Festival celebrates women’s health and challenges misinformation

Everywoman Festival returns to Cardiff to address women’s health concerns while challenging online misinformation through better education and empowerment

Everywoman Festival comes to Cardiff on Saturday 15 June
Image courtesy of Aranxa Esteve on Unsplash

A festival aiming to tackle an “epidemic of online misinformation” is coming to Llandaff on Saturday 15 June. The epidemic it refers to concerns the amount of women turning to social media for health advice rather than visiting a doctor for their symptoms first, according to health experts.

The Everywoman Festival was founded by colorectal consultant Julie Cornish in 2023 after she listened to patients who had been misinformed or misdirected in their search for a diagnosis, and it is returning to Insole Court in Cardiff for the second time after its success last year.

As the name suggests, the festival covers a wide range of topics that affect every woman. It brings together health professionals and activists and aims to educate and empower women of all ages. There are talks on everything from puberty to menopause that tackle the stigma around having taboo conversations.

The festival comes at a time where, according to Everywoman Festival, wait lists for gynaecology services in England have risen to nearly 600,000. Many patients on the list wait more than a year before they are first seen by a specialist doctor.

This wait time is just one reason that frustrated women are turning to social media for medical advice. Julie Cornish says: “Information is key when it comes to health but it needs to be based on best practice.

“While there are tips and educational resources on platforms like TikTok, Instagram, Twitter and Facebook, there is also an epidemic of misinformation and myths, particularly when it comes to women’s health.

“Dr Google can be a scary place and misinformation and disinformation is an increasing issue” she adds.

The festival includes a day filled with expert speakers, workshops and drop-in sessions. You can even get a free health check done at the festival. The event starts at 10:30am and ends at 5:30pm, tickets cost £20 and some workshops cost extra.

Speakers at the festival include Dr. Liz O’Riordan, a breast cancer surgeon and patient, Sarah Graham, a Journalist on women’s health inequalities, and endometriosis advocate, Victoria Hardy.