Meet 10 inspirational women working in London

By WOW - Women of the World Foundation

10 Back: 10 Forward

Welcome to London!

London is where WOW - Women of the World Festivals began; founded by Jude Kelly CBE in 2010 when she was Artistic Director of Southbank Centre. 

Jude founded The WOW Foundation is 2018 to run WOW as a charity,  but the London Festival’s home remains at Southbank Centre, where these photos were taken during the 10th anniversary festival in 2020.

Education: The Triple Cripples - Jumoke 'Jay' Abdullahi and Kym Oliver (2020) by Paula Abu "Narcography"WOW - Women of the World Foundation

The Triple Cripples - Jumoke 'Jay' Abdullahi & Kym Oliver

TRIPLE CRIPPLES was created by Kym Oliver & Jumoke Abdullahi. It is a ground-breaking platform, created to increase visibility & highlight the narratives of Black & non-Black Women, Femmes & Non-Binary People of Colour, living with disabilities.

"The existence of The Triple Cripples platform is a powerful reminder that, in the pursuit of knowledge and understanding, there is a wealth of wisdom and overwhelming power residing within the often ignored margins. The greatest teachers are those who have had to adapt to a world built in denial of their existence."

Health: Susie Orbach (2020) by Paula Abu "Narcography"WOW - Women of the World Foundation

Susie Orbach

Dr. Susie Orbach is a psychoanalyst and psychotherapist with a practice seeing individuals and couples and, also, consulting to organisations. She co-founded The Women’s Therapy Centre in London in 1976 and The Women’s Therapy Center Institute in New York City in 1981.

"Doctors, nurses, carers and delivery people have things to say about how their institutions could be better run. The body politic and the politics of the bodies that make up our world must be reconfigured, and we need to start thinking about that now."

Climate Change: Maggie Aderin-Pocock (2020) by Paula Abu "Narcography"WOW - Women of the World Foundation

Maggie Aderin-Pocock

Dr Maggie Aderin-Pocock MBE is a space scientist, author and BAFTA-nominated broadcaster, whose passion is presenting science to general audiences. She has spent much of her career making novel, bespoke instrumentation ranging from handheld land mine detectors to an optical subsystem for the James Webb Space Telescope.

"Climate Change is the most pressing problem that we have to face - and if we are to solve it we will need all people to be involved."

Finance and Economy: Caroline Criado-Perez (2020) by Paula Abu "Narcography"WOW - Women of the World Foundation

Caroline Criado-Perez

Caroline Criado-Perez is a writer, broadcaster and public speaker. Criado Perez is also an award-winning feminist campaigner. Her most notable campaigns have included co-founding The Women’s Room, getting a woman on Bank of England banknotes, forcing Twitter to revise its procedures for dealing with abuse and successfully campaigning for a statue of suffragist Millicent Fawcett to be erected in Parliament Square.

"The global economy doesn't work for half the world because we literally don't count the vast majority of women's work. This means that when we are allocating government resources, we don't have the full picture, and we therefore make bad investment decisions."

Leadership, Power and Politics: Nimco Ali (2020) by Paula Abu "Narcography"WOW - Women of the World Foundation

Nimco Ali

Nimco Ali OBE is a Somali British social activist and writer. She co-founded Daughters of Eve, a non-profit organisation which works to protect girls and young women who are at risk from female genital mutilation (FGM), in 2010 and The Five Foundation, which leverages resources for front line activists, in 2019.

"I have the privilege to talk to world leaders about FGM and there has progress at a policy and political level - such as the landmark outlawing of female genital mutilation in Sudan in May 2020. However, I still believe that real change comes from people on the ground."

Conflict: Fatima Manji (2020) by Paula Abu "Narcography"WOW - Women of the World Foundation

Fatima Manji

Fatima Manji is an award winning broadcaster and journalist, best known as one of the faces of Channel 4 News. She is regularly out on the road reporting on a range of national and international stories or in the studio grilling those in power and setting the agenda for debates of the day. 

"Whether it’s in war, politics, or a societal clash, every conflict has multiple voices. We need to ensure that it is not only the loudest and the most powerful who are heard, and that we listen those who are most marginalised. If there are ‘unheard’ voices, it is our duty to seek them out."

Peace and Justice: Helena Kennedy (2020) by Paula Abu "Narcography"WOW - Women of the World Foundation

Baroness Helena Kennedy QC

Baroness Helena Kennedy QC is one of the UK's most distinguished lawyers. She is the President of Justice, the British arm of the International Commission of Jurists. She is a member of the Microsoft Technology and Human Rights Advisory Council and a member of The British Academy.

"I have seen up close the law’s failure to deliver justice for women and girls. The Law is male. In every nation in the world it was conceived from a male perspective. We need radical change. WOW is a call for Justice. WOW is where we come together and invent a new world - built on hope, wisdom and joy. And Human Rights, of course!"

Cultural Life, Arts and Expression: Lennie Goodings (2020) by Paula Abu "Narcography"WOW - Women of the World Foundation

Lennie Goodings

Lennie Goodings is Chair of Virago Press. Her authors including Margaret Atwood, Sarah Waters, Marilynne Robinson, Maya Angelou, Sarah Dunant, Sandi Toksvig, Linda Grant, Natasha Walter, Naomi Wolf – all game changers – among many other writers. Lennie is herself now writing a book, The Idealistic Publisher, while still acquiring and editing books for Virago.

"...power carries responsibility: it means taking care to listen properly, to be generous with a desire to be wide-ranging in commissioning. It also requires courage because if we hold back out of fear of negative opinions, we waste our power."

Identity: Owl Fisher (2020) by Paula Abu "Narcography"WOW - Women of the World Foundation

Owl Fisher

Owl Fisher is a writer, film maker and human rights campaigner. They are the co-director of My Genderation, a film project that celebrates transgender people and transgender lives. 

"As a transgender person, identity is something that I've had to really think about in great detail and how I fit in this world. But I'm so much more than my gender, like we all are."

Domestic Life: Bobby Baker (2020) by Paula Abu "Narcography"WOW - Women of the World Foundation

Bobby Baker

In a career spanning four decades Bobby has, amongst other things, danced with meringue ladies; made a life-sized version of her family out of cake; and driven around the streets of London strapped to the back of a truck yelling at passers by through a megaphone to ‘Pull Yourselves Together".

"The skill, creativity and resilience of people working in the home is the bedrock of society. This work continues through pandemics, war, economic depression or prosperity and is still disproportionally done by women. Patriarchal systems world-wide persist in undervaluing domestic labour and the injustices that exist shine out more now than ever before."

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