New global partnership will see Mastercard supporting WOW – Women of the World Festivals around the World 

London – 6 March 2020. On the first day of the WOW – Women of the World Festival in London, Mastercard announces a new partnership with The WOW Foundation.  WOW is a global movement celebrating women and girls, taking a frank look at the obstacles they face. Festivals take place year-round across the world.

2020 marks the tenth anniversary of the WOW Festival taking place from 6th to 8th March at London’s Southbank Centre. Over three days, WOW’s line-up of world-class speakers, activists and performers are joined by thousands to explore the state of gender equality across the globe and tackle the subjects that matter most to women and girls everywhere, today.

Mastercard’s Vice Chair Ann Cairns will take to the stage at London’s Southbank Centre on 6th March, in a session entitled ‘Corporates Get Naked’. Ann commented “We’re committed to leading the charge for gender equality in reshaping the way our world is designed, coded and constructed. We do this by bringing diverse perspectives to the table to unlock the world’s possibilities to women. 

“We are delighted to be partnering with The WOW Foundation to tackle the issues that matter and have the most impact.  Because a world that works better for women, creates limitless opportunities for us all.”

To date, WOW has reached over 2 million people in 17 countries on six continents, in locations including Australia, Brazil, China, Egypt, Finland, Nepal, Nigeria, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Somaliland, the UK and the USA. Founded by Jude Kelly at Southbank Centre in 2010 during her 12-year tenure as Artistic Director, Kelly stepped down from the venue in 2018 to found The WOW Foundation to run WOW as an independent organisation.

Jude Kelly CBE, Founder and Director of The WOW Foundation, said: I’m thrilled that Mastercard with their strong and long standing belief in gender equality has chosen The WOW Foundation as a global partner to further their advocacy and to join with us in a worldwide conversation that moves society forwards for girls and women. It’s a truly exciting partnership that is intent on making a difference.”

This year’s London WOW Festival features HRH The Duchess of Cornwall, Naomi Wolf, Deborah Frances-White (The Guilty Feminist), Salma Hayek, Reni Eddo-Lodge, Scarlett Curtis, Edward Enninful OBE, Munroe Bergdorf, Adwoa Aboah, Sandi Toksvig, Emma Dabiri, Shazia Mirza and many more.

More information about the WOW Festival can be found here.

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 Notes to editors

 For further information contact

Suman Hughes, Mastercard, suman.hughes@mastercard.com / 020 7557 5110

 About Mastercard (NYSE: MA), www.mastercard.com

Mastercard is a global technology company in the payments industry. Our mission is to connect and power an inclusive, digital economy that benefits everyone, everywhere by making transactions safe, simple, smart and accessible. Using secure data and networks, partnerships and passion, our innovations and solutions help individuals, financial institutions, governments and businesses realize their greatest potential. Our decency quotient, or DQ, drives our culture and everything we do inside and outside of our company. With connections across more than 210 countries and territories, we are building a sustainable world that unlocks priceless possibilities for all.

About the WOW Foundation, www.thewowfoundation.com

The WOW Foundation was created by Jude Kelly CBE in 2018 to run the global movement that is WOW -Women of the World Festivals. The Festivals began in the UK in 2010, launched by Kelly at Southbank Centre London, where she was Artistic Director, to celebrate women and girls, taking a frank look at what prevents them from achieving their potential, raising awareness globally of the issues they face, and discussing solutions together.

To date, WOW has reached over 2 million people in 17 countries on six continents, in locations including Australia, Brazil, China, Egypt, Finland, Nepal, Nigeria, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Somaliland, the UK and the USA. In 2018 WOW was in Rio de Janeiro, Cardiff, Bradford, Brisbane, Baltimore, London, Exeter, Norwich, Perth, Beijing, Ghana and Nigeria. In 2019 WOW has been in London, New York and Bangladesh, and throughout 2019 and 2020 will be in Brisbane, Baltimore, Istanbul, Karachi, Hunza (Northern Pakistan), Janakpur (Nepal), Taiwan and more.

Over the last nine years the Festivals have developed a reputation as a space for world renowned artists, activists, thinkers and performers including Angela Davis, Malala Yousafzai, Annie Lennox, Patrick Stewart, Baroness Doreen Lawrence and Salma Hayek, to come and participate, alongside thousands of women and girls who don’t have public profiles but are doing amazing things. WOW provides platforms for people of all kinds, changes attitudes, brings communities together and provides a unique space for people to work together towards gender equality in their own communities. One example of the impact the festival has come in 2015, with the founding of the Women’s Equality Party by Sandi Toksvig and Catherine Mayer.

In 2018 Kelly left the Southbank Centre to run the WOW Foundation full time as an independent

organisation working to build, convene and sustain a global movement that believes a gender equal world is possible and desirable through festivals and empowering women and girls. The unique festival model creates numerous pathways for participants to take part in WOW projects, amplify their own causes, or start new initiatives which have wide impact on communities. It is the biggest, most comprehensive and most significant festival dedicated to presenting work by women and promoting equality for women and girls.

The President of WOW – Women of the World is HRH The Duchess of Cornwall.