By ANISAH ARIF
Women of the World Festival was back in Bradford!
Kala Sangam Centre in Bradford opens its doors to the Women of the World Festival (WOW) one last time over the weekend.
Funded by Spirit of 2012, the festival consisted of 45 different events exploring a variety of assertive topics such as environmental racism, body confidence and everyday activism. The line-up also included poet Kate Tempest and transgender model and activist Munroe Bergdorf also attended to show support.
The WOW Festival celebrates and recognises the achievements of women and girls and takes a look at what stop them from achieving their potential and raises awareness globally of the issues they face and possible solutions
Founded in 2010 by London’s Southbank Centre Artistic Director Jude Kelly CBE, reaches over 1.5 million people in 20 cities across five continents. . Her Royal Highness The Duchess of Cornwall has been President of WOW since 2015
Southbank centre expanded its global WOW networks of festivals to create nine new WOWs in five cities across the UK, of which Bradford was the first northern city.
This year marks the third and final year for the festival in Bradford but hopes to return in the nearby future.
Jude Kelly – Southbank Centre’s previous Artistic Director and WOW – Women of the World Founder and Director said: “Women of the World Festivals are designed to be agents of change in their host cities, providing a space for women to participate in discussion, education and collaboration on the issues that most impact their lives. WOW is the biggest gathering of women and girls across the globe, and I’m so pleased that Bradford is part of this story for change.”
Speakers have included Malala Yousafzai, Christine Lagarde, Salma Hayek, Annie Lennox, Gordon Brown, Julie Walters, Patrick Stewart and many more including hundreds of women and men who don’t have public profiles but are working everyday to achieve gender equality. Over 25,000 people came to WOW London in 2016, thousands more have come since.
Saliha Rubani – WOW Bradford Programmer said: “Planning this year’s festival has seemed like a celebration in itself with the support and kindness of local organisations, communities and individuals during the Thinkins. The programme is very much shaped by all those women and men who have taken the time to have a chat, share ideas and get involved and this is the beauty of WOW Bradford, it belongs to us all!”.
Campaign Bootcamp’s Sue Balcomb will be leading a session teaching people how to be activists in their communities, while local vlogger Kat Pemberton, who is using makeup to change attitudes towards disability, will speak on the ‘Makeup and Me’ panel.
Teenage activists from Speaker’s Corner Collective lead the discussion on issues including mental health and self image on panels like ‘I am Perfect as Me’ and throughout the programme.
Alex Croft – Creative Producer at Kala Sangam said: “We’re delighted that once again WOW Bradford will be taking over Kala Sangam for a weekend this November. It’s rapidly turned into one of the highlights of our autumn season, bringing people from across the country to our venue for a riotous, vibrant, fun celebration of women. I can’t wait to see what’s in store for us in 2018!”.
Women of the World festival is a global festival movement launched by Jude Kelly CBE in London in 2010 that celebrates women and girls, and looks. It reaches girls and women, boys and men from a broad range of social backgrounds and supplies a completely different sense of action and energy than a conventional conference approach to WOW s across the world and festival organisers have collaborated on cross-continental projects.