On a cold and drizzly January evening a collection of women from various backgrounds, age, colour and even some men were waiting eagerly for the arrival of one of the iconic women of recent years. Jude Kelly, OBE, former artistic director of the Southbank, London and creator of the Women of the World Festival. A festival that came to Hull in 2017 to inspire women and as we heard later on left a lasting legacy in people's minds. Jude's train was delayed and she and her team had jumped in a taxi in Doncaster and were making their way through the Yorkshire evening traffic. When she finally arrived you wouldn't have guessed the journey she had. She arrived and immediately captivated the audience with the background, motivation and history of the Women of the World Festival.
This event was aimed to have a conversation with local people to gauge interest in a follow up festival in Hull. After the introduction, Jude started to engage with the room, working her way around each table inviting people to share their stories of challenge, empowerment, issues and inspriation. The stories ranged experiences of discrimination based on gender, to the call of action to bring back the festival to inspire future generations, the difficulties faced in education and the workplace but also beautiful statements from men supporting and empowering women.
The feedback of the night was overwhelmingly positive, with the realisation that this is an important debate for Hull to be had.