Where are the strong women of circus?

As circus goes mainstream, women are being treated as decoration not skilled performers. A new women's program at Circus Oz aims to counter this worrying trend.

On Thursday in Melbourne, Circus Oz launches its inaugural Strong Women Program; a new initiative designed to build a dedicated pathway for women in contemporary circus through a series of masterclasses, mentoring and scholarships.

Gender equity is nothing new for Circus Oz; it’s been a hallmark of the company since its earliest days, says General Manager, Lou Oppenheim.

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Richard Watts is ArtsHub's National Performing Arts Editor; he also presents the weekly program SmartArts on Three Triple R FM, and serves as the Chair of La Mama Theatre's volunteer Committee of Management. Richard is a life member of the Melbourne Queer Film Festival, and was awarded the status of Melbourne Fringe Living Legend in 2017. In 2020 he was awarded the Sidney Myer Performing Arts Awards' Facilitator's Prize. Most recently, Richard was presented with a Lifetime Achievement Award by the Green Room Awards Association in June 2021. Follow him on Twitter: @richardthewatts