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Camilla attends the Women of the World Festival 2015 in London

The Duchess of Cornwall attended a reception at the Southbank Centre on Monday before the start of the Women of the World Festival 2015 in London.

Guests at this year’s reception are expected to include Grayson Perry, Sandi Toksvig, Meera Syal, Baroness Fiona Shackleton, Christine Ohuruogu, Marin Alsop, Amanda Wakeley and Baroness Martha Lane-Fox.

The evening highlighted performances by vocalist and cellist Ayanna Witter-Johnson and organist Jemima Stephenson.

Southbank Centre’s WOW – Women of the World Festival is a global festival that commemorates the accomplishments of women and girls.

It examines at the hurdles that prevent women from attaining their full potential and contributing to the world.

Created in 1951 for the Festival of Britain, Southbank Centre is a world-famous arts centre on the South Bank of the Thames.

Marking International Women’s Day on Sunday 8 March, the 5th London WOW will run across Southbank Centre’s site from Sunday 1 – Sunday 8 March 2015. This year over 300 speakers and performers from around the globe will take part in the festival in concert, performances, comedy, workshops and talks and debates on hundreds of areas concerning equality for women and girls.

Since the early 1900’s, International Women’s Day has been observed. Once a year on 8 March, throughout the world, thousands of events are held to encourage women and honour achievements.

Camilla has supported WOW since its inception in 2011. She hosted a reception at Clarence House in 2012 and again in 2014 to mark the start of the annual festival.

Bianca Jagger, who attended the 2012 reception, commented on Camilla hosting the event: “I think she is a woman who really understands the role of women. She’s always been very supportive about women’s causes.”

In 2012, The Duchess attended a reception to mark the pre-launch of the Women of the World Festival in Australia.

There she was joined by the Governor of New South Wales, Her Excellency Professor Marie Bashir, at a reception to honour the positive contributions made by women across many fields of Australian national life.

Camilla is an active proponent of women’s issues.

In June 2014 she met with actress Angelina Jolie to discuss their mutual concern in advocating the plight of rape victims.

Camilla has visited rape crisis centres throughout the UK and abroad and initiated a scheme to afford victims of sexual abuse with toiletries after going through forensic examinations.

“The two-year pilot scheme will see shower and bath products donated by firms collected into wash bags and given to victims,” a spokesperson for Clarence House commented.

The Duchess of Cornwall stated she “hoped the project would help people feel better at a traumatic time in their lives.”

Featured photo credit: “the big jubilee lunch armagh” via photopin (license)

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