The WOW Foundation has today announced the full line up for the 2020 10th anniversary Festival in London. British Vogue will present “Forces for Change” with Editor-in-Chief Edward Enninful OBE. Forces for Change was launched in The September Issue of British Vogue guest edited by HRH The Duchess of Sussex. For this special WOW event, the editor-in-chief has invited artists, activists and fashion pioneers to join him for an evening of conversation exploring the publication’s ongoing movement, sharing stories of female trailblazers setting the agenda across the globe.
WOW will pay tribute to the late Toni Morrison in Remembering Toni Morrison, an afternoon of contemporary responses to the seminal American author. Featuring performances, readings and tributes from special guests, this event will be a joyful response to the life, influence and legacy of the Nobel Prize winner.
Care International will also join forces with WOW this year presenting very special speakers at its annual #March4Women Rally – the ultimate International Women’s Day activity. For 2020, CARE International’s annual #March4Women will be the most rousing rally yet, with an urgent call to action for women on the front line of the climate crisis. The afternoon will be introduced by Helen Pankhurst, CARE International UK’s Special Adviser on Gender Equality and the great-granddaughter of Emmeline Pankhurst and granddaughter of Sylvia Pankhurst, with Jude Kelly, Founder of WOW – Women of the World, and other guests to be announced. Previous years’ guests have included Annie Lennox, Beverley Knight, Michael Sheen, Emeli Sandé, Sue Perkins, Layla Hussein, Muzoon Almellehan, Helena Bonham Carter, Bianca Jagger and David Tennant.
The events announced today join previously confirmed shows featuring Naomi Wolf, Shazia Mirza, Scarlett Curtis, Sandi Toksvig, Mary Robinson, Elif Shafak, Julia Gillard, Caroline Criado Perez, Emma Dabiri, Shazia Mirza, Bobby Baker and live recordings of two of the UK’s most popular podcasts – Scarlett Curtis: Feminists Don’t Wear Pink and The Guilty Feminist.
WOW – Women of the World Festival runs from 6 to 8 March across the International Women’s Day weekend at Southbank Centre, London. The line-up includes a range of Day Pass and ticketed events featuring some of the world’s most exciting performers, activists and voices.
WOW Festival goers can purchase Day Passes for Friday and Saturday to explore a huge programme of talks, workshops and performances. New day pass sessions announced today include WOW Presents a Mayoral Debate, featuring the Mayor of London Sadiq Khan, and 2020 electoral candidates including Sue Black, Rory Stewart and Siobhan Benita.
Day Pass attendees will also be able to choose from talks, workshops and performances including: Jess Phillips in Conversation on her book Truth to Power; a masterclass in voguing, a global mix of comedians presented by Funny Women; an exploration of iconic dolls gender stereotyping in Life in Plastic, is it Fantastic?; Women’s Parliament where MPs past and present, and Westminster regulars look at what such a thing would really mean; activist Valentino Vecchietti and special guests will explore what it means to be intersex; Women of Colour and Mental Health presents an exploration of the barriers women of colour face that mean they are affected disproportionately by mental health issues; Travelling with Tits, a hilarious meditation on the highs and lows or travelling alone as a woman; Where has trans activism got to? a look at the joy and challenges of the trans activist movement so far; Where’s My Vagina with Jenny Sealey OBE; a discussion on bringing up boys; The Successes of the Lionesses – and what that means for everyone else in and outside of sport; Desi – Out and Proud; How to be a Difficult Woman with journalist Helen Lewis; a look at everything from feminist pensions to how you can increase your financial health in Your Money or Your Life: Personal Finance; anti-racism educator and Instagram sensation Layla Saad challenges understandings of white supremacy and privilege in Me and White Supremacy; and Corporates get Naked – a frank discussion about diversity and discuss why improvements must be made.
Joining Sunday’s programme is a series of free ticketed events also announced today. These include a 10th birthday party for WOW, a joyful celebration of the last 10 years with Founder Jude Kelly; WOW’s Big Sing workshop, giving attendees the chance to experience the power of singing with hundreds of people; and WOW favourite Views on the News in a special decade edition.
There will also be two award ceremonies: Women on the Move Awards 2020: The Greatest Hits presented by Samira Ahmed, which celebrates inspirational leadership from migrant and refugee women and will this year bring together previous winners to celebrate 10 years of WOMA including Mariam Yusuf, Joon Lynn Goh and Rossana Leal; and With and For Girls Awards with WOW, which will bring together 25 girl-led and girl-centered groups from across the globe to celebrate their trailblazing achievements.
Helen Pankhurst, CARE International UK’s Special Adviser, said: “This will be our ninth annual #March4Women and what better place to hold our rally than WOW. Like WOW, #March4Women is an opportunity for feminists of every age and gender to come together in solidarity for a fairer and more equal world. This year March4Women will be calling for support for women on the frontline of the climate crisis. Around the world, women and girls are hardest hit by the devastating impacts of climate change – yet they play such a vital role in finding solutions. Expect powerful music, inspiring speeches and informative discussion.”
2020 marks the 10th anniversary of WOW – Women of the World Festival and to celebrate The WOW Foundation is presenting the biggest and bravest festival yet. This year’s festival will take place over the 17 acre Southbank Centre site and see the return of WOW Speed Mentoring, WOW Bites and the WOW Market. Over the past 10 years WOW Festivals have reached more than two million people across six continents, from Baltimore to Brazil, Cardiff to Karachi.
In 2018, Jude Kelly founded The WOW Foundation to run the global movement as an independent charitable organisation. The WOW Foundation produces festivals across the world to celebrate women and girls, and raise awareness globally of the issues they face and possible solutions. Led by Kelly, the organisation works to build, convene and sustain a global movement that believes a gender equal world is possible and desirable through WOW festivals and empowering women and girls.
WOW festivals are presented by arrangement with Southbank Centre.
WOW’s 10th anniversary festival is supported by The WOW Foundation’s Global Founding Partner Bloomberg.
Detailed programme information and tickets can be found here.
Photo credit: Belinda Lawley