WOW | Exclusive


As programs that celebrate women and their achievements increase in Nepal, one that stands out is called the WOW Festival. This year, titled as the WOW Madhesh Edition, it was held in Janakpur on December 6 and 7. It is the third year that WOW Festival has been held in Nepal, globally this is the 88th edition of the festival. During a course of ten years, the festival has reached 19 cities across the world. The program is organised by the British Council in partnership with the WOW Foundation UK.

The two-day festival was held across multiple venues in Janakpur including Janaki Mandir, Vivaha Mandap, Ram Mandir, and Baudhi Mata Mandir complexes. The festival included panel discussions, art and photo exhibitions, street plays, film screenings, marketplace, local cultural programs, stalls, workshops, mobile clinics and experience sharing programs.

The event opened with an inaugural session in which Domino Pateman of WOW Foundation, Jovan Ilic – Country Director of British Council, Charu Chadha – PISc Member of Visit Nepal Year 2020 and Editor of WOW and British Ambassador Nicola Pollitt addressed the audience.

In one of the panel discussions titled ‘Women for Women’, participants shared their struggles and challenges and how they overcame these to become successful in their field of expertise. One of the panelists, Mohna Ansari, Commissioner of the National Human Rights Commission said, “We talk about women’s rights and empowerment, but we don’t apply it in real life. I am searching for two qualities in today’s women: honesty towards own self and power and determination to face obstacles”. Rita Kumari Mishra, Deputy Mayor of Janakpurdham Sub- Metropolitan City, believes that women should focus on three primary things: education, self-confidence, and opportunity.

In a conversation with Malvika Subba, actor and film producer Rekha Thapa talked about her journey and put emphasis on having the courage to fight, stand one’s ground and beat challenges.

One of the participants, Belmaya Nepali shared her journey of becoming a renowned documentary filmmaker. She is uneducated, born in a remote village to a lower caste family, and shares that she never gave up on her passion and dreams even in the hardest of times.

The WOW Festival brings together achievers and doers and seeks to inspire women and girls to find inners strength and walk the path to their dreams. It is an interactive and immersive event that celebrates women and allows audience participation at all levels of the event. It has in these three years established itself as a looked forward to program on the annual list of events that happen in Nepal.