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Curtains to rise on WOW Dhaka 2019 festival

  • Published at 06:50 pm April 1st, 2019
Curators of WOW Dhaka festival 2019 pose for photo after a Press Conference at the British Council auditorium in Dhaka on Monday, April 01, 2019 Courtesy

The festival is scheduled to start on Friday at the Bangla Academy

The British Council—in partnership with WOW Foundation, UK—is bringing the Women of the World (WOW) festival, for the first time ever, to Dhaka.

To mark the launch of the festival, a press conference was held at the British Council auditorium, in Dhaka, on Monday.

WOW, an international festival that celebrates the achievements of women and girls, is the largest women’s festival in the world. It began in London in 2010, is now a global festival expanding across five continents. 

Over 1.5 million women are part of the ever-growing WOW movement—in which men and boys also participate. The entire society benefits from a gender-equal world. 

WOW festivals are presented by an arrangement with Southbank Centre.

Commenting on the significance of the festival in advancing gender equality, British Council Deputy Director Andrew Newton, said: “The WOW festival is a crucial platform in advancing our work on women and girls’ empowerment under our Arts program portfolio in South Asia. 

"At the British Council we believe that achieving gender equality is crucial in creating an inclusive, open and prosperous society, and the advancing sustainable development goals, in particular SDG 5 — Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment."

Emphasising the goals of the WOW festival, British Council Head of Arts Nahin Idris said: “Through the all-inclusive national platform of WOW Dhaka, we hope to shine a spotlight on the city and the incredible people that live and work here; as well as showcase visiting: speakers, performers, panellists, and inspiring women from all corners of society. 

"We plan to reach more than 1 million people through a spirited and far-reaching celebration of the women and girls’ achievements, and by encouraging [the] sharing of hundreds of women’s stories to explore the obstacles that prevent them from achieving their full potential.”

Previously, in 2018, the British Council in Bangladesh initiated a series of events as WOW Chapters in: Rangpur, Sylhet, Khulna, Rajshahi, and Chittagong. Energised by the success of the WOW chapters in five divisional cities across Bangladesh—which saw the enthusiastic participation of 25,000 people—WOW Dhaka 2019 promises to be a spirited and far-reaching celebration of the achievements and obstacles facing girls and women in South Asia. 

WOW Dhaka is open for all  and in order  to enter the festival more rapidly, online registration, prior to the event, is  recommended. 

Among others, key attendees include: Andrew Newton, Deputy Director, British Council; Nahin Idris, Head of Arts, British Council; Sara Zaker, Curator, Founder, Mongol Deep; Shagufe Hossain, Curator, Founder & Executive Director, Leaping Boundaries and Tasaffy Hossain, Curator, Founder, Bonhishikha Unlearn Gender, who presented an overview of various aspects of the WOW festival. 

The festival is scheduled to start on Friday and will continue till Saturday at the Bangla Academy .