Women of the World Festival 2020 – review

Southbank Centre
Review by: Abiola Lawal
Published: Wednesday, 04 March 2020, 09:37am

Women of the World Festival 2020
Women of the World Festival 2020

In its 10th year Women of the World Festival (London) was celebrated on the 6-8th of March 2020 in London’s Southbank Centre. Afridiziak attended the first opening day and took in many insightful talks and readings on current issues in a world of creativity and technology.

Women of the World (WOW) is a global movement celebrated by 2 million people across 30 locations spanning six continents. It is a truly international celebration of women and girls.

The grand opening session focused on domestic abuse #everyonesproblem and the WOW Foundation’s president, HRH the Duchess of Cornwall opened the day with a speech on domestic violence in Britain and across the world.

The Women of the World festival really was WOW!

I attended several career and art focused talks including Women Byte Back which looked at modern tech and how data is being manipulated to advertise to women but how women’s issues are forgotten when tech companies create apps, key speakers include Dr Anne-Marie Imafidon and a special video appearance from Seyi Akiwowo. It was also really informative to attend a session featuring The Triple Cripples co-founders Kym Oliver and Jumoke Abdullahi who spoke about being black disabled women and how their work is impacting the lives of other black disabled people in the UK and across the diaspora.



Pop up performances throughout the day engaged attendees between talks and there was also a bustling marketplace where people could learn as well as buy products to help support different communities and initiative from beautiful jewellery to sustainable feminine hygiene products.

There were so many interesting and engaging sessions which looked at how gender shapes our perceptions and reality, and how society has so much work to do to break down perceptions of what it is to be a woman or a man. A key session was Bringing Up Boys which discussed how boys need the tools to contribute to a more gender-equal world and what we can all do to re-educate ourselves. I found this a very insightful session, looking at how the stereotypes, cultural tropes and social policies are set up that not only fail to empower or reflect women, but also leave boys and men unequipped to communicate successfully or understand themselves.

The day was awesome and exciting, covering how more representation for women of colour, disabilities, religion and class is necessary

The day was awesome and exciting, covering how more representation for women of colour, disabilities, religion and class is necessary. Many talks also explored the need for equality to balance both genders and encourage healthy relationships.

The closing talks with Dina Asher-Smith looked at pursuing your dreams and how more needs to be down in sport, and how powerful women are when they are supporting other women. The Women of the World festival really was WOW!