Woman's Hour: Daily Podcasts

BBC  |  Podcast , ±58 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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Nicola Rollock, Sexsomnia, Liz Truss, Anonymity prior to charge, Nadine Shah

Nicola Rollock, Professor of Social Policy and Race at King's College London and an expert on racial justice, has a book out, The Racial Code: Tales of Resistance and Survival. in which she explores the hidden rules of race and racism, how they maintain the status quo, the pain and cost of navigating everyday racism and how to truly achieve racial justice.

The Crown Prosecution Service has apologised unreservedly to a woman whose rape case was dropped after defence lawyers claimed she had an episode of a rare sleep walking condition called ‘sexsomnia’. In what is believed to be the first case of its kind in the UK - the CPS now says it was wrong to drop the case and it should have gone to court. The BBC followed Jade McCrossen-Nethercott’s case as events unfolded over three years. Emma speaks to Jade and Emma Ailes, the producer and director of the BBC 3 documentary : SEXSOMNIA: CASE CLOSED? about why she began following Jade's case.

The Home Secretary Suella Braverman has signalled that she may consider giving anonymity to criminal suspects as she feels a “media circus” jeopardises a fair trial. Speaking to an audience of Young Conservatives at the Conservative Conference in Birmingham, her comments came in answer to a question referring to the high profile cases of singer Sir Cliff Richard and Harvey Proctor, a former Conservative Member of Parliament, who were falsely accused of sexual abuse and never charged. Currently, alleged victims of sexual offences receive lifelong anonymity under UK law but there is no law against naming a suspect. So what effect would it have, particularly on women, if anonymity were given? Joining Emma is Lady Nourse who was cleared of 17 counts of historical child sex abuse involving a boy under the age of 12 in 2021, and Mark Williams-Thomas, an investigative journalist and former detective who exposed Jimmy Savile as a paedophile.

When was the last time you tried something completely new? After over a decade in the music industry, 4 successful albums, and a Mercury Prize nomination under her belt, Nadine Shah has turned her hand to acting for the first time. The singer, songwriter, and musician talks to Emma Barnett about fear of failure, updating Shakespeare, and learning to act for her debut role as Titania in Matthew Dunster and Jimmy Fairhurst’s production of A Midsummer Night's Dream.

It’s exactly a month since ...

Alex Scott, Senator Jeanne Shaheen, Molly Russell inquest

Alex Scott is one of the most high profile names in women’s sport. The former Lioness started playing football for Arsenal when she was just eight years old, later, as a semi-professional player for the club she washed the men's team kit to earn extra money on the side. Alex went on to play for England 140 times and now presents on the BBC and Sky Sports. She has recently released her memoir entitled ‘How (Not) to Be Strong’ and joins Emma in the studio.

It's just five weeks until the midterm elections in the United States. The price of food and fuel is spiralling, with fears growing that the US could slip into recession next year. Other issues include the overturning or Roe vs Wade and whether the President should run for another term. Emma is joined by the Democratic Senator Jeanne Shaheen, the first woman in US history to be elected both as a Governor and as a Senator for New Hampshire, a small but decisive State.

Last Friday after two weeks of the inquest into the death of Molly Russell in 2017 coroner Andrew Walker concluded Molly died from an act of self-harm while suffering depression and the negative effects of online content. He said the images of self-harm and suicide she viewed "shouldn't have been available for a child to see" and that social media content contributed "more than minimally" to her death. Her father, Ian has called for urgent changes to make children safer online. Emma Barnett speaks to Merry Varney, the family’s lawyer.

Presenter: Emma Barnett
Producer: Emma Pearce

Gentle parenting

What is a gentle parent? Does it really mean never saying ‘no’ to your child? And how did #gentleparenting attract more than 2.6 billion views on TikTok? Emma Barnett talks to TikTok content creator Kelly Medina Enos and psychologist Dr Penelope Leach about the rising popularity of this parenting approach.

Weekend Woman's Hour: Hilary Mantel’s writings on endometriosis, women in politics, nursing, family whatsapp, the orgasm gap

Record numbers of nurses are quitting the NHS in England, according to new data analysis by the Nuffield Trust for the BBC. More than 40,000 have left the health service in the past year. Another report published this week from NHS Providers said the squeeze on pay amid rising inflation is forcing nurses and other staff to stop contributions to their pension, skip meals and take on second jobs. Anita Rani speaks to Molly Case, a clinical specialist nurse, working in the community in South London.

We talk about family WhatsApp group chats. They can be a source of great joy or great annoyance. We speak to author Nina Stibbe and Journalist Nell Frizzell who has been looking into this.

Regarded as one of the greatest English-language novelists of this century, Dame Hilary Mantel was perhaps less well known for her brilliant writing on chronic illness. Throughout her life the author suffered from a severe form of endometriosis. Emma speaks to writer Sarah Perry, author of the Essex Serpent, who has had her own experience of chronic illness and Eleanor Thom, author of Private Parts, how to really live with endometriosis.

