Woman's Hour: Daily Podcasts

BBC  |  Podcast , ±48 min episodes every day  | 
Woman's Hour brings you the big celebrity names and leading women in the news, with subjects ranging widely from politics to health, law, education, arts, parenting, relationships, work, fiction, food and fashion. Presented by Jenni Murray and Jane Garvey. Find out more at www.bbc.co.uk/radio4/womanshour

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The Windrush generation, Jess Gillam, Waiving your right to anonymity

Windrush campaigner, Paulette Wilson’s brave decision to speak to Amelia Gentleman about the immigration issues she was facing with the Home Office was crucial in exposing the Windrush scandal. In her book, The Windrush Betrayal, Gentleman tells the full story of her investigation. Campaigner, Glenda Caesar was also caught up in the hostile environment – she came to Britain legally as a three-month-old child and had no reason to think she was not British until she was she was sacked from her job as an NHS administrator. She was one of the first recipients of the first Windrush compensation offers which she rejected as insulting. Lawyer, Jacqueline McKenzie explains why there is such a delay in victims receiving payments.
Following her debut album ‘Rise’ which reached No.1 in the UK Classical Chart, award-winning saxophonist Jess Gilliam is back with a new album. She joins us to discuss diversity in classical music and advice for playing an instrument during lockdown.
At the beginning of the month, you may have come across the story of Emily Hunt. She was filmed when she was asleep in a hotel room. A man was convicted of voyeurism, but it took her several years to secure that conviction and Emily decided to waive her right to anonymity to fight her case. But what do you gain and what do you lose if you do give up being anonymous? Joining us is Emily. Also Leona O’Callaghan who did the same: she waived her right to anonymity when the man who abused her as a child was on trial and then convicted. And someone who wants to be called “Rebecca” who doesn’t want to waive her anonymity. She’s pressing the CPS to prosecute a man who she says attacked and raped her.

Presenter: Jenni Murray
Producer: Lucinda Montefiore
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Alison Steadman, Mary McAleese, The Woman's Hour Power List 2020, Chutney.

The award-winning actor Alison Steadman joins Jenni to discuss her latest projects. ’23 Walks’ is a film telling a love story in later life, and ‘Life’ is a new BBC1 drama set in Manchester, and follows the stories of the residents of a large house divided into four flats. It explores love, loss, birth, death, the ordinary, the extraordinary and everything in between.

Mary McAleese was President of Ireland twice. When she finished her second term, she turned her sights on the global Catholic Church, and having the credibility of a doctorate in Canon Law behind her, she spoke out against what she saw as the misogyny within it. She did it despite having a deep personal faith that goes back to her childhood. Mary was born in Belfast in the 1950s; witnessed the Troubles as they started and how they went onto to wreak havoc and pain on both sides. She became a barrister even though it wasn’t expected of a woman: especially a woman from a working class background. She’s brought out her autobiography - Here’s The Story.

The 2020 Woman’s Hour Power List is all about ‘Our Planet’ - and the search is on for 30 women based in the UK who are making a significant positive contribution to the environment. This could be through working in conservation or running a local anti-plastic campaign – but there are also less obvious sectors in which women are making a huge difference. Emma Howard Boyd, the chair of the Environment Agency, and Flo Headlam, a horticulturalist and garden designer talk to Jenni about their less conventional journeys into green careers – and highlight the lesser known areas where women are driving change.

With Autumn setting in, it’s chutney and pickle season and a great opportunity to use up your remaining fruit and veg. Food historian Lizzie Collingham explains the history behind these tasty relishes.

Presented by Jenni Murray
Producer: Louise Corley
Editor: Karen Dalziel
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Women's football; Black women running for office in the US; Sue Miller's novel Monogamy

Why are the world’s best female footballers signing for English clubs? In the past few weeks some of the world’s best female footballers have signed for clubs in the Women’s Super League, highlighting a power shift in women’s football globally and setting up an enticing season, which will be watched, at least remotely, by more fans than ever before. The new arrivals include five of the US World Cup-winning team, most notably Alex Morgan at Tottenham Hotspur, who scored one of the goals that knocked England out of the 2019 World Cup. To discuss the women’s game and the draw to English clubs, Jenni is joined by BBC Women’s Sport Reporter, Jo Currie, and Kristine Leine, Defender for Reading FC Women.

