Women of the World Festival

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Women of the World Festival
Women Of the World festival logo.png
VenueSouth Bank Centre, London
Founded8 March 2010 (2010-03-08)
FounderJude Kelly
ActivityCelebrates the achievements of women and girls as well as looking at the obstacles they face across the world
Patron(s)Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall (president)

Women of the World Festival (WOW) is an annual arts and science festival based in London, that celebrates the achievements of women and girls, as well as looking at the obstacles they face across the world. As a global feminist movement, it seeks to inspire new generations of young women and girls.

The festival was founded in 2010 by Jude Kelly,[1][2] a theatre director and former artistic director of London's Southbank Centre. It takes place in early March around International Women's Day. WOW sponsors lectures, debates and performance on a range of themes and topics. Its principal venue is the Southbank Centre, where it was founded. There are satellite venues at other locations, notably Cambridge, England; Hong Kong, Ethiopia, Australia, Iceland, New York, and Egypt.[3][4][5]

Since 2015 Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, has been WOW's president.[6] Also in 2015 the BBC streamed much of its content.[7]

The Southbank Centre has been listed in The Times Top 50 employers for women.[8] Its Women of the World festival was nominated for two awards as part of the Business in the Community Workplace Gender Equality Awards 2016.[9]


Women of the World is a week-long festival held in various places around the world. It features musical performances, debates, public speeches, mentoring sessions, and more. The festival is usually referred to as WOW.

The first WOW Festival was held in the United Kingdom, but it now takes place in many other locations throughout the world. The festivals are rooted in local areas, but are connected internationally. The festivals feed into each other, sharing stories and inspiring one another. All of the festivals are intertwined but each is unique in its own way; they all share the same WOW name. To date the Women of the World Festival has been held across three continents. By 2018, WOW was due to take place in 53 countries.[10]

The WOW Foundation was incorporated in 2018, with Kelly as its first director.[11]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Aitkenhead, Decca (26 January 2018). "Southbank director Jude Kelly: 'Saying you're a feminist is not enough'". The Guardian. London. Retrieved 27 January 2018.
  2. ^ Brown, Mark (18 January 2018). "Southbank Centre artistic director Jude Kelly to step down". The Guardian. London. Retrieved 27 January 2018.
  3. ^ WOW-Cambridge Festival WoW Cambridge 2014.
  4. ^ WOW Women of the World Cambridge. Retrieved March 2015.
  5. ^ "What’s WOW all about? Founder Jude Kelly explains". South Bank Centre website. Retrieved March 2015.
  6. ^ Jobson, Robert (16 February 2015). "Camilla to be president of Women of the World festival". London Evening Standard. Retrieved March 2015.
  7. ^ WOW - Women of the World Festival, Woman's Hour, BBC Radio 4, March 2015.
  8. ^ "Workplace Gender Equality Awards 2016". Gender. Retrieved 13 March 2016.
  9. ^ "Awards & recognition". Business in the Community. Retrieved 13 March 2016.
  10. ^ "The first WOW Kathmandu - Women of the World Festival". britishcouncil.org. 15 February 2017. Retrieved 23 February 2019.
  11. ^ "THE WOW FOUNDATION - Officers". Companies House. Retrieved 19 January 2019.

External links[edit]