The British Council believes that gender equality and women’s empowerment are crucial to creating inclusive, open and prosperous societies. 

In support of this, we have initiated a three-year programme in 2017 - Women and Leadership in Arts and Culture – the purpose of which is to support and work with the women professionals in creative sectors, women artists and actors working on the field of gender equality.

The launch of the programme took place on 12 April 2018 with the participation of Jude Kelly CBE, the Artistic Director of Southbank Centre and the Founding Director of WOW – Women of the World Festival and WOW Foundation. After the launch where the Women Power in Culture research results were shared, the programme was sustained with the women leaders’ professional development experiences in the UK, the public programmes they started after returning to Turkey, Think Ins and WOW Warm Up talks organised in advance of WOW  - Women of the World Festival Istanbul and Women Power in Culture Grant Scheme. The programme continued with the radio programme at Açık Radio as the pre event of the WOW Festival Istanbul that was initiated on 5-6-7 March 2021. The next and the first physical edition of the festival will be initiated on 19-20 March at Müze Gazhane with support from the İstanbul Metropolitan Municipality.

Watch Jude Kelly CBE’s keynote speech with Turkish subtitles.

You can follow the programme and share your views by using the hashtag #WomenPowerinCulture.

WOW - Women of the World Festival Istanbul 19-20 March 2022

WOW - Women of the World Festival aims to support women and girls by highlighting the challenges they face the solutions they can find together. Through the partnership between the WOW - Women of the World Foundation and the British Council and with the support of the Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality, the festival will be the first of its kind in Istanbul. WOW festivals have already reached more than three million people in six continents and in over 30 locations, and WOW is now coming to  Müze Gazhane, Istanbul’s new cultural heritage and creativity hub, on 19-20 March.