New data from a parliamentary committee suggests the problem of poor body image has increased during lockdown. The social media survey by the Women and Equalities committee is being published today as they start hearing evidence from experts about body image on areas such as who’s at risk, the impact on mental health and issues such digital editing and image filtering online. Negative body image can have a serious effect on self esteem and lead to depression, eating disorders and the use of medication such as diet pills, laxatives and steroids. The committee’s chair Caroline Nokes talks about what the inquiry hopes to achieve.

This year at least 266 women of colour - 175 Democrat and 91 Republican - are major-party candidates for the U.S. Congress, setting new records for the 2020 elections. We hear from Candace Valenzuela standing for office in Dallas, Texas and Desiree Tims in Dayton, Ohio. Kimberly Peeler-Allen, a co-founder of Higher Heights, an organisation supporting Black women into elected office, joins them.

Sue Miller’s new novel Monogamy explores a long relationship and complicated grief. Annie and Graham have a loving relationship that has lasted for decades but when the unthinkable happens Annie has to re-evaluate everything.
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The Woman's Hour Power List 2020, US Congresswoman Ilhan Omar, Known Donation

Today we launch the Woman’s Hour Power List 2020. Jane is joined by two of the judges to discuss who we’re looking for and how listeners can tell us who they think should be in the running.

In 2016 Ilhan Omar became the United States’ first Somali-American lawmaker, joining the Minnesota house of representatives as a Democrat. Two years later she In became one of the first two Muslim women elected to US congress. She’s 37 and has described herself as ‘America’s hope and the President’s nightmare.’ In May this year George Floyd, an unarmed black man was killed by police in her home city of Minneapolis, sparking protests across the world. Her book is This is What America Looks Like: My Journey from Refugee to Congresswoman.

There’s been a rise in websites and Facebook groups offering Known Donation in recent years, where a person seeking to conceive uses a sperm or egg donation from someone they know or get to know before the treatment. What’s behind it, and what are the pros and cons of this method of assisted conception? We discuss with Sarah Norcross, director of the Progress Educational Trust; Erika Tranfield, the mother of a donor-conceived child from a known donor; and Natasha Fox, a donor-conceived adult who does not know the identity of her biological father.

Presenter: Jane Garvey
Producer: Lucinda Montefiore
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Shobna Gulati. British Touring Car driver Jade Edwards. Playground politics. Sarah Brown.

When actor Shobna Gulati’s mum was diagnosed with dementia in 2017, she was already spending the majority of her time caring for her. Their sometimes difficult relationship was tested to the limit, but ultimately she gained a lot from those years spent in her mum’s front room. When she passed away last year she decided to write a book about her family and her mum’s illness called Remember Me? Discovering my mother as she lost her memory.

At the weekend Jade Edwards will become the first woman in 13 years to race in the British Touring Car Championship at Silverstone. So why's it taken so long to see another woman on the course? Jade joins us, along with Fiona Leggate, the last female driver who competed back in 2007.

Have you been given the silent treatment by another parent at school, or felt excluded from a group of mums? Now the new school year is well underway, playground politics can sometimes extend to the other side of the school gate. Jane discusses coping strategies with counselling psychologist Dr Rachel Allan and Tanith Carey, author of The Friendship Maze and Taming the Tiger Parent.

Because of the Covid 19 pandemic up to 10 million children around the world are likely to be permanently excluded from getting an education according to the UK charity Theirworld. It's run by Sarah Brown, wife of the former Prime Minister Gordon Brown. Ahead of a virtual session later today at the UN General Assembly Meeting she talks to Jane about how the charity advocates on global education issues at both a strategic and practical level .

Presenter Jane Garvey.
Producer Beverley Purcell

Photo Credit. The About Studio.
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Weekend Woman's Hour - The Feminisation of alcohol marketing, Nudity & Sculptor Bridget McCrum

How does the feminisation of alcohol work? We hear from Carol Emslie a Professor of substance use and misuse at the School of Health and Life Sciences at Glasgow Caledonian University, Kate Baily a podcast host and the co-author of Love Yourself Sober – a self-care guide to alcohol-free living for busy mothers and from Dr Athanasia Daskalopoulou, a Lecturer in Marketing at the University of Liverpool Management School.

What are the pros and cons of being naked in front of your children? Rosie Haine, a writer and illustrator whose book is called “It Isn’t Rude to be Nude and Dr Keon West, a psychologist at Goldsmiths, University of London, discuss.

Three quarters of black women do not feel the NHS protects them equally. That’s according to the Parliamentary Joint Committee on Human Rights which commissioned a poll on being Black in the UK. We hear from researcher Celine Henry and Harriet Harman MP Chair of the Joint Committee on Human Rights.

