Catriona Robertson

journeys at home and abroad

WOW! Women of the world

Three days of bliss – a women’s arts & changing the world conference at London’s South Bank Centre 11th-13th March.  It isn’t women-only, it’s broad and busy – worldly in the best sense of internationally connected.  There are events for teenage girls as well as middle-agers like me.

I’m tempted to get a 3-day pass, only hesitating because of  . . .  family responsibilities.  Yes, it’s 2011, folks!

Friday highlights:

  • The pram in the hall – arts prizes, with Kate Mosse
  • Shami Chakrabarti – women’s struggle for freedom
  • Mother Earth – Rosie Boycott, Caroline Lucas & Jyoti Mhapsekar
  • Girls and young women, individualism & a hyper-sexualised media
  • EQUALS concert – music with Annie Lennox (who’ll also be On The Bridge on 8th March) & others


  • Wonder who’s involved in this one, slightly loaded language, could be dire, could be brilliant – In God’s Own Image: Women and Faith – how do women of faith deal with the roles that many religions dictate for them? How much scripture is manmade language? And can women harness other spiritual forces? Kate Mosse lifts the lid on the God box with members of the clergy and a female shaman.
  • Rape as a weapon of war, female genital mutilation, domestic violence – depressingly topical
  • Plus ‘Free Barbie’, speed-mentoring, Helena Kennedy, Fawcett Society,Yasmin Alibhai-Brown + concert

Elif Shafak "fiction can overcome identity politics" (Friday)


Multifaith life probably offers more opportunities than most for women to enjoy each other’s company intentionally.  It’s been a very long time since I was a member of a (non-religious) feminist group – do they still exist?

I’m planning a women’s multifaith conference – on nothing like the scale (or budget) of WOW – in south London later this year and we’re deciding whether to have half of it for women only or not.  I’m in favour.

If you’re going to be at the South Bank for any of these WOW events – let’s meet up :)


This entry was posted on 23 February 2011 by in London and tagged , , , .
%d bloggers like this: