WOW Dhaka: Rajshahi Chapter organised by the British Council, South Bank Centre, and Centre for Communication and Development (CCD Bangladesh). It will provide a platform to celebrate women and girls and explore the obstacles which prevent them from achieving their full potential. It will consist of speed mentoring, panel discussions, performances, inspirational talks and many more, highlighting the particular challenges facing the women of Bangladesh. Topics covered include tech for women, legal support, health, leadership, and how to support young Bangladeshi people as empowered individuals. 

The programme will bring together women from all over Rajshahi and provoke conversations between teachers, community leaders, artists, activists, filmmakers and entrepreneurs who discussed significant issues facing women today as well as celebrated and highlighted their achievements. It curates an inclusive, empowering space that pushes at the boundaries of gender conventions, refusing to limit itself or the women and men who interact with it, by making it a space for everyone. By pulling together diverse contributions from the wider community, WOW Dhaka: Rajshahi Chapter draws upon a lived reality to inspire real change.

What is WOW?

WOW (Women of the World) is a festival that celebrates women and girls and taking a frank look at the obstacles they face across the world. There are talks, performances, activism, workshops, food, music, mentoring, workshops and more. WOW is for everyone and brings people together from all corners of society - both speakers and audience members - energising and providing the inspiration and tools to make a change.  WOW is a place where hundreds of women’s stories can be shared, feelings vented, minds influenced and fun had. Each WOW is for everyone, bold and broad-based in approach, both lively and serious, bringing together of people from all corners of society.

WOW in Bangladesh

Back in 2016, British Council hosted the first WOW Thinkin in Bangladesh.  WOW Thinkins are a chance to have your say on what and who you would like to see represented; what ideas can be developed into the programme; what in your opinion are the most relevant topics for women today; and what can we build on from previous WOW South Asia festivals.

We are hosting a number of WOW Thinkins outside of Dhaka, culminating in WOW Dhaka in 2019 where we will showcase our findings from WOW Thinkins though discussion and performances. The process of WOW Thinkins will continue to divisional towns in 2018, followed by a launch of an all-singing, all-dancing WOW Dhaka festival in 2019.

Event Schedule

5 July 2018

Venue: Rajshahi College, Saheb Bazar Road, Rajshahi 6100



Time: 01:00 PM - 07:00 PM

WOW Market is a central meeting point, a place where people can go, reflect, browse, look for further information and take part in informal discussions, activities, and networking amongst a range of individually selected stalls. It's the hub of the festival, with a whole range of products to peruse, ideas to engage and things to do. Browse the stalls of our WOW Market to gather ideas, participate in activities and discover creative products.

The WOW Market is the heart and hub of the festival. The market is home to a range of carefully selected stalls providing information, raising awareness, showcasing work, and selling their creations.

It’s not only a central meeting point where people can gather, the market is also the perfect place to get information, do some shopping, network with others and get a feel of the festival.

This includes organisations/campaigns that are relevant to the cause of gender equality to set up stalls for selling products/services made by women (and/or for women). 

At the premise a total of 10 stalls will showcase innovative services, business models and ides by women. These stalls could reveal small and social enterprises, produces, goods, services and intensive messages. 

Stalls include hena and tattoo parlour, pitha and jam, boutique, food cart and many more. 

1. British Council 

2. Centre for Communication and Development - (CCD Bangladesh) 

3. Beyond Hena - Hena & Tattoo Parlour 

4. Fit Happens - Mental Wellbeing & Medical Health Camp 

5. Ultra Violet - I am rising!

6. Talk tech to her - Video Spots and Digital Apps 

7. Sweet Infusion - Pitha & Jam  

8. Sugar Rush - Juice and Drinks 

9. Mrs. Mannequin - Boutique Store 

10. Bend the Trend - Cosmetics and Gift Corner


Time: 11:00 AM - 01:00 PM

The goal of the workshop is to sensitize audiences about how young girls and women have been facing harassment on social media platforms

Workshop Moderators

Dr. Sushmita Chakrabarty is a professor of the Folklore Department of Rajshahi University.

Dr. Shahin Zohra is a professor of the Law Department in Rajshahi University.

**The Workshop is open for pre-registration. Please conatct Sahina Parvin.


Pop up Performance

Time: 11:00 AM - 02:00 PM 

On the day of the event, visitors will be able to enjoy performances, play games, engage in sports and immerse in the Festival experience.

Gomvira (a folk musical and dance shows)

Theme:  Consequences of violence against women

The songs to be presented are to encourage men to combat all kinds of violence against women. During the show, activists along with local leaders will deliver speeches on these issues. “Mathol” is very popular Gomvira team in Rajshahi who will perform in the festival.


Panel Discussion

WOW Dhaka: Rajshahi Chapter Panel is at the heart of the Festival and make up the bulk of the programme. It is held on the main stage and discussions are moderated on essential and nuanced topics concerning gender equality. Speakers are asked questions and moderated on a topic. This is generally an hour-long session including questions and answers. 

