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WOW! Don’t miss this

Sex, chore wars and cutting your own hair - just another weekend in the Muddy household? Nope, The Women of the World Fest is going online for the first time and it sounds awesome.

WOW FESTIVAL 2020 Credit Ellie Kurttz

One thing Muddy is really missing in lockdown, apart from a decent haircut and er, shed-loads of other things, is the company of my girlfriends. Endless Zoom calls and FaceTime just don’t do it in the same way as chewing the fat over fizz with the mates.

Maxine Peake

So, if you fancy a female-focussed culture fix talking about things that matter – led by loads of iconic women, including QI host Sandi Toksvig, actor Maxine Peake, and former Australian PM Julia Gillard – here’s your chance, the first ever online WOW Festival streamed on BBC Arts this weekend, Sat 16 and Sun 17 May.

Former Australian PM Julia Gillard

In case you haven’t heard of the WOW Foundation, it’s a charity founded in 2010 by the ex-artistic director of London’s Southbank, Jude Kelly MBE to celebrate women and girls, and take a long hard look at the obstacles we face. To date, WOW has staged over 65 festivals and events across six continents, reaching more than two million people.

This new online fest is in partnership with BBC Arts’ Culture in Quarantine, and spans an eclectic range of topics, from the political – how women and girls are being disproportionately affected by lockdown – to Making the Web Work for Women, and the answer we’ve all been waiting for: how the hell do you cut your own hair in lockdown.

Hindou Ibrahim

It kicks off on Saturday with festival director Jude Kelly interviewing former Australian PM Julia Gillard (she gave that speech on misogyny) with appearances from co-chair of the International Indigenous Peoples Forum on Climate Change Hindou Ibrahim.

Ruby Rare

There’s a morning stretch to kick off each day, before getting into meaty panel discussions like Bringing up Boys, how to raise our sons to contribute in a gender-equal world (aka pick up your own dirty socks you lazy mutt); and something for the bedroom department, sex educator Ruby Rare on orgasm equality.

Emma Dabiri

It culminates in quizzes on Sunday afternoon, including Sandi Toksvig’s Great Big Lady-Lockdown History Quiz with Maxine Peake and Don’t Touch My Hair author Emma Dabiri on their favourite lesser-known women from history, plus Silent Witness actor Liz Carr’s Trivial Her-suit *Not a quiz about Hairy Women and scientist Dr Maggie Alderin-Pocock’s with her Putting the Fem into STEM science quiz.

Sounds awesome – a much-needed wake-up from brain-dead binge-watching Netflix. And next time you’re arguing about who’s turn it is to take out the recycling, you’ll be armed. Check out the schedule here.

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