WOW – Women of the World
Around the world, individuals and communities are insisting on the simple proposition that women must have equal rights and asking the question: 'why is gender equality taking so long to achieve?' Southbank Centre's WOW - Women of the World festival is a global network of festivals which provides a platform for interrogating this question.
WOW 2017 speakers included Sandi Toksvig and Gillian Anderson.
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Southbank Centre Artistic Director Jude Kelly launched WOW – Women of the World in 2011 to mark the centenary of International Women’s Day, as a major global festival that celebrates women and girls and looks at the obstacles they face, where hundreds of women’s stories could be shared, feelings vented, fun had, minds influenced and hearts expanded.
In response to an overwhelming demand Southbank Centre have been fostering a growing global network of festivals. Already in four other countries WOW is scheduled to spread to four more next year, and throughout the same across the UK.
The ethos of WOW is to create a festival for everyone. It is bold and broad-based in its approach, both lively and serious, and feeds the demand to discuss anything and everything. It brings people together from all corners of society - both speakers and audience members - energising and providing the inspiration and tools to make change.
Bloomberg – the global business, financial information and news leader – is the founding supporter of WOW Women of the World festival. Bloomberg’s sponsorship builds on a long history of collaboration across Southbank Centre that encompasses a wide range of art exhibitions, public commissions and literature programmes.
Bloomberg Philanthropies supports charities and non-profit organisations worldwide, including a number of programmes that seek to address the challenges facing women across the globe, from maternal and reproductive health to women’s economic development.
WOW 2017 would not be possible without its generous sponsors and supporters: Bloomberg, UBS, American International Group Inc (AIG), The Chartered Insurance Institute, Aon, Esmée Fairbairn Foundation and Amal - A Saïd Foundation Project.
Southbank Centre is grateful to its WOW Gamechangers Richard and Rosamund Bernays, Michelle Chuang, Mary Anne Cordeiro, Caroline, Mary and Paul Cronson - the Evelyn Sharp Foundation, Ms Miel de Botton, Katie and Mark Denning, Catherine Petitgas, Lady Jill Shaw Ruddock CBE, Joana and Henrik Schliemann, India and Robert Wardrop and Mercedes Zobel for supporting WOW.