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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Tue, 03/21/2017 - 10:33
Listen to audio highlights of Southbank Centre's WOW – Women of the World festival 2017
Fri, 03/10/2017 - 18:05
Gender Politics & Equality
Global Culture & Ethnicity
Award-winning journalist and black feminist Reni writes about class, race, gender and social justice
Fri, 03/10/2017 - 14:34
Two of our Nordic artists and speakers share their thoughts on women’s lives in the Nordic region today
Thu, 03/09/2017 - 12:30
Gender Politics & Equality
Talks & Topics
Read how the Swedish mansplaining hotline caused a domestic stir
Wed, 03/08/2017 - 18:53
Gender Politics & Equality
Global Culture & Ethnicity
The American civil rights advocate and leading scholar shares a few words
Wed, 03/08/2017 - 18:42
Gender Politics & Equality
Politics & History
Will Brexit be good for women, or do they risk losing hard-won rights?
Wed, 03/08/2017 - 16:22
Gender Politics & Equality
Global Culture & Ethnicity
We asked Fatima about the challenges women face, and their hopes for the future
Mon, 03/06/2017 - 17:16
Business & Economics
Gender Politics & Equality
Hear from Melanie Eusebe, founder of the Black British Business Award and executive producer of WOW
Fri, 03/03/2017 - 14:33
Gender Politics & Equality
Talks & Topics
CII's report will be explored in Women's Risks in Life by empowering women to make friends with their future selves
Fri, 03/03/2017 - 11:08
Gender Politics & Equality
Talks & Topics
Read about UBS Unique's initiatives for improving women's lives
Thu, 03/02/2017 - 14:58
Children & Young people
Gender Politics & Equality
See a few top picks for WOW festival 2017 chosen by Southbank Centre’s Youth Ambassadors
Wed, 02/15/2017 - 16:26
Who are the women who represent us in Parliament? What does it take to get elected, and then to hold onto a place in the House?
Wed, 02/15/2017 - 15:20
What does it really take for women to be heard in the workplace? We asked voice coach and RADA in Business tutor, Sheelagh McNamara
Wed, 02/08/2017 - 14:53
Hear disability justice activist Lydia X. Z. Brown discuss how justice for women can become justice for everyone
Mon, 02/06/2017 - 10:31
Hear about some of the things you can look forward to at WOW – Women of the World festival, returning Tuesday 7 – Sunday 12 March
Thu, 08/18/2016 - 16:50
Many age-old ideas about women have been swept aside - but what does that have to do with men?
Thu, 08/18/2016 - 16:50
Thu, 08/18/2016 - 16:50
Caitlin Moran talks about new book, Moranifesto
Thu, 08/18/2016 - 16:50
Kimberlé Crenshaw - tells us what 'intersectionality' is
Thu, 08/18/2016 - 16:50
For the first time in history, all five UK and NI poet laureates are women
Thu, 08/18/2016 - 16:50
In this bite, Emma George talks about why the female orgasm matters
Thu, 08/18/2016 - 16:50
Dame Vivienne Westwood talks with Shami Chakrabarti about human rights
Thu, 08/18/2016 - 16:50
Watch actress and filmmaker Salma Hayek Pinault present a keynote speech at WOW festival
Thu, 08/18/2016 - 16:50
Thu, 08/18/2016 - 16:50
Panel discussion in which women discussed movements in modern African feminism
Thu, 08/18/2016 - 16:50
Join Mariella Frostrup, Alice Walker and Pratibha Parmar in conversation
Thu, 08/18/2016 - 16:50
Barbara Hannigan, renowned Canadian soprano, talks about why she loves the 1930's opera 'Lulu'
Thu, 08/18/2016 - 16:50
Naomi Wolf and others look at a society uncomfortable with people who look neither male nor female
Thu, 08/18/2016 - 16:50
Malala Yousafza talks about the systemic nature of gender inequality
Thu, 08/18/2016 - 16:50
Do we judge black women by whether or not they straighten their hair?
Thu, 08/18/2016 - 16:50
Emer O'Toole talks about how all hell broke loose when she put down her razor
Thu, 08/18/2016 - 16:50
Jody Day talks about creating a meaningful and fulfilling life without children
Thu, 08/18/2016 - 16:50
Gordon Brown is joined by Ziauddin Yousafzai, the father of Malala Yousafzai
Thu, 08/18/2016 - 16:50
The Sun's Page 3 - a genuine problem, or just harmless fun?
Thu, 08/18/2016 - 16:50
The panel discussed narrowing the gender pay gap, quotas and boardrooms
Thu, 08/18/2016 - 16:50
Caitlin Moran chats with Jude Kelly about the highs and lows of life and laughter
Thu, 08/18/2016 - 16:50
Bettany Hughes and Charlotte Higgins discuss the lost heroines of the prehistoric and ancient worlds
Thu, 08/18/2016 - 16:50
Introducing the performers - Move: Choreographing You at Hayward Gallery
Thu, 08/18/2016 - 16:50
A WOW Bite video in which Laura Bates talks about tackling sexism
Thu, 08/18/2016 - 16:50
What is rape? Who does it? Who does it happen to?
Thu, 08/18/2016 - 16:50
A comedy show about opinions: how we form them, how we challenge them and how we can change them
Thu, 08/18/2016 - 16:50
Stephanie Flanders, BBC Economics Editor, gave a keynote talk on the state of the UK economy
Thu, 08/18/2016 - 16:50
Sabrina Mahfouz, poet and playwright, on how she found a feminist in a strip club
Thu, 08/18/2016 - 16:50
Baaba Maal sings his love and respect to African Woman
Thu, 08/18/2016 - 16:50
Misogyny is the hatred, dislike, or mistrust of women. Is misandry even more rampant?
Thu, 08/18/2016 - 16:50
How can we end Female Genital Mutilation in one generation?
Thu, 08/18/2016 - 16:50
Are Baseltiz's views more widespread than we think or is he an old fashioned anomaly?
Thu, 08/18/2016 - 16:50
The panel discuss why we need a men's festival
Thu, 08/18/2016 - 16:50
Does popular culture still have a problem with black women?
Thu, 08/18/2016 - 16:50
Naomi Wolf spoke about the journey she's been on as an academic, a public figure, and a writer
Thu, 08/18/2016 - 16:50
Are women in the UK media doomed to being reduced to the sum of their body parts?
Thu, 08/18/2016 - 16:50
Women of the World Festival 2014 panel discussion about women and religion
Thu, 08/18/2016 - 16:50
Women of the World panel discussion about fat activism, held at Southbank Centre, 2014
Thu, 08/18/2016 - 16:50
Enjoy the trailer for 2016's WOW – Women of the World festival
Thu, 08/18/2016 - 16:50
How do men talk about women and what truths lie behind it?
Thu, 08/18/2016 - 16:50
Fat Activism discussion on the politics of size, part of Women of the World Festival 2013
Thu, 08/18/2016 - 16:50
Worth over £200 million per year, ethical clothing is one of fashion's newest markets
Thu, 08/18/2016 - 16:50
Getting it, wanting it, doing it yourself – and reaching your multi-orgasmic potential
Thu, 08/18/2016 - 16:50
2014 was an unprecedented year for the rights of women and girls, but did some things go backward?
Thu, 08/18/2016 - 16:50
Author Laura Bates and an expert team take on some of the stereotypes, double standards and downright stupidity facing young women today

Pages

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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.

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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Little People: Coco Chanel

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