festival

WOW – Women of the World

7 Mar 2018 - 11 Mar 2018

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 and girls must have equal rights and asking the question: why is gender equality taking so long?

Southbank Centre's WOW – Women of the World festival is a global network of festivals which provides a platform for celebrating what has been achieved, and exploring all the ways we can change the world for the better.

In the year that marks the 100th anniversary since some women got the vote in the UK, and when #MeToo shook the world, we bring together artists, writers, politicians, comedians, activists and more for the 8th annual WOW London at Southbank Centre.

WOW 2018 would not be possible without its generous sponsors and supporters: Bloomberg, UBS, American International Group Inc (AIG), The Chartered Insurance Institute and RELX group.

Sponsored By 

WOW passes

We have a number of passes available for Women of the World festival - book yours below:

WOW Friday pass

WOW Saturday pass

WOW Sunday pass

WOW Two day pass

WOW Three day pass

Sponsored By 

all events

11:30 am
Wed 07 Mar 2018
11:30 am | Wed 07 Mar 2018
Talks & Topics
Artists & Thinkers
Why does gender equality in our sector matter so much and what can we do to level the playing field?
Why does gender equality in our sector matter so much and what can we do to level the playing field?
6:30 pm
Wed 07 Mar 2018
6:30 pm | Wed 07 Mar 2018
Members are invited to an exclusive update on this year’s WOW festival
Members are invited to an exclusive update on this year’s WOW festival
7:00 pm
Wed 07 Mar 2018
7:00 pm | Wed 07 Mar 2018
Theatre
Dance & Performance
Get ready for hilariously irreverent and teary recreations of women’s speeches throughout history
Get ready for hilariously irreverent and teary recreations of women’s speeches throughout history
8:00 pm
Wed 07 Mar 2018
8:00 pm | Wed 07 Mar 2018
Theatre
Dance & Performance
Drag king champion Lucy Jane Parkinson performs the courageous story of Joan of Arc
Drag king champion Lucy Jane Parkinson performs the courageous story of Joan of Arc
9:00 pm
Wed 07 Mar 2018
9:00 pm | Wed 07 Mar 2018
Dance & Performance
Theatre
Hear powerful and humorous secret stories exploring sexuality, vulnerability and desire
Hear powerful and humorous secret stories exploring sexuality, vulnerability and desire
9:30 am
Thu 08 Mar 2018
9:30 am | Thu 08 Mar 2018
Talks & Topics
Gender Politics & Equality
An inspirational day for secondary school girls aged 11 - 18
An inspirational day for secondary school girls aged 11 - 18

Free

Free

6:30 pm
Thu 08 Mar 2018
6:30 pm | Thu 08 Mar 2018
Talks & Topics
Disability & Inclusivity
Join us to hear from inspiring changemakers on the first day of WOW
Join us to hear from inspiring changemakers on the first day of WOW
Various times
8 Mar 2018 - 9 Mar 2018
Various times | 8 Mar 2018 - 9 Mar 2018
Physical Theatre & Mime
Theatre
A heart-wrenching and humorous theatrical piece journeying into the female psyche
A heart-wrenching and humorous theatrical piece journeying into the female psyche
9:30 am
Fri 09 Mar 2018
9:30 am | Fri 09 Mar 2018
Talks & Topics
Hear keynote speeches from around the world addressing potent topics for women and girls
Hear keynote speeches from around the world addressing potent topics for women and girls

Free

Free

Various times
9 Mar 2018 - 11 Mar 2018
Various times | 9 Mar 2018 - 11 Mar 2018
Art
This installation tells women’s stories of violence in Rio de Janiero’s largest favela
This installation tells women’s stories of violence in Rio de Janiero’s largest favela

