Lessons From

WOW – Women of the World

Insight – Project Evaluation

Nine festivals were held between 2017-2019, in Bradford, Exeter, Perth, Norwich and Cardiff.

We funded the Southbank Centre to support communities across the UK to put on their own Women of the World festivals.

Nine festivals were held between 2017-2019, in Bradford, Exeter, Perth, Norwich and Cardiff. The content and character of the festivals were driven by local women, who designed them to resonate with the issues and topics that were closest to them, and to create moments of empowerment, engagement and happiness for all who attended.

The funding also prompted the formation of the WOW Foundation, which is dedicated to putting on festivals all over the world, identifying the barriers which prevent women and girls from achieving their full potential and empowering them to overcome them.

You can download the final project report from the festivals below.

Case study: Bradford

Carried out by InFocus, This case study has been developed on the basis of interviews conducted with 18 respondents involved in the festival across July 2017. Results from the external evaluation of the WOW Spirit Bradford festival in 2016 are also included, and a mapping exercise was conducted with WOW Spirit Bradford programmers to explore the outcomes that occurred as a result of the festival in 2016.

Overall there was strong evidence to suggest that the WOW Spirit had a sustained impact in Bradford beyond the two days of the festival in 2016.

  • WOW Spirit enjoyed considerable success in Bradford empowering young people and improving wellbeing through Speakers’ Corner, an initiative driven by WOWsers and volunteers that runs a comprehensive set of activities and effectively has turned WOW Spirit into a year-round series of events.
  • New social networks and connections were created between women and girls in Bradford in the months following the festival including between generations.
  • Volunteers identified specific skills and knowledge they had gained as a result of the festival and a range of events and partnerships have emerged out of Speakers’ Corner and networking from the festival itself.

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