festival

WOW – Women of the World

WOW – Women of the World festival celebrates women and girls, and looks at the obstacles that stop them from achieving their potential. 

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 investigating this question.

WOW 2017 speakers included Angela Davis, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie and Gillian Anderson. We'll be back in London in 2018 with another incredible line-up.

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WE: A Manifesto for Women Everywhere
Listen to audio highlights of Southbank Centre's WOW – Women of the World festival 2017
How do we fight sexism without ignoring other issues such as race, disability, sexuality and class?
Hear insights from the journalist and Channel 4 News reporter
The presenter talks about her book OPEN: A Toolkit for How Magic Messed Up Life Can Be
The legendary activist talks about women, race and class in the post-Trump era
Listen to the Nigerian novelist speaking live at Southbank Centre's Women of the World 2017
Hear a panel discuss what challenges lie ahead for British women, post-Brexit
We asked the co-founder of the Women’s Equality Party how she sees the future for women
Award-winning journalist and black feminist Reni writes about class, race, gender and social justice
Two of our Nordic artists and speakers share their thoughts on women’s lives in the Nordic region today
Read how the Swedish mansplaining hotline caused a domestic stir
The American civil rights advocate and leading scholar shares a few words
Will Brexit be good for women, or do they risk losing hard-won rights?
We asked Fatima about the challenges women face, and their hopes for the future
We caught up with actor Gillian Anderson and journalist Jennifer Nadel
Want to know if you’re a feminist? Take this easy quiz
Hear from Melanie Eusebe, founder of the Black British Business Award and executive producer of WOW
CII's report will be explored in Women's Risks in Life by empowering women to make friends with their future selves
Read about UBS Unique's initiatives for improving women's lives

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Southbank Centre Artistic Director Jude Kelly launched WOW – Women of the World in 2010 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.

wow 2017 stories

video
The legendary activist talks about women, race and class in the post-Trump era
video
Listen to the Nigerian novelist speaking live at Southbank Centre's Women of the World 2017

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Feminist T-Shirt

Little People: Coco Chanel

Somaliland Bag

Japan Chocolate
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