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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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 - ...


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

The Queen's funeral, Male friendships

183 key workers and community volunteers were amongst royals, politicians and world leaders in Westminster Abbey for the Queen’s state funeral on Monday. One woman who was asked to be an eyewitness to this historic day was Lynn McManus, from North Shields, in Tyne and Wear. She's the founder of The Tim Lamb's Children's Centre and Pathways4All, a parent-led charity providing play and leisure for disabled children. She was recognised in the Queen's last Birthday Honours List in June 2022 with an MBE for her services to children with disabilities.

As part of our friendship series, we’re talking about male friendships. A 2019 YouGov survey found that one in five men have no close friends — twice the proportion for women. What pressure might this be putting on their female partners, to fulfil the role of best friend and hold the social calendar? And what tools can men learn to help maintain friendships? Max Dickins is an author, playwright and comedian, and has written Billy No-Mates: How I Realised Men Have a Friendship Problem. He joins Emma to discuss.

Weekend Woman’s Hour: Julia Gillard, Ophelia Lovibond, Medusa

Julia Gillard, former Australian Prime Minister – and the only woman to have held that role – reflects on the death of Queen Elizabeth II and her status as a global female leader. What will it mean for Australia where King Charles automatically became Head of State last week?

Ophelia Lovibond, best known for playing Izzy Gould in the BBC mockumentary series W1A, discusses her new TV series Minx and playing Carrie Johnson.

In a bid to close stubborn gender pay gaps, several states in the USA have passed laws requiring salary ranges to be clearly stated on all job ads. To discuss the growing trend and whether it is workable in the UK, we hear from money blogger Iona Bain and Radha Vyas, co-founder of the group travel company Flash Pack.

The Hungarian government has tightened abortion laws in the country, meaning women who want to get an abortion will have to listen to vital signs - such as the foetal heartbeat - before being allowed to proceed. Nick Thorpe, the BBC's East and Central Europe Correspondent explains.

'Beehives, Bobs & Blowdries' is an exhibition celebrating the art and skills of hairdressing along with some of the most iconic looks of the past 70 years. Our reporter Tamsin Smith speaks to some of the women perusing the exhibits about some of the looks they've tried over the years.

Since she was a girl the writer and broadcaster Natalie Haynes has been fascinated by Greek Myths. Her fourth novel ‘Stone Blind’ tells the story of Medusa and gets us way beyond snake hair and a deadly gaze to understand why she's become the monster in re-tellings of her story over the centuries.

Pregnant women in Pakistan, Salary transparency, Writer Lottie Mills, Clothes and grief

More than 33 million people have been affected by the flooding in Pakistan. How has the flooding impacted the thousannds of pregnant women. who require maternal health services to ensure a safe pregnancy and childbirth? We hear from Sahar Baloch, Blingual Correspondent at BBC World’s Urdu Service.

In a bid to close stubborn gender pay gaps, several states in the USA have passed laws requiring salary ranges to be clearly stated on all job ads. To discuss the growing trend and whether it is workable in the Uk, Anita hears from money blogger Iona Bain and Radha Vyas, co-founder of the group travel company Flash Pack.

For our Girl’s World series, reporter Ena Miller went to talk to 13 year old Alice and India about the drama of their lives, boys and girls and how things have, or have not, changed since Ena was their age.

Two years on from winning,The BBC’s Young Writer Award with Cambridge University, Lottie Mills has a book deal. She discusses her writing, and how disabilty is depicted in fiction.

How can clothes help us grieve? 'Wearapy' is a term coined by the fashion psychologist Shakaila Forbes-Bell who believes that what we wear can help us through times of emotional upheaval. In her new book Big Dress Energy, she describes how wearing her late sister's clothes has helped her confront her grief. She’s joined by Dr Matilda Aspinall, lecturer at UAL London College of Fashion, who has paid tribute to her late grandmother through the act of refashioning her dress.

Presenter: Anita Rani
Producer: Dianne McGregor

27 episodes

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