Queen Rania Al Abdullah of Jordan gave a speech at the opening ceremony of the 2016 Global Women's Forum in Dubai. The event, which seeks to showcase Arab women's achievements as well as continue efforts for gender equality, is being held in Dubai for the very first time.

In her keynote address to the audience, which hosted world leaders and dignitaries including the President of Chile, Michelle Bachelet, President of Mauritius, Ameenah Gurib-Fakim and Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund, Christine Lagarde, Queen Rania highlighted the need for change. "We need to break the moulds that are passed on from one generation to another and that are holding back women's progress in the Arab world," she said.

Queen Rania also stressed the importance of embracing modernity: "Technology can break the barriers standing in women's way but creativity is the key, because it holds freedom," before later adding, "Women are a fruit tree that is generous and giving... and he who empowers a woman, empowers an entire society." In addition to her speech, Queen Rania was presented with the Mohammed Bin Rashid Medal of Honour for Women in recognition of her efforts to bring gender balance in the region. 

Queen Rania at the Global Women's Forum

The Global Women's Forum runs from February 23-24, 2016, at the Madinat Jumeirah, Dubai.