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Photograph: Alice Boagey

Women of the World is hosting a free 24-hour festival online – with Angela Davis just added as a speaker

The festival aims to connect women and girls in every time zone with its new virtual event


Women of the World festival – a weekend of lectures, debates and workshops – is the biggest International Women’s Day event in London. Over the years it’s had speakers like Angela Davis, Annie Lennox and Malala Yousafzai. The 2020 edition took place in March just before lockdown began, marking its tenth anniversary. Now WOW has announced plans for its first worldwide online festival, WOW Global 24, which will take place over 24 hours. 

The idea is that the virtual festival will be global in every sense, allowing people in all time zones to participate. Organisers claim the event will ‘travel across the world as the earth turns’. Earlier today (Monday June 22), WOW announced that the iconic activist and academic Angela Davis will be taking part in the global festival. The festival’s founder, Jude Kelly will interview Davis about her thoughts on the Black Lives Matter movement and potential impact the pandemic could have on the fight for gender inequality. The interview is scheduled to take place at 00.35am BST on June 28. As anyone familiar with Davis’s work will tell you, it will be well worth staying up for. 

The festival is produced by the UK charity The WOW Foundation, but has involved teams from the USA, Pakistan, Turkey, Jordan, Nigeria, the UK, Brazil, Australia and India. Activists, artists and educators will all be speaking on the theme of Women and Girls in a Time of Crisis. 

It’s all completely free and available to watch on The WOW Foundation’s website across two channels: The Local Channel, curated by WOW partners, and The Global Channel featuring talks from world leaders and community activists speaking on climate change, education, justice and violence. If it all sounds a little broad, that’s because it is: the festival is ambitious in scope, it states its main aim is to ‘build up a worldwide picture of the current situation for girls and women’. 

WOW’s founder Jude Kelly said that ‘Now more than ever, we need to find community; to connect women, civil society and governments and make women’s stories central to future planning across the globe. This is an opportunity to join hands, listen and ask “what do we need to change, and how?”’ 

Looking for answers? Find 24-hours worth on the The WOW Foundation website on June 27-28. 

Need support, or want to offer it? Find out to help (and get help) in London during lockdown

Show solidarity with Grenfell United this weekend at these virtual events marking the third anniversary of the Grenfell fire tragedy. 

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