Julia Gillard, once Prime Minister of Australia, and Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, economist and international development expert from Nigeria and also a woman with experience at the top of the Nigerian politics, have come together to explore women and leadership. They tell us about the book they’ve written together.

Bridget McCrum didn’t start her career as a sculptor until she was in her forties. Now at 86 she is still working with stone and in the last 10 years has had more interest in her work than ever - a recent commission sold for 68, 000 pounds.

The author Nina Stibbe tells us about winning the Comedy Women in Print Prize with her book ‘Reasons To Be Cheerful’ with chair of the judges Marian Keyes.

Presenter: Jenni Murray
Producer: Rabeka Nurmahomed
Editor: Sarah Crawley
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Domestic Violence on Eastenders, Nudity, Wool

The domestic abuse story in Eastenders comes to a tragic end tonight. Chantelle is killed by her husband, Gray. We speak to the Head of Continuing Drama at Eastenders, Kate Oates, and Sarah Davidge from Woman’s Aid, about how the storyline reflects the sharp rise in domestic violence during lockdown.

Are you happy being naked in front of your children? Or does it make you feel uncomfortable? We talk to the illustrator Rosie Haine who’s created a children’s book called “It Isn’t Rude to be Nude”. It's full of naked bodies of all shapes and sizes. We also hear from psychologist Dr Keon West from Goldsmiths in London whose research suggests nudity might help with body image and self-esteem.

A new film called Rocks focuses on a teenage schoolgirl and her group of loyal friends. One day Rocks' mother leaves and she’s left to care for herself and her seven year old brother. The story was developed in workshops with teenage girls and the cast is largely made up of non-professional actors. The film has received rave reviews on the international festival circuit. Two of the lead characters Bukky Bakray and Kosar Ali plus the director, Sarah Gavron, talk to us about the film and what it says about empowerment, banter and female friendship.

The sale of wool has recently gone up but behind the scenes it's not all rosy. Since the pandemic hit, the price farmers get for their fleeces has dropped by nearly 50%, with some saying the situation's so bad they actually lose money when selling it. We talk to knitting designer and wool producer, Susan Crawford and to Minette Batters, the President of the National Union of Farmers.
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Jacqueline Wilson, Women and Journalism, Pensions Campaign and Alcohol Marketing

Children’s author Jacqueline Wilson joins tells us about her new book Love Frankie about a teenager falling in love for the first time. Frankie lives with her two sisters and her recently divorced mum who is seriously ill with MS and is being bullied by a girl called Sally and her gang at school. But eventually the two girls strike up a friendship and as they spend more time together, Frankie starts to develop stronger feelings for Sally. Jacqueline tells Jenni why, having written over a hundred books, this is the first she has written about same sex relationships following her decision to reveal that she herself was gay earlier this year.

A report by Women in Journalism shows that there is still a shocking lack of diversity among our media. The report revealed that no UK newspaper had a front page story by a Black reporter in the week studied, and out of 174 front page bylines, just two were written by BAME women. Out of a total of 723 radio reporter appearances, just 4 were by Black women and when non-white expert guests were asked to appear on radio and TV news, it was often to support coverage related to race. We discuss how this lack of diversity impacts the news that is covered and also what this means for women's careers as journalists.

Campaigners affected by the state pension age being changed from 60 to 66 for women have lost their appeal against a High Court ruling. Senior judges unanimously dismissed the appeal led by Julie Delve and Karen Glynn, backed by the campaign group BackTo60. They said despite having sympathy for the women involved, it was not a case of unlawful discrimination under EU and human rights laws and that the changes were a "long-overdue move towards gender equality". Around 3.8 million women have been affected by raising the state pension age and Unison, the UK's largest trade union, said doing so with "next to no notice" has had a calamitous effect on the retirement plans of a generation of women. Jenni speaks to Joanne Welch the director of BackTo60 to find out what options are available to them now.

Have you ever thought about the way that alcohol is marketed when it comes to women? Do you find it patronising or fun? A growing number of marketing companies and campaigns are using the colour pink, glitter ...
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Saskia Reeves in 'Us', a new BBC1 drama

Julia Gillard, once Prime Minister of Australia, and Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, economist and international development expert from Nigeria and also a woman with experience at the top of the Nigerian politics, have come together to explore women and leadership. They’ve written a book together and interviewed high profile global leaders who are women: women like Jacinda Ardern, Hillary Rodham Clinton, Christine Lagarde and Theresa May.

