Wel­com­ing Woman Power

Women of the World Fes­ti­val wows in Bei­jing By Li Nan

Beijing Review - - Culture -

The Bei­jing Tian­qiao Per­form­ing Arts Cen­ter (BTPAC), usu­ally not open un­til af­ter­noon, was filled with hun­dreds of vis­i­tors on the early morn­ing of Septem­ber 16. The vis­i­tors, mostly fe­male, rushed to the fa­mous art venue to en­joy the Women of the World (WOW) Fes­ti­val which was staged in China for the first time.

WOW was es­tab­lished in 2010 by Jude Kelly at South­bank Cen­tre—a ma­jor arts cen­ter in Lon­don. It aims to cel­e­brate the achieve­ments of women and girls, and to en­cour­age ev­ery woman to im­prove her­self. It has been held in 20 cities across five con­ti­nents in the world over the past seven years. Hav­ing reached nearly two million peo­ple world­wide, WOW has be­come the world’s largest cul­tural fes­ti­val net­work of its kind.

“I am de­lighted that to­day, WOW Bei­jing joins this young global move­ment,” said Dame Bar­bara Wood­ward, the first ever British Am­bas­sadress to China, in her key­note speech at the WOW Bei­jing cer­e­mony on Septem­ber 16.

“This fes­ti­val has cre­ated an im­por­tant space in which to cel­e­brate women and girls and how much we achieved over the last cen­tury in mov­ing forward with gen­der equal­ity,” Wood­ward said.

Kelly, who be­lieves men and women should en­joy equal rights in so­ci­ety, has been work­ing hard to pro­mote WOW world­wide. It took her three years to pre­pare for WOW Bei­jing.

“Chi­nese women are very in­ter­ested in how women in other parts of the world are work­ing now. They want to be con­nected wide across the world to share dia­logues,” Kelly told Bei­jing Re­view.

Gen­der equal­ity high­lighted

“Women have made cru­cial con­tri­bu­tions in many fields and are slowly be­ing rec­og­nized for their lead­er­ship. ‘Her Power’ is even now a widely used term in China. Yet, de­spite the tremen­dous strides women have made in the past decades, they still face dif­fi­cul­ties and in­vis­i­ble dis­crim­i­na­tion in China and around the world,” said Ju­lia Brous­sard, Coun­try Pro­gram Man­ager

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