Welcoming Woman Power
Women of the World Festival wows in Beijing By Li Nan
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