WOW Bangladesh Festival: Recognising the contribution of women and womanhood

‘WOW – Women of the World Festival Bangladesh’ is set to be held on 24 and 25 February 2023 at Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy. Honourable Speaker of the National Parliament Dr. Shirin Sharmin Chaudhury will inaugurate the event at 3 p.m. on Tomorrow, Friday 24 February.

During the two-day festival, there will be thought-provoking discussions on various important issues like the impacts of colourism and biases based on skin-tone, social perceptions and moral policing based on clothing, the perception of feminism in wider communities and more. Among various other activities, there will be interactive workshops to raise awareness on breast cancer and stroke signs and symptoms. Attendees will have the opportunity to be mentored by successful women from various fields and local women entrepreneurs will get an exclusive opportunity to share their products at the WOW Marketplace. There will also be fun workshops for children visiting the festival.

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“We are committed in our work with women and girls across South Asia and believe that there are millions of inspiring women who exemplify why empowerment, diversity and having meaningful platforms for connection help close gaps to gender equality. Our work in the arts and strategic priorities support women’s voices and agency, and that is also why festivals like WOW accelerate progress.” – Jill Richens, Director Arts South Asia, the British Council

British-Bangladeshi band ‘Khiyo’, who are performing in Bangladesh for the first time, and Bangladeshi rock band ‘Chirkutt’, are the key attractions of the festival, alongside performances by popular celebrities and artists like Ridy Sheikh, Masha Islam and Toshiba Begum. Azmeri Haque Badhan, Zakia Bari Momo and Nazifa Tushi will also be sharing their stories with the chance of live interaction with audiences. There will also be traditional folk dances, theatre productions and film screenings.

“WOW Festival is organised in different countries across the world with the aim of recognising the role and gravity of women and femininity. On one hand – it identifies issues related to gender inequality in societies through various discussions and cultural performances, while on the other hand – it inspires young girls and women to try and overcome barriers to express their own unique identities. Mongol Deep Foundation is proud to be an associate in this endeavor.”- Sara Zaker, Founding Chairperson, Mongol Deep Foundation.

The women and girls-focused festival is organised by strategic partners the British Council, Mongol Deep Foundation and Center for Communication and Development-CCD Bangladesh, in partnership with UK charity The WOW Foundation. The aim of the festival is to bring people together to combat the inequality and discrimination they face in society and provide support and encouragement by fostering a safe space for dialogue. Jude Kelly, the CEO and Founder of The WOW Foundation, launched WOW in 2010 when she was Artistic Director of Southbank Centre in London. The last national WOW Dhaka festival took place in 2019.

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