City of Culture to host exciting three-day celebration of women

Sue Kreitzman, one of the Fabulous Fashionistas, is just one of the many inspirational women who will be taking part in the "Women of the World" festival.
Sue Kreitzman, one of the Fabulous Fashionistas, is just one of the many inspirational women who will be taking part in the "Women of the World" festival.

Women across Derry are being invited to take part in “Women of the World” - an exciting three day celebratory festival.

The festival will take place for the first time in the city next month as part of the City of Culture Programme for 2013.

The event features a free jam-packed programme of debates, workshops, music, comedy and performance celebrating the achievements of women, and exploring the issues and challenges that they face in everyday life.

The events take place from November 8-10 in The Playhouse and are delivered in partnership with the Southbank Centre, whose artistic director Jude Kelly first staged WOW in London in 2011 to coincide with the centenary of International Women’s Day.

The dynamic programme addresses numerous themes and issues affecting women of all ages from teenagers to pensioners. This year, however, it will have a distinctly Derry flavour.

Programmer for Culture Company Claire McDermott explained: “We are absolutely delighted to be hosting WOW this year and opening it up as a free event to all local women who play such a valuable role in our city.

“I believe that the contribution made by women here is phenomenal and this is a unique chance to recognise and celebrate that.

“This event is about opening up conversations about the issues that affect us most, building relationships, and sharing the stories and experiences that set us apart.

“While we aren’t afraid to explore some of the more challenging subjects, ultimately this event is about celebration and it’s a great excuse for local women to get together to enjoy three days dedicated specially to them.”

The festival will discuss everything from the heritage of the factory girls in the city and the role women played in keeping communities cohesive throughout the Troubles, to issues around ageing, breastfeeding, access to education and living in a society where people are often judged by how they look.

International issues are also tabled with a keynote speech from Dr. Urvashi Sahni on how she is encouraging young women in India to carry the torch of empowerment into their communities using drama and film.

Friday, November 9 is dedicated to younger audiences and open to local secondary schools. A special panel discussion chaired by Jude Kelly will run from 2.30pm–3.30pm titled ‘Strong Female Role Models’ and will include panellists Shona McCarthy, CEO of Culture Company, and Aideen McGinley, BBC Trust.