Book Now For This Year's Women Of The World Festival At Southbank Centre

Laura Reynolds
By Laura Reynolds Last edited 15 months ago

Last Updated 14 February 2023

Book Now For This Year's Women Of The World Festival At Southbank Centre
A woman at her stall at WOW Marketplace, selling jewellery
The WOW Marketplace runs across all three days of the festival © Ellie Kurttz

A three-day festival celebrating women, girls and non-binary people returns to Southbank Centre in March, tackling topics including miscarriage, women's safety, fat activism, childcare costs and a history of Bengali activism.

Women of the World is now in its 13th year, and brings together artists, activists, thinkers and performers to work together towards gender equality. Some events are individually ticketed, while others fall under Festival Day Pass tickets.

A speaker on stage at a previous WOW Festival
Book ahead for this year's headline events.

Big names taking part this year include:

  • Julia Gillard - Former Australian prime minister — and the country's first female prime minister — talks to Jude Kelly CBE, founder of the WOW Foundation, along with authors Laura Bates and Elif Shafak, and activist Josephine Kamara about women, misogyny and power, for the festival's opening session on Friday.
  • Roxane Gay - Author of Bad Feminist Roxane Gay makes an appearance to discuss everything from politics and patriarchy to Beyoncé and reality television.
  • Oloni - 'Sexpert' and relationship advisor Oloni tackles the topic with Receipts podcast host Tolani Shoneye and actor and musician Jordan Stephens.
  • Jane Garvey and Fi Glover - The radio legends record an episode of their new podcast, Off Air... with Jane and Fi, live with special guests (yet to be announced).
Jude Kelly on stage behind a WOW branded podium
Jude Kelly CBE, founder of WOW, appears at this year's opening event.

Journalists Sali Hughes and Lauren Laverne, actress Shobna Gulati, comedian Kathy Burke, climate activist Pat Mitchell, disability activist Shani Dhanda, and body confidence advocate Stephanie Yeboah are also all on the programme.

Alongside the talks and debates, other events take place in the building throughout the festival, including a chance to try Double-Dutch skipping or Krav Maga (an Israeli martial art), plus live music, Samba and spoken word performances. The WOW Marketplace is back for all three days of the festival, showcasing and selling products from businesses and organisations led by women or non-binary people.

A group of five children sittin on the floor while an adult reads a story
There are events for children at WOW Festival

Children are catered for too. Under-10s Feminist Corners for both boys and girls offer interactive workshops focusing on what equality means and what we can do to work towards it. Plus Joyful Joyful, aimed at 8-11 year olds, is a chance to hear from illustrator Dapo Adeola, as he presents his newly curated book Joyful, Joyful: Stories Celebrating Black Voices.

Women of the World takes place at Southbank Centre, 10-12 March 2023.