Discussion Topic: Recognition of women contribution in domestic work

Time: 03:15 PM-04:15 PM

Women typically work 16 hours a day, most of them have no leisure, and bear most of the responsibility at home as well as engaging in some tasks related to income generation. We need to take action for a society in which the work of both men and women is respected and we need to change our own attitudes so that we can achieve a more equitable society.  

Panel Discussant 

Professor Zinatun Nesa Talukder, former State Minster and Member of Parliament of the country. She is also a recognized female freedom fighter. She was involved in the teaching profession for two decades. Besides, she is a very popular female politician of Rajshahi region. 

Rosettee Nazneen is a professor of Psychology Department of Rajshahi University and College. She has been working for the betterment and empowerment of women for last three decades. Currently she has been serving as the president of District Woman Business Forum (DWBF) Rajshahi and Vice-President, National Association of Small & Cottage Industries of Bangladesh (NASCIB). She is involved with many kinds of socio-development NGOs and CBOs in Rajshahi. 

Rehena Khatun (House Maid), Her husband left her with two babies 17 years ago. She started working as a housemaid and brought up her children successfully. Currently she serves at a student hostel in Rajshahi.

Sabiha Shabnam (House Wife) completed her Master’s Degree from Mass Communication and Journalism Department of Rajshahi University. She took part in a journalism training course organised by CCD and the British Council Bangladesh in 2002. She was working in an NGO but due to her family obstacles she left her job and now she is a full-time housewife.


Monira Rahman Mithi is a recognized cultural and women rights activist for more than one decade. Currently she has been serving as Vice President of Rajshahi Abritti Parishod, Secretary of Jatio Robindra Songeet Sommilon and Advisor of Sommilito Sangiskritik Jot. Moreover, she is serving as the Joint Secretary of CCC, Sonac of Transparency International Bangladesh and Early Respond Unit of Asia Foundation. 

WOW Bites

Time: 04:15 PM  -05:30 PM

WOW Bites are short talks and stories, and sometimes performances, readings, and soapbox moments, on a very wide range of subjects from the serious to the very frivolous, delivered by all sorts of women (and sometimes men), about women or women’s subjects. More than 5 speakers will share their stories in WOW Dhaka: Rajshahi Chapter 2018. Each speaker is given 10 minutes to present their stories.

In this session the following women will share their success stories, achievements, learning, challenges and problems that they are facing in their day to day life. The session will be interactive so that audiences will get opportunity to ask questions.      


Akter Jahan (Member of the Parliament) - She has been actively involved in politics for last 40 years. Currently she is a Member of the Parliament in a reserved seat for women for Rajshahi region.  

Anima Chowdhury (Social Entrepreneur) - After concluding her Masters’ degree from Rajshahi University she has started a social business and succeeded gracefully.   

Asfia Zabin Ringku (Law Professional) - She is a popular lawyer and dance teacher in Rajshahi. At the same time, she is running a food business operated by rickshaw van. 

Shirin Akter (Runner) - She has received the first position six times in a 100-meter run for women in ‘Bangladesh Games’. She also represented Bangladesh in the last two Commonwealth Games and last Olympic Game in Brazil. She won 3 medals in the last SAARC.  

Nargis Akter Sharifa (Person with Disability) - She has established a business named ‘Look Me Nice’ where a number of persons with disability are working. She has also established an NGO in 2005 for empowering people with disability. More than 50 people with disability are working with her NGO at the moment. She achieved the Joyeeta Award in 2014 and 2015 for her significant contribution to empower people with disabilities.  

Joyeeta Poly (Transgender) - She has been working for welfare and the betterment of transgender people for last 11 years. She achieved the Joyeeta Award in 2017 given by the government  for her excellent contribution to the transgender community. Currently she is running a business organization where more than 150 underprivileged women are working. 

Mrs. Aduri Mardy (Indigenous Farmer) - She has been working as a farmer for many years. She works on another’s land with her husband. She got an award from the Prime Minster for her excellent contribution in agriculture.   

Captain Afnasa Shahin (Pilot) - She is a pilot at the Galaxy Flying Academy Ltd based in Rajshahi. Her childhood dream was to become a pilot of Bangladesh. 

Cultural Performance

Time: 05:30 PM-06:00 PM

Rahala Rimil, an indigenous cultural group led by women will perform cultural activities at the main stage of the festival venue. This cultural group will present the indigenous women’s roles, responsibilities and traditional values through their performance. They will also present how their women have been facing problems, challenges, constraints in different sectors of society. 

Rock on with Moumita Tasrin Nodi

Time: 06:00 PM-07:00 PM

WOW Dhaka: Rajshahi Chapter features musical performances by celebrity female artists. The headlining act will be the esteemed Moumita Tasrin Nodi -a popular young singer from Rajshahi. She secured the 2nd runner up position on Channell’s ‘Shera Kontho 2009, a popular musical talent hunt show on this TV station. She has already published two audio albums which are very popular among the young generation of Bangladesh. The program will end with her live performance in the evening.