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Women of the World Festival – a celebration of women’s achievements


Aisling Marks
WVoN co-editor

This weekend the Southbank Centre in London will host an exciting programme of events, regognising women’s cultural triumphs.

The Women of the World Festival was launched by English theatre director,  Jude Kelly, in 2011, and celebrates the diversity of initiative and success in women’s history that is frequently overlooked in a male-dominated society.

With over 90 events in three days, the festival includes a range of innovative and interactive activities, speakers, debates and performances that encourage and promote a culturally active and intellectual female community.

Highlights include debates on contemporary beauty such as ‘The Cosmo Debate: ‘I am a feminist – can I vajazzle?’’ on Saturday to the politically contentious ‘Ironing it out: Margaret Thatcher – Feminist icon?’ on Sunday.

Among the participants is feminist pop icon Annie Lennox, who will host a night of musical talent to raise awareness of gender inequality, as well as celebrating the successes of the women’s movement so far.

In a recent interview with The Guardian, Lennox commented, ‘I want people to understand me as a person with views, not just performing songs.’

This encapsulates the festival’s ethos of justice, equality and representation.

Kelly told The Independent: ‘the conversation about equality between the sexes is one that still needs to be had vigorously and positively, and it’s why I set up the Women of the World festival – to acknowledge that women are doing extraordinary things, and to look at how to release even more of that potential.’

Tickets can be bought from the Southbank Centre.

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