Giorgia Meloni's election as the Prime Minister of Italy is just the latest victory for a woman on the right of the political spectrum. The vast majority of European women who have had true executive power come from the right, starting with Margaret Thatcher. Emma speaks to Professor Matthew Goodwin and the academic Costanza Hermanin to discuss why the Left have had fewer female leaders.

'Ladies shall we have some fun?' We speak to sex and relationship expert Oloni, who built an online community by speaking openly about sex and relationships. We discuss her new book 'The Big O'.

Presenter: Anita Rani
Producer: Surya Elango
Editor: Emma Pearce

Mel Shilling, Meera Narandan, Ella Saltmarshe, Lina Prestwood, Chi-chi Nwanoku, Nadia Galani

A woman posted a thread on Mumsnet about wanting to take time off work while going through a break up with father or her child, the responses she got were mixed. We want to know whether you would ever consider this but also would you be open about taking time off to help deal with a break up? We speak to relationship expert Mel Schilling and blogger Meera Narandan.

We talk to Chi-chi Nwanoku from Chineke! Orchestra – Europe’s first professional majority Black and ethnically diverse orchestra – and hear music from their new album

The Yoga Manifesto – a new book by Nadia Gilani and we’ll be joined by one of the winners from last night’s International Women’s Podcast Awards

Presenter: Anita Rani
Producer: Lisa Jenkinson
Studio Manager: Michael Millham.

Oloni, Women in Politics, Forever Friends?

'Ladies shall we have some fun?' Some of you may recognise this catchphrase and be thinking of the sex and relationship expert Oloni, who built an online community by speaking openly about sex and relationships. Her new book – The Big O – is out and goes into detail about how we can close what she calls ‘the orgasm gap’. Oloni joins Emma.

Giorgia Meloni’s election as the Prime Minister of Italy is just the latest victory for a woman on the right of the political spectrum. The vast majority of European women who have who had true executive power - party or government leaders – come from the right, starting with Margaret Thatcher. The academic Costanza Hermanin from the European University Institute in Florence joins Emma Barnett to discuss why the Left have had fewer female leaders, alongside Professor Matthew Goodwin from the University of Kent, who has written a number of books including National Populism: The Revolt Against Liberal Democracy.

We've been talking about female friendship in the last couple of weeks and focussing on what happens when friendship goes wrong. Can you fix a friendship that has broken and should you try? Daniella and Nataliya - Dan and Nat - are both 33 and they live in London. Jo Morris talked to them, separately, about their long friendship and what it means to them.

Presenter: Emma Barnett
Producer: Emma Pearce

Women and Labour

Sir Keir Starmer delivered his speech to the Labour Party conference yesterday. It comes as YouGov polling shows women would be more likely than men to vote Labour if an election were held now. What's behind this? Former Tony Blair aide for over 10 years Baroness Sally Morgan joins Emma Barnett alongside Anoosh Chakelin Britain Editor at the New Statesman.

Author Kamila Shamsie. People smugglers. Family WhatsApp Group.

In her new novel "Best Of Friends" the award winning writer Kamila Shamasie explores the personal and political in Karachi in 1988 and London now. Fourteen year old
Maryam and Zahra have been friends for 40 years but can they ever really know each other?

Tonight's File on 4 will highlight the shortcomings of the Police and the National Referral Mechanism – the government pathway set up to provide financial, emotional and legal support as well as access to safe accommodation to victims of trafficking – and reveal how British survivors are being let down by the system. Emma talks to reporter Annabel Deas and we hear from a woman we're calling "Isobel" who is currently at risk of trafficking and lives in fear of her life. She was last trafficked earlier this year when she was gang raped and badly beaten by a gang who have abused her for over a decade. Her abuse began when she was 13 years old.

Presenter Emma Barnett
Producer Beverley Purcell

Photo credit; Alex von Tunzelman


Women's voices and women's lives - topical conversations to inform, challenge and inspire.

Women gambling, Male friendships, Anna Fedorova, Catherine Mayer, Sheep shearing and Beige flags

The number of women gambling is expected to rise as the cost of living crisis continues. Hear Jo’s story of what happened when she became addicted to gambling, and advice on the warning signs and how to get help from the chief executive of GambleAware Zoe Osmond.

When Max Dickins needed to find himself a best man, he realised that he had no male friends. When he discovered that this is something lots of men go through, he decided to write a book with hints and tips for men, as well as what they can learn from the women in their lives about how to keep friendships.

As the war in Ukraine goes on, musicians are providing hope and peace for Ukrainians. Piano soloist Anna Fedorova explains what she’s achieved through the power of music alongside the Ukrainian Freedom Orchestra.

