Woman's Hour: Daily Podcasts

BBC  |  Podcast , ±45 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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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.

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 ...

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

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

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

Laura Bates on extreme misogyny groups online. Getting into debt. Young women and rheumatoid arthritis.

Laura Bates is founder of the Everyday Sexism Project. In her latest book – Men Who Hate Women - she traces the roots of extreme misogyny across a complex network of online groups - extending from Men's Rights Activists and Pick up Artists to Men Going Their Own Way, Trolls and the Incel movement.
She explains how they operate and how she hopes drawing parallels with other extremist movements around the world will help us to understand what makes them attractive to men and boys..

Women – and specifically young women – have always been hugely over-represented when it comes to debt. Since the pandemic, charities are hearing from more and more who find themselves in financial difficulty. Sue Anderson from debt charity Step Change talks us about the trends they’re seeing when it comes to women and money. Plus financial campaigner Alice Tapper tells us why she thinks the increasing use of ‘buy-now-pay-later’ methods need much more scrutiny,.

This week is Rheumatoid Arthritis Awareness Week. It's a disease that affects three times more women than men under the age of 65. Women tend to develop it younger than men, with symptoms typically appearing between the ages of 30 and 50 – some can even start to develop it in their teens. So what’s it like to be a young woman living with the condition? Yulanda Sabrina is a singer and was diagnosed five years ago at the age of 28. She speaks to Jenni along with Clare Jacklin, chief executive of the National Rheumatoid Arthritis Society.

Presenter Jenni Murray
Producer Beverley Purcell

Olive Thomas, The End of the Office Romance, Senior Women in the NHS, Parents Guide to Keeping Kids Suicide Safe

From flapper to femme fatale: Olive Thomas was the wild-living sex symbol of the jazz age and one of Hollywood's first starlets - but ended up dying in agony from poison in Paris Ritz 100 years ago. Suicide... or revenge of a jealous husband? Pamela Hutchinson, Film historian and critic specialising in silent cinema joins Jenni to discuss the story.

The NHS in England employs more than a million women, who make up 77% of the workforce, but that is not reflected in its senior leadership. In 2016 a target was set of 50:50 women to men on NHS boards by 2020. This has been missed, but the figure has risen to 44.7%. The NHS Confederation estimates that another 150 women need to be recruited overall, with some trusts having much further to go than others. Jenni speaks to Sam Allen, Chief Executive of Sussex Partnership NHS Foundation Trust and Chair of the Health and Care Women Leaders Network at the NHS Confederation, and Prof Ruth Sealy from Exeter University Business School, who authored the report.

Suicide is the biggest killer of young people under 35 in the UK (ONS figures). A new guide for parents who are really worried about their children has been put out by Papyrus, an organisation which aims to prevent suicide. It encourages parents who might be scared to talk to their children, to make sure they do.

It’s been over five months since many of us sat in an office with a collective of colleagues. The work parties and special occasions are happening behind a screen. And more people than ever are thinking about permanently working from home. Is this well and truly the death of office relationships? And why do we love the idea of one so much in the first place? Anna Smith is a film critic and a host of the Girls On Film podcast. Ellen Scott is the Lifestyle Editor at the Metro UK. She met her partner at work four years ago.

Lissie Harper’s campaign, body positivity in the age of Covid, Toddler tantrums and the other Tchaikovsky.

PC Andrew Harper’s widow Lissie says she has cabinet support for a new law – under which anyone who kills an emergency services worker would be jailed for life. PC Andrew Harper was killed last summer in the line of duty. The three teenagers who were responsible for his death were jailed for manslaughter. She joins Jane to talk about why she’s campaigning for a new law – under which anyone who kills an emergency services worker would be jailed for life.

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. As new figures emerge about the higher risk Covid 19 has on obese people, She tells Jane about the book and its message

Afraid of your toddler? We hear from a new TV supernanny who thinks parents have lost their grip on their children’s behaviour. Do you struggle to say no to you toddler for fear of an embarrassing temper tantrum? Did lockdown affect how you discipline your kids? Laura Amies is the nanny on the Channel 5 show Toddlers Behaving (Very) Badly and Laverne Antrobus, is a child psychologist at the Tavistock Clinic

Plus the real life story of visionary lesbian activist Chris Tchaikovsky from her time as leader of criminal gang The Happy Firm, through stints behind bars, to her founding of Women In Prison

Presenter Jane Garvey
Producer Henrietta Harrison.

PHOTO; Jason Bye/MartisMedia

Botox, Covid-19 and pregnancy, Tidying and decluttering, Debora Harding

What do we know so far about COVID – clinically and scientifically – in women, including those who are pregnant. Jane talks to Professor Louise Kenny a clinical academic from Liverpool Women’s Hospital
We’ve all heard of ‘tidy desk, tidy mind’ but is there any truth in the well-known phrase? With all of us spending more time at home during lockdown, many people used that time to have a clear out and get rid of some clutter. After so many TV shows appearing where we watch people tidy others’ houses, we ask why tidying up is so satisfying and if the amount of clutter we have in our homes can affect our mental health.
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 and speak to a regular Botox user about how people’s attitudes to Botox are changing.
It was watching Christine Blasey Ford testify against Brett Kavanaugh that finally convinced Debora Harding that she needed to write her own memoir. The result, Dancing with the Octopus: Telling of a True Crime. The book tells the story of Debora’s kidnap and rape at the age of 14 in Omaha, USA and the aftermath while living in a dysfunctional family. Debora talks to Jane about reckoning and recovery, the long terms effects of trauma, being a survivor of violent crime and how our families shape us.

Presenter: Jane Garvey
Interviewed guest: Professor Louise Kenny
Interviewed guest: Rachel Burditt
Interviewed guest: Heather Sequeira
Interviewed guest: Mel Abbott
Interviewed guest: Alice Hart-Davis
Interviewed guest: Debora Harding
Producer: Lucinda Montefiore

Educating Rita at 40, Muslim women on love and desire & Teen mum to midwife

Forty years since Willy Russell’s play Educating Rita was first performed we hear from some real life Rita’s, Willy Russell and Julie Walters on the films influence

Sam Baker, the former editor of Cosmopolitan and Red and author of The Shift, Kelechi Okafor who’s an actor, director and podcaster and the journalist, Rebecca Reid, who’s written The Power of Rude on how to be assertive without coming across as angry and unapproachable .

We hear how a book, A Match Made in Heaven, featuring stories by British Muslim Women about Love And Desire is trying to get beyond the stereotypes of subservient Muslim women. Editors Nafhesa Ali and Claire Chambers and the writer Noren Haq discuss.

Dame Cressida Dick the Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police tells us how the force is managing during the ongoing pandemic

Stephanie Walker on how she went from a fourteen year old pregnant teenager to a fully qualified midwife.

Plus the author Ann Cleaves talks about her latest novel The Darkest Evening – the ninth in the Vera series

Presenter: Jane Garvey
Producer: Rabeka Nurmahomed
Editor: Beverley Purcell

27 episodes

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