Free

Free

Various times
9 Mar 2018 - 11 Mar 2018
Various times | 9 Mar 2018 - 11 Mar 2018
Get information, shop, network and get a feel for WOW Festival at our market
Get information, shop, network and get a feel for WOW Festival at our market
11:30 am
Fri 09 Mar 2018
11:30 am | Fri 09 Mar 2018
Talks & Topics
Hear from international changemakers on how to turn your local activism into global change
Hear from international changemakers on how to turn your local activism into global change
11:30 am
Fri 09 Mar 2018
11:30 am | Fri 09 Mar 2018
Talks & Topics
Children & Young people
Hear from the real-life figures who helped convict those behind the Rochdale child sex abuse ring
Hear from the real-life figures who helped convict those behind the Rochdale child sex abuse ring
11:30 am
Fri 09 Mar 2018
11:30 am | Fri 09 Mar 2018
Talks & Topics
Gender Politics & Equality
Contemplate effective ways to champion women in business and dismantle outdated power structures
Contemplate effective ways to champion women in business and dismantle outdated power structures
11:30 am
Fri 09 Mar 2018
11:30 am | Fri 09 Mar 2018
Talks & Topics
Business & Economics
What should every woman know about her finances? Find out at this discussion
What should every woman know about her finances? Find out at this discussion
11:30 am
Fri 09 Mar 2018
11:30 am | Fri 09 Mar 2018
Talks & Topics
Gender Politics & Equality
Join the conversation about diversity and hear author June Sarpong discuss its importance in business
Join the conversation about diversity and hear author June Sarpong discuss its importance in...
11:30 am
Fri 09 Mar 2018
11:30 am | Fri 09 Mar 2018
Talks & Topics
Children & Young people
How is the internet changing social and sexual norms for girls? Find out at this talk
How is the internet changing social and sexual norms for girls? Find out at this talk
11:30 am
Fri 09 Mar 2018
11:30 am | Fri 09 Mar 2018
Talks & Topics
Gender Politics & Equality
Hear from women at the forefront of sustainability and environmental policy, locally and internationally
Hear from women at the forefront of sustainability and environmental policy, locally and...
11:30 am
Fri 09 Mar 2018
11:30 am | Fri 09 Mar 2018
Talks & Topics
Gender Politics & Equality
Hear activists and policymakers discuss the role of women in war and peace-building
Hear activists and policymakers discuss the role of women in war and peace-building
11:30 am
Fri 09 Mar 2018
11:30 am | Fri 09 Mar 2018
Talks & Topics
Gender Politics & Equality
Attend this session to discuss the facts of domestic abuse in the UK
Attend this session to discuss the facts of domestic abuse in the UK

Free

Free

12:30 pm
Fri 09 Mar 2018
12:30 pm | Fri 09 Mar 2018
Literature
Poetry
Relax and listen to performance of contemporary poetry in the cafe
Relax and listen to performance of contemporary poetry in the cafe
1:15 pm
Fri 09 Mar 2018
1:15 pm | Fri 09 Mar 2018
Talks & Topics
What does a prison system that works for women look like?
What does a prison system that works for women look like?
Schoolkids raising their hands in classroom at school
1:15 pm
Fri 09 Mar 2018
1:15 pm | Fri 09 Mar 2018
Talks & Topics
Children & Young people
Does our education system reinforce gender stereotypes?
Does our education system reinforce gender stereotypes?
1:15 pm
Fri 09 Mar 2018
1:15 pm | Fri 09 Mar 2018
Talks & Topics
Business & Economics
Debate whether traditional economics needs a feminist revamp
Debate whether traditional economics needs a feminist revamp
1:15 pm
Fri 09 Mar 2018
1:15 pm | Fri 09 Mar 2018
Talks & Topics
Gender Politics & Equality
Join this discussion about workplace harassment and what is being done about it
Join this discussion about workplace harassment and what is being done about it
1:15 pm
Fri 09 Mar 2018
1:15 pm | Fri 09 Mar 2018
Talks & Topics
Business & Economics
Contemplate effective ways to champion women in business and dismantle outdated power structures
Contemplate effective ways to champion women in business and dismantle outdated power structures
1:15 pm
Fri 09 Mar 2018
1:15 pm | Fri 09 Mar 2018
Talks & Topics
Gender Politics & Equality
Hop on this whistle-stop tour of crucial media skills
Hop on this whistle-stop tour of crucial media skills

Free

Free

Various times
9 Mar 2018 - 11 Mar 2018
Various times | 9 Mar 2018 - 11 Mar 2018
Talks & Topics
Pop into our archive and get an insight into feminist history
Pop into our archive and get an insight into feminist history

