WOW - Women of the World Festival, which aims to support women and girls by highlighting the challenges they face and the solutions they can find together, was organized face to face for the first time in Istanbul through the partnership between the WOW - Women of the World Foundation and the British Council and with the support of the Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality at Müze Gazhane, Istanbul’s new cultural heritage and creativity hub, on 19-20 March with participation of 5,000 guests.

WOW festivals having reached more than three million people in six continents and in over 30 locations globally, has brought together, this time with WOW İstanbul, the arts and culture world and civil society to develop new dialogues and collaborations.

The festival offered a unique platform, where women from different backgrounds shared their stories and voices via music, performance, talks and workshops. Inspired from up to 200  artists, , civil society and creative professionals as well as students from the UK and Türkiye ,.WOW Istanbul has offered a safe, and inclusive platform for sharing of cultural and creative expressions with belief in change and the equality of women who say #WeAreTogether.

Organized by Pozitif, the WOW Istanbul Festival continued to pursue its objective to be more inclusive for all through the support of the consultancy of Erişilebilir Her Şey (Accessible Everything). The festival accommodated Turkish sign language interpretation, as well as simultaneous Turkish and English interpretation for all events, access features for blind and visually impaired guests and wheelchair users. 11 per cent of the festival audiences identified themselves as disabled. 

British Council Head of Arts Esra A. Aysun as the WOW Istanbul Turkey Curator lead the festival programming with support of festival’s advisory board members Asena Günal (Anadolu Kültür), Figen Ayhan Karakelle (İBB Cultural Department Directorate), Gamze Sofuoğlu (Turkcell), Nurcan Baysal, Özlem Ece (İKSV), Rümeysa Çamdereli (Havle), Ülker Uncu (BGST) and Zelal Yalçın (İBB Social Policy Centre). British Council’s Wider Europe Equality Diversity And Inclusion Lead Su Başbuğu, has overseen the accessibility of the festival.