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Dubai: Global Women’s Forum Dubai (GWFD), a conference to highlight the achievements and challenges facing women, will be held in February next year, it was announced on Saturday.

The two-day event to be held on February 16 and 17, featuring local and international experts, is being organised by Dubai Women Establishment (DWE), building on the theme ‘The Power of Influence’.

The forum aims to focus on the importance of adopting policies and building partnerships that heighten women’s role and influence in four main areas: government, economy, society and future. These areas will be addressed through sessions led by local and global speakers and experts from various sectors.

The event will take place at Madinat Jumeriah under the patronage of His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai.

Shaikha Manal Bint Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, President of the UAE Gender Balance Council, President of Dubai Women Establishment, and wife of Shaikh Mansour Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, UAE Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Presidential Affairs, said: “Organising and hosting an international event of this stature and significance is a pivotal opportunity for women in the region. The forum will highlight global trends impacting gender balance, explore solutions to the most pressing challenges, and celebrate women’s achievements from across the world.”

She added: “The UAE has seen and shared inspiring stories on women’s empowerment and has made tremendous efforts to ensure the representation of Emirati women in the workforce, and across all walks of life in line with the Dubai vision of continuous economic and social development.”

Women in the UAE make up approximately 70 per cent of university graduates in the country; 56 per cent of UAE government university graduates in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) are women; and the literacy rate of women in the UAE is 95.8 per cent.

GWFD 2020 follows the inaugural 2016 event, held under the theme ‘Let’s Innovate’.