festival

WOW – Women of the World

7 Mar - 12 Mar
WOW – Women of the World festival at Southbank Centre champions gender equality, celebrating the achievements of women and girls everywhere and examining the obstacles that keep them from fulfilling their potential.

Hear influential and challenging speakers, take part in mentoring sessions and workshops, and see some of the best female comedians, musicians, performers and writers around.

Past speakers have included Malala Yousafzai, Julie Walters, Shami Chakrabarti, Gordon Brown MP, Salma Hayek, Annie Lennox, Caitlin Moran, Vivienne Westwood, Grayson Perry, Sandi Toksvig, Leymah Gbowee, Patrick Stewart and Christine Lagarde.

Our 2017 programme is now on sale, with information on Day and Weekend Passes as well as one–off events with Sandi Toksvig and Gillian Anderson. 

Tickets for new events go on sale to Members from 10am, Wednesday 15 February and on general sale from 10am, Thursday 16 February.

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Children Playing in the Jeppe Hein Fountain

Free

Jazz & Blues
5:30 pm, 25 Feb 2017
Join us for a pop-up performance featuring musicians from WOW – Women of the World Orchestra

2 Mar 2017

Children & Young people
10:00 am, 2 Mar 2017
Explore how the arts can be used to challenge students’ perceptions of gender identity and equality

7 Mar 2017

Literature
Talks & Topics
7:00 pm, 7 Mar 2017
Will we ever live in a gender equal world? With no single country or culture having achieved parity yet, Sandi Toksvig quizzes author Catherine Mayer on this and her latest book.

8 Mar 2017

10:00 am, 8 Mar 2017
A day to explore equality and celebrate heroines for secondary school students
Jude Kelly Making a Speech at WOW

Free

Talks & Topics
Artists & Thinkers
6:45 pm, 8 Mar 2017
Six women from six continents give their top three predictions for the next 12 months
Literature
Poetry
7:30 pm, 8 Mar 2017
Celebrate writing by LGBT women in this collaborative event between Polari and WOW
Gigs
Folk & World
7:30 pm, 8 Mar 2017
Led by Peter Edwards, the Nu Civilisation Orchestra presents Joni Mitchell’s album Hejira

9 Mar 2017

Two Women Smiling in the Level 5 Function Room

Free

Talks & Topics
Children & Young people
7:30 pm, 9 Mar 2017
Discuss the relationship between women and social media in our monthly night for young creatives

10 Mar 2017

Literature
Talks & Topics
9:30 am, 10 Mar 2017 - 12 Mar 2017
Inspire yourself with discussions on topics that matter to women and girls over three days at WOW festival
Talks & Topics
Business & Economics
9:30 am, 10 Mar 2017
What do the events of the last 12 months mean for women and girls?
Literature
Talks & Topics
9:30 am, 10 Mar 2017 - 11 Mar 2017
Hear personal, local and global perspectives from women about business and the world of work in WOW Friday.
People at WOW Market Place

Free

11:00 am, 10 Mar 2017 - 12 Mar 2017
Browse the WOW Market stalls to gather ideas, do activities and find creative products
Talks & Topics
Business & Economics
11:30 am, 10 Mar 2017
Debate the pros and cons of the Brexit result with leading UK political voices
Talks & Topics
Gender Politics & Equality
11:30 am, 10 Mar 2017
What can UK-based activists learn from their international sisters?
Talks & Topics
Gender Politics & Equality
11:30 am, 10 Mar 2017
Find out how imposter syndrome is connected to gender and inequality in this talk
Talks & Topics
11:30 am, 10 Mar 2017
Do you want to ask for a pay rise but unsure how to go about it?
11:30 am, 10 Mar 2017
Learn the skills to help you step into the spotlight and take up space in this taster workshop
Talks & Topics
Gender Politics & Equality
11:30 am, 10 Mar 2017
The path to justice for victims of rape or sexual assault is not an easy one anywhere in the world
Talks & Topics
Nature & Environment
11:30 am, 10 Mar 2017
Hear from women leaders in sustainability and environmental policy, locally and internationally
Talks & Topics
Business & Economics
11:30 am, 10 Mar 2017
What barriers do women face in getting their hangs on the purse strings?
11:30 am, 10 Mar 2017
Come along to this peer support group for mother-artists
Women at Louder Voices

Free

Choral
12:30 pm, 10 Mar 2017
Enjoy a short performance of empowering songs relating to women’s rights and power
Women at Workshop

Free

12:30 pm, 10 Mar 2017 - 12 Mar 2017
Come to the Action Stations to put into action plans inspired by what you've seen at WOW
Portrait of Singer, Nilufer Yanya

Free

Gigs
Rock & Pop
1:00 pm, 10 Mar 2017
Hear Nilüfer Yanya perform soulful music from her new EP Small Crimes
Talks & Topics
Gender Politics & Equality
1:15 pm, 10 Mar 2017
Women with long political careers bring their collective experience to WOW in this talk

featured

10 Mar
Literature
Join Gillian Anderson and Jennifer Nadel to launch their new book, WE: A Manifesto for Women Everywhere.
12 Mar
Comedy
Contemporary Classical
Sandi Toksvig hosts an evening of electrifying comedy and music inspired by great women
see all events

Southban 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.

Don't miss out, pick up a WOW day pass to get the best value from our packed events programme

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Buy Sunday pass

 

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 and Esmée Fairbairn Foundation.

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.

WOW stories

story
What does it really take for women to be heard in the workplace? We asked Labour MP Sheelagh McNamara
video
Hear about some of the things you can look forward to at WOW – Women of the World festival, returning Tuesday 7 – Sunday 12 March

WOW pass highlights

WOW past festivals

shop WOW

A selection of our favourite shop items from the Women of the World festival
Somali land Tote Bag

Somaliland Bag

Feminist T-Shirt

Japan Chocolate

Little People: Coco Chanel
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