Tuesday 12 April 2022

12 April 2022

Women of the World

Festival Lumbini 2022

The fifth edition of the Women of the World (WOW) festival is being organised in Lumbini Park on 15 and 16 April.

WOW takes a festive approach to talk about gender to bring into conversation youth and community members from diverse backgrounds in one place. This enables more intersectional conversations on the topic of gender equality all the while making use of arts and culture as a social agent for conversation and change.

With WOW, the priority is to spread awareness of gender equality. The festival provides a voice and platform to those otherwise at a disadvantage of access, builds capacities for creative actions and builds a network of people motivated to contribute to a more equal world. More than 200 women/girls and queer people are directly involved in the programme and its delivery. Many of the stories being told through WOW Lumbini are from the province, different parts of Nepal and the UK.

The multi-day event is packed with film screenings, workshops, mentoring, musical and comedy performances from local and national artists, activities on LGBTIQA+, exhibitions on social issues and conversations on important topics. All WOW activities are free to enter and open to the public.

Shahida MacDougall, Country Director, British Council Nepal, “Our culture responds work addresses key global challenges through our work in Arts delivered in partnership with the UK and Nepal creative sector. WOW festival is our flagship programme that focuses on gender equality. Significant progress is being made by many countries, including Nepal, toward an equal and equitable society, which is a key to sustainable development. However, there are still many barriers to achieving this: intersectional complexities and an entrenched patriarchal outlook can only be offset by changing perceptions and behaviours. The fifth edition of WOW Nepal at Lumbini Park will bring together individuals and institutions who are employing creative media in their gender actions. In partnership with the Lumbini Development Trust and the WOW Foundation, we invite audiences from all backgrounds to join us and kick off their new year with a frank and exciting review of the challenges and opportunities in creative gender actions”.

Jude Kelly, CEO and Founder of The WOW Foundation at the occasion shared, "COVID has made us all have a sense of isolation and that's why it is even more important to come back together and share our experiences. When I created the WOW, it was to build that sense through the celebration of everything that we have done in history and everything we will do in the future. WOW being global also matters. There are women all over the world involved in the WOW movement and that's what makes it so unique. The Foundation is happy that

WOW Nepal exists and I am sure this festival is helping Nepali women to connect with others from around the world with similar triumphs and stories".

Ven. Metteyya Sakyaputta, Vice Chairman at Lumbini Development Trust,

"Organising WOW Festival in Lumbini Park will have multi-dimensional positive impacts. Despite its positioning as a world-class tourism destination, Lumbini still witnesses many social problems. This festival will convey the message of women's empowerment and social justice and will assist in addressing the social issues of Lumbini. I hope the festival will inspire our girls and women to be self-sufficient and live their lives to the fullest and help the local communities open their eyes and think out of the box".

Notes to Editor

The WOW Foundation

The WOW Foundation exists to build, convene and sustain a global movement that believes a gender equal world is desirable, possible and urgently required. WOW - Women of the World was founded by Jude Kelly in 2010, when the first WOW Festival took place at Southbank Centre. Since then, WOW Festivals celebrating women and girls, and taking a frank look at the obstacles they face, have taken place across the globe, reaching more than three million people.


About Lumbini Development Trust (LDT)

LDT is a special body of Government of Nepal under the aegis of Ministry of Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation to administer Buddhist sites of Greater Lumbini Area. The Trust was formed with enactment of Lumbini Development Trust Act 2042.


Download the programme schedule here



About the British Council

The British Council is the UK’s international organisation for cultural relations and educational opportunities. We build connections, understanding and trust between people in the UK and other countries through arts and culture, education and the English language. Last year we reached over 75 million people directly and 758 million people overall including online broadcasts and publications. Founded in 1934 we are a UK charity governed by Royal Charter and a UK public body. We receive a 14.5 per cent core funding grant from the UK government.