March is here and spring seems to be close on it’s heels. But it’s not spring we’re looking forward to this month, it’s International Women’s Month (IWM) and specifically, International Women’s Day (IWD) on March 8.
Oxfam explain on their site that ‘empowering and equipping a woman with the resources to work her way out poverty transforms entire communities down the generations. The bleak reality of the situation of many women living in developing countries is highlighted by the inequalities they face in the world of work. Women do two-thirds of the work, yet receive only ten per cent of the world’s income and own just one per cent of the means of production.‘
Women of the World Festival
Not sure how to celebrate IWM, then check out one of the many events that are part of this year’s Women of the World Festival (WOW). Launched last year at London’s Southbank Centre, the festival was such a success, that they’re not only returning this year, but also reaching across the Atlantic with WOW Baltimore.
Jude Kelly, artistic director of the Southbank Centre and founder of WOW, says ‘throughout history, many women’s achievements have gone unnoticed or unsung. I created WOW – Women of the World Festival to celebrate the formidable power of women to make change happen, to remind us of our history, to draw attention to injustice, to enjoy each other’s company and to encourage men to add their support as we set out to achieve a fairer world.’
WOW Baltimore finishes this weekend, but WOW Southbank Centre starts this Wednesday. The five-day event will feature some of the world’s top female musicians and speakers including Sinéad O’Conner, musician and singer Sarah Gillespie, scientist Jocelyn Bell Burnell and India’s first female police offer and social activist Dr Kiran Bedi.
In the spirit of IWM, the festival is working with London schools, including Mulberry School for Girls, to programme a conference. The conference will bring together school girls and their mothers to discuss a 21st century education for girls. WOW is also supporting ongoing mentoring schemes for women.
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