Seychelles seeks to establish its presence on an international platform to advance women and gender-related matters |15 March 2023
Seychelles continues to establish its presence on international platforms, linking with networks and seeking new international partners working with women-related issues.
This weekend, Minister for Youth, Sports and Family Marie-Celine Zialor took part in the Women of the World – WOW - festival in London in an effort to learn more about the festival and prepare to host a first-ever festival of this nature in Seychelles.
Minister Zialor was invited to the festival following a think tank meeting held in Seychelles last year in partnership with the WOW Foundation. The foundation was invited to the island nation to discuss with key local stakeholders how Seychelles can host the first-ever WOW festival in the Indian Ocean and Southern African region. The meeting allowed delegates to discuss how the first-ever WOW festival can be organised, where, when, and who will be the main partners.
The Women of the World was founded by Dame Jude Kelly in 2010 when the first WOW festival occurred at Southbank Centre. Since then, WOW festivals celebrating women and girls, and taking a frank look at the obstacles they face, have taken place at 45 locations on six continents, reaching five million people.
Through festivals, events, school programmes and more, WOW challenges the belief that gender equality has already been achieved – and hopes to join the dots between people, movements and ideas to change the world.
This year’s festival was held at the Southbank Centre, from March 10-12. Over the three days, delegates ‒ mostly women ‒ took part in a marketplace where they could showcase and sell different products as well as give information on various issues related to women.
Visitors at the festival could also enjoy live music performances and attend a series of discussions ranging from boys’ involvement in advancing gender equality, men and ally ship, masculinity, women’s health and well-being, and home ownership, as well as participating in dance and self-defence workshops.
Minister Zialor also got the chance to speak at the festival, highlighting the need for “women and men to make space for each other, to understand each other better so that they can better coexist and live with each other together.”
Minister Zialor added that she is keen to explore partnerships that can benefit especially young people: “it is particularly important to educate our young boys as they will grow up to be the men of our society, that they should be strong and vulnerable at the same time, not to be afraid to show emotions and that society should create compassionate spaces for them.”
On Monday, Minister Zialor attended the Global Monday event regrouping WOW coordinators from all over the world to share experiences in hosting the festival. The minister held discussions with representatives from Australia, Scotland, and the APOLLO Theatre of Harlem New York on possible future collaborations.
Contributed by the Ministry of Youth, Sports and Family
Photo credits: Ellie Kurttz