Saskia Reeves is best known for the films Close My Eyes and I.D. and her numerous roles in dramas like Spooks, Luther, Wallander, Page Eight and Wolf Hall. On Sunday you can watch her in the first of a four part comedy drama for BBC 1 called 'Us'. Based on the novel by David Nicholls, she is Connie who wants to end her 24 year relationship with her husband Douglas – played by Tom Hollander. But he’s meticulously planned and booked a European tour with their teenage son Albie – and so they decide to go ahead with it. Jenni talks to Saskia about how relationships change as children leave and you grow older, and the joys of filming in cities like Paris, Amsterdam and Barcelona.

Multiple sclerosis is an autoimmune disease that currently affects over 130,000 people in the UK. It’s three times more common in women than in men, with many of those women being diagnosed in their 20s and 30s. It’s been known for some time that pregnancy can lessen the symptoms and reduce the chance of relapse for those who already have MS. But now a new study from Monash University in Australia shows that pregnancy can help women before symptoms begin – by delaying the onset of MS by more than three years. Lead researcher Dr Vilija Jokubaitis joins Jenni to talk about the findings and what it might mean for women at higher risk of developing the condition.

Presenter: Jenni Murray
Producer: Kirsty Starkey

Interviewed Guest: Julia Gillard
Interviewed Guest: Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala
Interviewed Guest: Saskia Reeves
Interviewed Guest: Dr Vilija Jokubaitis
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Comedy Women in Print Prize 2020

The Comedy Women in Print Prize is the only literary prize in the UK and Ireland to spotlight funny writing by women. Now in its second year, it was launched by comedian and actress Helen Lederer in response to the lack of exposure for female comedy writing. The 2020 shortlist for Published Comic Novel includes the likes of Candice Carty-Williams, Nina Stibbe and Jeanette Winterson, and the winner is being announced on Monday evening. We’re joined by that winner and the chair of judges and bestselling author Marian Keyes.

A study by Imperial College London suggests that providing financial incentives for GPs to offer information about long-acting reversible contraceptives, such as the hormonal implant, is associated with an increase in their use and a reduction in the number of abortions, particularly in young women ages 20-24 and those from deprived backgrounds. The study used anonymised data from over 3 million women over a 10 year period. Jenni speaks to prof Sonia Saxena, one of the co-authors of the research.

When listener Christine was a kid she was told never to talk to neighbours or answer any of their questions and people outside the family weren’t allowed in the house. She never knew the reason why. But she has just discovered a shocking secret and now has answers. Christine spoke to reporter Jo Morris.

A new series of Ambulance starts on Wednesday 16th September on BBC One. Jenni speaks to one of the people featured, an emergency medical dispatcher called Mandy, who was motivated to work for the Ambulance Service when she lost her son. He was just 18 years old and was a victim of knife crime. He wasn’t in a gang, but simply had gone out with friends. There was an argument that night and he was stabbed.

Presenter: Jenni Murray
Producer: Sarah Crawley
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Laura Bates on extreme misogyny online, Stephanie Yeboah on body positivity, the end of the office romance, women and debt.

Laura Bates is founder of the Everyday Sexism Project. In her latest book, she traces the roots of extreme misogyny across a complex network of online groups from Pick Up Artists to Incels. Laura explains what attracts men and boys these movements.

Blogger Stephanie Yeboah has been a part of the fat acceptance and body positive movement for years. Her first book – ‘Fattily Ever After’ – is a self-help guide and love letter to black, plus size women everywhere.

In the latest of our How To series, Jenni discusses how to be on time with Grace Pacie, author of LATE! A Time-bender’s guide to why we are late and how we can change, and therapist and writer Philippa Perry.

Buy Now and Pay Later is increasingly being offered by many online retailers. How much are young women being led to spend more than they can afford? Jenni speaks to financial campaigner Alice Tapper, Sue Anderson from debt charity Step Change and Anna, who has managed to clear considerable debt.

Now that non-invasive cosmetic procedures are able to resume operating after lockdown, are treatments such as Botox being normalised? We take a look at the trends over time with journalists Alice Hart-Davis and Melanie Abbott.

As we increasingly work from home, is this the end of the office romance on screen and in real life? And why do we love the idea of one so much in the first place? We speak to the film critic Anna Smith and the Metro lifestyle editor Ellen Scott.

Presenter: Jenni Murray
Producer: Lucy Wai
Editor: Lucinda Montefiore

27 episodes

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