WOW festival returns for fourth year

Vivienne Westwood, Katie Price, Ruby Wax and Grayson Perry have been named among the 300 speakers for the fourth Women of the World (WOW) festival next month.

WOW festival to take place at Southbank Centre next month
WOW festival to take place at Southbank Centre next month

Organised by London Southbank Centre’s in-house events team, the event will take place at the venue between 5 and 9 March consisting of more than 120 events. The festival will also mark International Women’s Day (8 March).

Malala Yousafzai, Pakistani education activist, will deliver a keynote speech on the systematic nature of gender inequality, while American rock and roll singer Ronnie Spector will perform her first UK headline show in four years.

The festival will consist of a series of talks, debates and performances celebrating women and girls. Southbank Centre will also host its first Women in the Arts day, with 200 women working in the arts and cultural sector asking what new steps need to be taken to achieve gender equality across the industry.

Women in politics will be another key focus of the event and will consist of the festival’s first WOW Question Time, as well as a session with seasoned female politicians sharing tips on how to run for office.

Jude Kelly, artistic director at the Southbank Centre, said: " I founded WOW festival four years ago to ensure there was a high-profile cultural place where hundreds of women's stories could be shared, feelings vented, fun had, minds influenced and hearts expanded.

"It is now one of the largest women’s festivals in the world and will keep growing, with festivals starting up around the UK and spreading to more and more countries."

Following Southbank Centre’s inaugural Being A Man festival in January 2014, a number of sessions at the WOW festival will explore the challenges around engaging men and boys in gender equality.

Read our showcase on the Being A Man Festival in the February/March issue of Event, which you can subscribe to here.

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