Road to WOW 2020

On 15 June, Womanity Foundation attended the second “Esquenta WOW” which took place in Rio de Janeiro. “Esquenta WOW” is a series of events that are being held over the coming months to prepare and plan for WOW Rio Festival 2020 – a global platform that brings together people from all over the world to celebrate the historical achievements of women and to further the fight for gender equality.

Womanity participated in last year’s Festival as a partner, and this year we are again collaborating with programmatic and logistic support for “Esquentas” – a series of workshops to source the most relevant topics and content for the future Festival. 

Led by local organisations

The most recent Esquenta WOW was hosted by Redes da Maré – an organisation based in the Maré Favela in Rio de Janeiro that are organising all WOW related events including the successful previous WOW Rio Festival last November. 

Variety was at the heart of the event. A series of activities, workshops, presentations and talks took place throughout the day.  At 9am you could see women exercising at “Praça Tiradentes” (Tiradentes Square), something unusual in this neighbourhood. In the “encruzilhada” (word originated from afro matriz religious for crossroads) of Gentil Carioca’s old buildings you could find stands of food, handcrafts and clothes made from women entrepreneurs. Meanwhile workshops on various topics linked to women empowerment were taking place. 

Involvement from WomenChangeMakers

“An Honest Talk about Harassment” was the theme of the morning session. Amanda Kamanchek from Think Olga (WomenChangeMakers) participated, and spoke about their campaign that originated the Documentary “Chega de Fiu Fiu”. The documentary was exhibited at noon and Amanda, who is also the producer, called on everyone to download and organise the exhibition in their own city. 

The second session focussed on “Women Creating Spaces of (re)Existence in the City” and was hosted by black and indigenous women with different kinds of history’s. Panmela de Castro from Rede Nami, also a WomenChangeMaker, was one of them. She shared her history and talked about Programme Afrografiteiras – a programme that works with young black women and girls at the outskirts of Rio. 

The day ended with entertainment including dancers, MC’s and singers. It will be interesting to see how the content and learnings that came from the Esquenta are incorporated into the WOW Festival 2020. It was an vibrant event to attend, and important for Womanity to be a part of the conversation alongside other leading women’s rights organisations in Brazil. 

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Blog by Tamiris Sobral, WomenChangeMaker Programme