Free

Free

2:30 pm
Fri 09 Mar 2018
2:30 pm | Fri 09 Mar 2018
Gigs
Folk & World
Hear empowering songs from Women for Refugee Women
Hear empowering songs from Women for Refugee Women
3:00 pm
Fri 09 Mar 2018
3:00 pm | Fri 09 Mar 2018
Unwind with a relaxing gamelan workshop during WOW
Unwind with a relaxing gamelan workshop during WOW
Closeup side view of group of software developers working late at IT office. There is African american woman with short blond hair in focus, her colleagues in background, blurry.
3:00 pm
Fri 09 Mar 2018
3:00 pm | Fri 09 Mar 2018
Talks & Topics
What compromises do black women have to make to fit in and at what cost?
What compromises do black women have to make to fit in and at what cost?
"An assortment of glasses of wine and beer including a classic pilsner flute, a sparkling wine glass, an American half pint glass, a weizen or wheat beer glass, an American pint glass, a white wine glass, and a red wine glass."
3:00 pm
Fri 09 Mar 2018
3:00 pm | Fri 09 Mar 2018
Talks & Topics
An open discussion group on the myths around women and alcohol
An open discussion group on the myths around women and alcohol
Concept of retirement planning with woman putting coins in glass jar for pension
3:00 pm
Fri 09 Mar 2018
3:00 pm | Fri 09 Mar 2018
Talks & Topics
Everything you ever wanted to know about pensions but were too afraid to ask
Everything you ever wanted to know about pensions but were too afraid to ask

Free

Free

3:00 pm
Fri 09 Mar 2018
3:00 pm | Fri 09 Mar 2018
Join our mass speed-mentoring session in The Clore Ballroom
Join our mass speed-mentoring session in The Clore Ballroom
3:00 pm
Fri 09 Mar 2018
3:00 pm | Fri 09 Mar 2018
Talks & Topics
Business & Economics
Hear about the women leading a sustainable business revolution
Hear about the women leading a sustainable business revolution
3:00 pm
Fri 09 Mar 2018
3:00 pm | Fri 09 Mar 2018
Talks & Topics
Gender Politics & Equality
Hear personal stories and join a discussion about overcoming shame
Hear personal stories and join a discussion about overcoming shame
Group of people watching movie in theater. Girls laughing and watching comedy movie.
Various times
Fri 09 Mar 2018
Various times | Fri 09 Mar 2018
Learn confidence and communication through this comedy workshop
Learn confidence and communication through this comedy workshop
Patient Having Consultation With Female Doctor In Office
3:00 pm
Fri 09 Mar 2018
3:00 pm | Fri 09 Mar 2018
Talks & Topics
Health & Wellbeing
Find out how women can get the support needed for medical issues
Find out how women can get the support needed for medical issues

Free

Free

Various times
Fri 09 Mar 2018
Various times | Fri 09 Mar 2018
Dance & Performance
Naomi Sheldon performs extracts of her exceptional debut play Good Girl
Naomi Sheldon performs extracts of her exceptional debut play Good Girl

Free

Free

4:00 pm
Fri 09 Mar 2018
4:00 pm | Fri 09 Mar 2018
Literature
Poetry
Hear a performance of contemporary poetry as part of your Friday at WOW festival
Hear a performance of contemporary poetry as part of your Friday at WOW festival

Pages

Sorry, your search didn't find anything.

Try changing the date selection, or other filters and searching again

don't miss

Sandi Toksvig

Image Credit 
Sandi Toksvig presents Mirth Control
11 Mar
Dance & Performance
Comedy
A raucous night of comedy and music from great women hosted by Sandi Toksvig
9 Mar
Talks & Topics
Gender Politics & Equality
Meet women on the front line of global movements: Black Lives Matter, Everyday Sexism and Women's March London
see all events

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) and The Chartered Insurance Institute.

Current CII logo

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

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

you may also like

wow past festivals

shop WOW

A selection of our favourite shop items from the Women of the World festival

Know Yourself Cards

Feminist T-Shirt

Guerrilla Girls Mug

Je Suis Feministe Tote Bag