The Legacy of the Womens Pavilion

continuing the journey to a better world. By immersing visitors in new perspectives and approaching questions of equality with optimism and inclusivity, the pavilion became a symbol of hope for more inclusive societies across the globe.

United in Equality

In line with the goal of an inclusive,
collaborative effort for change, the panel guests were as wide-ranging as the topics covered. Journalists, politicians and entrepreneurs engaged with activists, scientists and artists, as well as Friends of the Maison: Mélanie Laurent, Farida Khelfa, Ramla Ali and Vanessa Kirby. 

The talks also welcomed exceptional female changemakers including Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, the former vice-president of South Africa and previous Executive Director of UN Women; Zarifa Ghafari, the youngest and first female mayor elected in Afghanistan; and Emi Mahmoud, the poet-activist and former refugee who is now a UNHCR Goodwill Ambassador. 

Dialogues of Change

In its 6-month run the Women’s Pavilion welcomed over 341,000 visitors, and its events were followed by more than 50 million people around the world. It quickly established itself as a platform for meaningful conversations on women changemakers and social issues.

The Majlis forum hosted a diverse program of over 120 talks around gender issues and women’s contribution to society. 

From the vital need for further education for girls to the particular impact of conflict and climate change on women, these panels highlighted the need for action, while raising awareness about impactful women’s achievements. 

Christine Lagarde during her speech at the closing ceremony of the Pavilion
Christine Lagarde during her speech at the closing ceremony of the Pavilion

Closing with Hope

Ultimately, the Pavilion wished to share a message of hope for the future as its doors closed. For the closing ceremony, Cartier asked a group of public figures to write a letter to the young girls of today, as they become the next generation of women changemakers.  

Julie Gayet, Nadine Labaki, Édgar Ramírez and Dhafer L’Abidine took to the stage to read their letters, sharing messages that were deeply personal with a universal resonance. Powerful and inspiring, their words encouraged the young women of the future to free themselves of fear, to act boldly and unapologetically to realize their potential and take their rightful place in society.

Malala Yousafzai, militante pour les droits des femmes, prend la parole au Pavillon de la Femme.
Malala Yousafzai, militante pour les droits des femmes, prend la parole au Pavillon de la Femme.

A Novel Concept

A one-of-a-kind project with global reach, the first dedicated Women’s Pavilion at a universal expo since the 1950s was a proud collaboration between Cartier and Expo 2020 Dubai. Dedicated to the empowerment of women, it was inspired by the idea that when women thrive, humanity thrives.


The WOMENS PERSPECTIVES podcast: a continued commitment to female empowerment 

Carrying on the dynamic spirit cultivated at the Women’s Pavilion by Expo 2020 Dubai in collaboration with Cartier, the Maison launched Women’s Perspectives as a global new platform to amplify key voices in women’s empowerment. 

Invited into these one-to-one conversations surrounding women’s empowerment, listeners are introduced to a roster of both exceptional women and supportive men who highlight the importance of tackling the issue of gender equality hand in hand.

Their discussions range from defining childhood experiences to professional journeys and visions of the future, while always centering the importance of women’s influence and agency in society. 

The podcast series is available now on Spotify.

Disrupting TRADITION, with Khatia Buniatishvili

For the inaugural episode of “Women’s Perspectives”, the boundary-breaking classical pianist Khatia Buniatishvili talks about her experience of disrupting tradition, the importance of taking risks and the freedom of depending only on herself.

Educating YOURSELF, with Rami Malek

The Oscar-winning actor is the first male guest to join Farida Khelfa in the second episode of the podcast. He highlights the importance of assuming the responsibility to educate yourself, particularly for men, and shares what he learned about life from his mother and sister.

Being FIRST, with Ramla Ali

As a boxing champion, and the first Muslim woman to bring a boxing title to England, Ramla Ali offers a unique insight into her personal and professional journey through life, and delves into her commitments to helping the most vulnerable women in London.

Invoking Change Through POETRY, with Emi Mahmoud

From her experiences as a refugee to becoming a champion of peace, the poet-activist Emi Mahmoud discusses what it means to defy expectations and why we need to change our perceptions of what power looks like. 

Creating Social Change with Nadine Labaki

As one of the creative contributors to the Women’s Pavilion, the Oscar-nominated director and actress masterfully recounts the story of growing up in a context of war and conflict, and the importance cinema has had throughout her life.