The royal family is going to have a new, slimmer, shape in future. Royal biographer Catherine Mayer tells Emma what this means for Prince Andrew in particular, as well as the future of the monarchy under King Charles.

Sheep shearer Marie Prebble tells us how she set a brand new women’s world record for sheep shearing – which involved months of training, and eight hours straight of holding wriggling sheep.

Caitlin McPhail and Helen Thorn discuss dating in the modern world – including the small signs on online dating profiles that show someone’s a little bit boring, and how to let your true personality shine on dating platforms.

Presenter: Anita Rani
Producer: Lottie Garton

World record sheep shearer, Cuts to part-time work benefits,Seoul Femicide, Actors:Hayley Mills & Rula Lenska, Author Ira Mathur

Sheep farmer Marie Prebble speaks to Woman’s Hour about how she sheared 370 sheep in eight hours to set a new world record in female sheep shearing.
She’ll be giving us an insight into what it takes to prepare for such an event and telling us a bit more about being one of the few female sheep farmers in the UK.

More than 100,000 people in part-time work could face a benefit cut if they fail to properly look to do more hours, Kwasi Kwarteng is set to announce in his mini-budget today (Friday). The new rule will require benefit claimants working up to 15 hours a week to take new steps to increase their earnings or face having their benefits reduced. Part time work is essential to those in unpaid care roles, which are mostly held by women, so we wanted to find out how the new rules will affect these women.

In Seoul last Wednesday, a 28-year-old woman was killed in a subway restroom, one day before her alleged killer was due to be sentenced on charges of stalking her. Her death has shocked the nation and prompted calls for a tightening of Korea's recent anti-stalking laws. We speak to BBC Seoul correspondent Jean MacKenzie.

The much-loved film and book The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel has been adapted for the stage, featuring the acting talents of Academy award-winning actor Hayley Mills and Coronation Street star Rula Lenska. They play Evelyn and Madge, two British retirees who start a new life in a retirement hotel in Bangalore; and join us to discuss how the play tackles misconceptions about ageing.

Ira Mathur’s 'Love the Dark Days' is set across India, England, Trinidad and St Lucia. The memoir follows the author and broadcaster's journey as a child growing up in post-independence India with a Muslim mother and a Hindu father. Having lived with her grandmother, a member of an elite Muslim family, with a history of having colluded with the brutality of the British rule, she realises she has unconsciously imbibed her grandmother’s prejudices of class and race. Ira joins Anita Rani in the Woman’s Hour studio.

Presenter: Anita Rani
Producer: Kirsty Starkey

Interviewed Guest: Helen Barnard
Interviewed Guest: Marie Prebble
Photographer: Emily Fleur
Interviewed Guest: Jean Mackenzie
Interviewed Guest: Hayley Mills
Interviewed Guest: Rula Lenska
Interviewed Guest: Ira Mathur

Anna Fedorova, The End of Covid, Japan's Under-35s Rejecting Marriage

What role does music play in providing hope and solidarity when facing the horrors of war? The concert pianist Anna Fedorova is a member of the Ukrainian Freedom Orchestra which performed in concerts around the world over the summer. Ahead of a documentary on BBC 2 this Saturday called Ukraine's Musical Freedom Fighters, she joins Emma to talk about the experience, how she is continuing to support musicians from the Ukraine and why she feels it is imperative she continues to play the work of Russian composers.

This week President Joe Biden announced that the pandemic is over in the US despite figures showing 400 Americans on average are dying from the virus every day. This comes after the director of the World Health Organisation recently stated that the pandemic remains a global emergency but the end could be in the sight if countries use the tools at their disposal. Here in the UK the latest figures show Covid infections have fallen to their lowest levels since October last year. Fewer than a million people had the virus in the last week of August. So, is the end in sight? And how prepared are we to believe it? Should we accept normality will resume and we can adjust our behaviour accordingly? Emma Barnett is joined by Professor of Epidemiology, Azra Ghani and Professor Pragya Agarwal to discuss.

A new study by the charity GambleAware shows that the cost of living crisis could trigger an increase in women gambling. The survey of more than 1600 women shows that one in four women aged 18-49 who gamble expect to gamble more in the coming months, with 12% of those surveyed already having turned to gambling to try and supplement household income. GambleAware are starting a campaign to target women and break the stigma that prevents them from seeking support. Emma is joined by their Chief Executive, Zoe Osmond and Jo who has been "gamble free" for a year.

Demonstrations have spread across Iran sparked by the death of a 22 year old woman, Mahsa Amini. She died days after being arrested by morality police for allegedly not complying with strict rules on head coverings. As we reported on Tuesday, eyewitnesses said she was beaten while inside a police van after being picked up in Tehran. There have now been protests for five successive days - with incredibly powerful scenes across Iran - ...

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