community Development; and Her Excellency Mariam Al Mheiri, UAE Minister of State for Food Security. Her Excellency Mona Al Marri, Chairperson of the Board and Managing Director of DWE, will deliver the Forum’s welcome note during the official opening.

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, said that the UAE is today reaping the benefits of a development journey set in motion by its wise leadership, who believed in women’s capabilities and the importance of their role in society.

“The UAE provides an inspirational model for the empowerment and socio-economic participation of women. The country has created a highly supportive environment for women to enhance their contributions to society. The global community’s recognition of these remarkable achievements has led to the UAE becoming a venue for the world’s largest events focused on women’s empowerment and advancement,” H.H. added

H.H. stated: “Many countries in the region have launched concerted efforts to empower women and promote gender parity. The UAE has been at the forefront of women’s empowerment in the region and made outstanding progress in reducing the gender gap, achievements that have helped significantly raise the country’s rankings in global gender balance indicators.”

“It is an honour to host Global Women’s Forum Dubai 2020, which is an important milestone in the UAE’s ongoing journey to elevate the status of women across all sectors. In line with our wise leadership’s vision, the UAE has made significant strides in championing women’s valuable contribution to the nation’s development, successfully enhancing female participation in the workforce and propelling more women into leadership roles. The Forum provides an opportunity to highlight this progress and share our experiences with the global community so that we can together influence policies and foster partnerships to further women’s positive impact across the world,” H.H. added.

H.H. highlighted that through the exchange of insights, ideas, and best practices, we want to create a powerful, global dialogue that will actively work towards boosting the influence of women across the world by conceptualising innovative and concrete action plans to further encourage women’s contribution to all fields. I welcome all the delegates and speakers to this Forum. We look forward to sharing our knowledge and learning from their experiences.

Insightful sessions

A wide range of topics will be explored throughout GWFD 2020, including transformative strategies for global gender balance, the future of women at work during the Fourth Industrial Revolution, propelling female entrepreneurship in the MENA region, women’s active role in government, and the importance of female engagement in achieving the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) 2030, among others. Several breakout sessions will address these topics, presenting a vital opportunity to influence improved policies and foster collaborative partnerships that will empower women around the world to drive transformative change and create a better future for all.

The most effective approach 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 from the UNDP’s Human Development Report Office, as well as Caren Grown, Senior Director for Gender at the World Bank Group. The plenary panel will be moderated by Dan Murphy of CNBC.

Another plenary will focus on women leaders in government, their contributions to decision-making roles and recommended best practices to promote women’s advancement. 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. The panel will be moderated by John Defterios of CNN.

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. His Excellency Khalfan Belhoul, CEO, Dubai Future Foundation – UAE; 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. His Excellency Abdulla Lootah, Director General, Federal Competitiveness & Statistics Authority; Her Excellency Shamsa Saleh, Secretary General, UAE Gender Balance Council and CEO of Dubai Women Establishment; Zohra Khan from 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 to be moderated by Hadley Gamble of CNBC.

Another plenary discussion, ‘Empowering Women Entrepreneurs in the MENA Region: New Solutions to Overcoming Barriers’ will showcase innovative private and public sector solutions that are supporting women entrepreneurs in the MENA region. Panelists include Nadia Al Saeed, General Manager of Bank al Etihad; H.E. Rania Al-Mashat, Minister of International Cooperation, Egypt; Laura Lane, President of Global Public Affairs at UPS; Michael Okoroafor, Vice President of Global Sustainability & Packaging Innovation at McCormick; and Heike Harmgart, Managing Director at the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD).

Her Excellency Saida Mirziyoyeva, Member of the Commission on Gender Equality in the Republic of Uzbekistan, will also be a featured speaker at GWFD 2020, as well as Her Excellency Huda Al Hashimi, Assistant Director General for Strategy & Innovation at the Prime Minister’s Office in the UAE. 

‘Game-Changer’ sessions will also be introduced during GWFD 2020, showcasing inspiring stories from successful, pioneering women across various sectors and highlighting their experiences. Topics will range from philanthropy, international relations and male-dominated industries, to 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; 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; Laura Lane, President of Global Affairs, UPS; and Hillary Yip, 14-year-old CEO of Minor Mynas.

Building on the theme, ‘The Power of Influence’, GWFD 2020 will engage leaders, experts, academics, entrepreneurs and students from across the world, to highlight effective policies and partnerships across four key areas – Government, Economy, Society and the Future – can elevate women’s advancement.

Partners of GWFD 2020 include: International Monetary Fund and Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (Global Knowledge Partners); DEWA (Strategic Sustainability Partner); Women Entrepreneurs Finance Initiative - We-Fi (International Strategic Partner); Dubai Arts & Culture Authority (Cultural Partner); Squire Patton Boggs, the Federal Competitiveness and Statistics Authority (FCSA), Emirates Transport and the Roads and Transport Authority - RTA (Support Partners); Dubai Media Inc. (Strategic Media Partner); The National (Podcast Partner); CNBC International and Sky News Arabia (International Media Partners); Gulf News, Al Ittihad, Al Roeya, Dar Al Khaleej and Dubai Press Club (Media Partners); ARN (Radio Partner); and Hills Advertising (Outdoor Advertising Partner).


About Global Women’s Forum Dubai 2020:

Global Women's Forum Dubai (GWFD) 2020 is an international event being held on February 16-17, 2020. It is organised by Dubai Women Establishment (DWE) and 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. 

Building on its theme ‘The Power of Influence’, GWFD 2020 offers a global platform to discuss improved policies and foster partnerships that further women’s positive impact across four key areas: government, economy, society, and future. The event aims to engage over 3,000 attendees – including global leaders, public and private sector experts, as well as entrepreneurs, academics and students – through workshops and keynote sessions.

The Forum’s Knowledge Partner is the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD).  Alongside the Women Entrepreneurs Finance Initiative (We-Fi), DWE is also co-organising the We-Fi MENA Regional Summit – a side-line event that will host entrepreneurs from the region’s emerging economies.

In line with the UAE’s ongoing commitment to advance gender balance across all sectors, GWFD 2020 will drive female engagement and participation in the workforce, and is a testament to the country’s position as a global role model for the advancement of women.

About Dubai Women Establishment:

Dubai Women Establishment (DWE) was formed in 2006 as a statutory body of Dubai Government by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the United Arab Emirates, and Ruler of Dubai. DWE is headed by Her Highness Sheikha Manal bint Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, President of the UAE Gender Balance Council and wife of His Highness Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan, UAE Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Presidential Affairs.

The Establishment’s mission is to advance the engagement and socio-economic participation of women across various sectors and fields. DWE’s strategic plan 2017-2021 focuses on providing recommendations to shape policies; fostering strategic partnerships; developing capacity-building programmes; as well as conducting in-depth research and facilitating the exchange of knowledge by organising global events and leading initiatives. 

For more information, please contact:
Dubai Women Establishment
Reem Ahmed Sadek
Head of Media
Telephone: +971 50 550 5134

Jinan Aldameary
Telephone: +971 50 631 2702  

Weber Shandwick
Gladson Ronad
Telephone: +971 55 1980881

Hadeel Tayeh
Telephone: +971 56 140 4864

© Press Release 2020

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