Celebrating Wow! Women

Wow Women Festival 2016

To honour the unsung sacrifices of women all over the world as well as their great achievements the South Bank Centre will be hosting the Women of the World Festival (WOW) from International Women’s Day on 8th March through to the 13th. Launched on the centenary of International Women’s Day and now in its sixth year, the festival will range from light-hearted topics to serious issues but seek to key into women’s place in history, society and on the global stage. One important question they will want answered is ‘why is gender equality taking so long to achieve.’ The vehicle for this open discussion will be talks, debates, comedy, live music – in fact over 150 different events.

As a platform for women’s debate it has some notable milestones. The founding members of the UK’s Women’s Equality Party formed that political organisation here and also it was one of the first major platforms to give a voice to victims of FGM. This year’s programme will be just as uncompromising in tackling the rights of women with both singer Annie Lennox and Shami Chakrabati from human rights organisation Liberty giving talks.

And it’s not just celebrities, also on the programme are ordinary secondary school girls engaging in the Wonderwomen talks about their heroines and inspirations. On March 9th there will be a Women in the Creative Industries 2016 debate running from 10.00am to 4pm and later that evening the performance of Racheal Ofori: Portrait, an expression of how a young black woman experiences modern life.

Since its creation by Jude Kelly, Artistic Director of Southbank it has already made a global mark with festivals in every continent and ambitious plans afoot for a mega-fest at The Commonwealth Games 2018 with all 53 countries taking part.

 Image source: Wow! Southbank Centre

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Eddie Saint-Jean

Eddie Saint-Jean is an arts reviewer with a background in art theory, film and theatre.

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