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June 30, 2020

Annual WOW Festival goes online amid coronavirus pandemic

Karachi

June 30, 2020

Due to the coronavirus pandemic, the annual festival Women of the World (WOW)’s fourth edition is being held online, as the British Council in Pakistan continues its partnership with the WOW Foundation by participating in WOW Global 24.

In a statement issued on Monday, the British Council says it believes that empowering women and girls and achieving gender equality is crucial to creating inclusive, open and prosperous societies.

“The UK is committed to addressing the gendered impacts of COVID-19, providing access to information and resources to combat its effects, and reducing violence, abuse and harassment against children, women, and marginalised groups”.

Yamina Peerzada, Harsakhiyan, Dr Fozia Tahir, and Anoushey Ashraf took part from Pakistan in the first-ever WOW – Women of the World 24-Hour online global festival.

In times of COVID-19, the WOW Foundation with its WOW – Women of the World Festival’s Global 24 plans to keep the conversation going through “the first-ever free 24-hour online festival”.

“These are difficult times for all people, especially vulnerable groups. Women make up a significant part of vulnerable groups and with the pandemic wreaking its havoc and the economic slowdown resulting from it, the challenges for women have tripled.

Women entrepreneurs are finding it very difficult to sustain themselves and working women, especially those who are single parents are finding it harder to juggle work and caring responsibilities. With marginalised communities and low-income households, an economic slowdown might mean fewer girls’ being schooled and forced to be married off at a younger age to ‘ease’ the supposed economic burden.”

For WOW Global 24, the British Council is a partner in South Asia with Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Nepal taking part in it. Sessions from Pakistan included a discussion on environmental impact in times of COVID-19, soulful performances, poetic readings and inspiring talks around the six themes of WOW Global 24: Health, Education, Climate, Money, Justice and Violence.

WOW is an inclusive space for men, women to recognise achievements made by women and girls and to support them overcome their challenges. Founded by Jude Kelly, WOW celebrates the achievements of women and girls and looks at some of the obstacles they face across the world. Working with and through WOW – Women of the World Festival, the British Council is supporting platforms to encourage connections, understanding and trust to build an equitable world.

Since 2016, the British Council in Pakistan has been hosting WOW-Women of the World festival. The third festival in 2019 attracted over 16,000 people from all walks of life. The WOW Global 24 is an extension of the discussion that took place there and more.