The British Council being the UK’s international cultural organisation has a history of delivering international festivals around the globe and adapting them to the local context. In this regard, the British Council Bangladesh and South Bank Center in partnership with JAAGO Foundation brings in an international festival, WOW DHAKA: Sylhet Chapter for the citizens of Sylhet at Abul Mal Abdul Muhit Krira Complex, Uposhohor, Sylhet. The programme was graced by the presence of Kanbar Hossain, Deputy High Commissioner, British High Commission Dhaka and Andrew Newton, Deputy Country Director, British Council Bangladesh, Korvi Rakshand, Founder, JAAGO Foundation along with other top officials of the organisation.
The aim of the program was to introduce an international platform to celebrate and inspire women and girls from this divisions. The programme was open for public from all background that includes - women, youth, and people from Sylhet.
The initiative WOW Dhaka: Sylhet Chapter is a part of the British Council and Southbank Centre’s commitment to diversity and inclusion and to the women in Bangladesh who go from strength to strength in overcoming odds in their daily lives, politics, education and creative disciplines. A series of events and activities all over Bangladesh has been running for the last few months and will continue to lead up to WOW (Women of the World) Dhaka in 2019. As a part of the initiative, the event, Sylhet Chapter of WOW Dhaka was organised jointly by the British Council, South Bank Centre, JAAGO Foundation today.
The programme started with a panel discussion session at 03.00 pm. Shornolota Roy, President, Sylhet Women Chambers of Commerce and Industries; Amina Parvin, Professor, Department of Social Work, Shahjalal University of Science and Technology were some of the panellists who talked about ‘Achievements and Challenges of Women in Sylhet’.
The panel discussion session was followed by a traditional dance performance of Shantona-a Monipuri dance troupe. Later on, WOW Bites session was held where six women shared their stories, achievements, learnings and life challenges. After that, Sylhet based troupe Nattomoncho Sylhet performed a stage drama at the venue and the programme ended with the musical performance from Sylhet’s popular band ‘Shikorh’.
The programme brought together people from all over Sylhet that includes community leaders, activist, entrepreneurs, students, media personals and semi urban representation to have conversation around societal and cultural challenges, taboos and stereotypes.
In the 100th anniversary year since the first British women won the right to vote, the event celebrates the changes brought about by women and men historically and brings together the voices of women and girls of all ages to transform the future for gender equality and highlight solutions to modern day challenges. The WOW movement is growing and is now in over 20 cities across 5 continents including Karachi in Pakistan, Colombo in Srilanka, Kathmandu in Nepal, New York and Baltimore in the USA, across the UK and Australia.