Woman's Hour: Daily Podcasts

BBC  |  Podcast , ±56 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 Partition of India in 1947 and its impact on Women

It’s been described as one of the most seismic events of the 20th century, but how did the Partition of the former imperial domain of British India into two countries, India and Pakistan, affect women? The split led to violence, disruption and death with women facing kidnapping, rape and forced suicide. It was a time of huge destruction and disruption but it was also a time of courage, compassion and survival of the women who overcame trauma to somehow rebuild their lives. We hear from Shruti Kapila, professor of Indian History at Cambridge University and Ritu Menon, feminist publisher and writer, and author of Borders & Boundaries: Women in India’s Partition, as they discuss the stories of women at this time.

Marvel, famous for its superhero comics, series and films has bought the story of Partition alive on screen in the new hit series Ms Marvel which features a Muslim female superhero for the first time. But is entertainment a good way to bring historical events to a new audience and generation? We hear from Fatima Asghar one of the writers responsible for an episode in the series dedicated to Partition. She explains how her own family story has influenced her writing.

The poet and musician Amrit Kaur uses her love of music to help raise awareness of the women whose lives were affected by Partition. She started learning the Indian classical instrument at the age of 13 and since then has travelled the world using music to share the struggles of women through her music, which also includes the use of Punjabi folk songs. She performs a Punjabi poem written by Amrita Pritam.

How are the events of the 1947 Partition remembered and understood by the younger generations? How does this type of trauma affect generations to come? We speak to three young women Unzela Khan, Dr Binita Kane and Amrit Kaur to talk about how the events of 1947 have shaped their lives and how it's contributed to who they are today.

Presenter: Anita Rani
Producer: Rabeka Nurmahomed

England Captain Leah Williamson

Having led the England women’s team to Euro 2022 victory, Lionesses captain Leah Williamson joins Woman’s Hour for a very special programme. Leah joins Jessica Creighton to reflect on winning England’s first major trophy since 1966 and to discuss the future of women’s football both at the elite level and in schools. She also talks about her passions outside of football, including being a DJ. Jessica and Leah speak to Radio 1’s Adele Roberts and Dr Kelly Jakubowski, from Durham University who is an expert in music and psychology, about how you find the perfect track for a celebration. And, fashion and football aren't necessarily two things you'd put together, but they are two topics very close to Leah's heart. She expresses herself through her clothes and will talk about her love of unisex fashion. We will also speak to an original Lioness, Sue Whyatt, to discuss how far the game has come.

Presenter: Jessica Creighton
Producer: Emma Pearce

Weekend Woman's Hour: Recognition for first England women's football team, Harriet Harman MP & the poet Lady Unchained

In a report published on Friday, the Joint Committee on Human Rights says the Government bears ultimate responsibility for the pain and suffering caused by public institutions and state employees that railroaded mothers in the 1950s, 60s and 70s into unwanted adoptions in England and Wales. Anita Rani speaks to Harriet Harman MP, who is Chair of the Joint Committee on Human Rights and Veronica Smith, founder member of the Movement for an Adoption Apology.

TikTok has become one of the most popular social media apps in the world. We hear from author and content creator Tova Leigh who contacted us to say she has noticed more and more disturbing content on the site that encourages violence against women and girls, and BBC Technology reporter Shiona McCallum.

The first international England Women’s football match was in November 1972. 50 years on, we speak to Woman’s Hour listener and reserve goalkeeper for the England team, Sue Whyatt who says the team are still waiting for their 'caps; and we hear from the honorary secretary of the Women’s Football Association, Patricia Gregory who co-organised that match.

Jersey has elected its first ever female Chief Minister. In elections last month, more women won seats in Jersey’s States Assembly than ever before. Emma Barnett speaks to Kristina Moore, a former journalist and TV presenter, to find out how her first few weeks in office are going.

From picking up the pen to survive in prison and since her release, Lady Unchained has made it her mission to become an advocate for life after prison. She is a poet, performer, and award winning broadcaster. We speak to her as she releases her debut poetry book: Behind Bars: On punishment, prison & release.

Tennis icon: Serena Williams, Recruiting women to the armed forces, Afghan women radio, Stem cell donors, Women & bodybuilding

It looks like Serena Williams is leaving tennis. She's won 23 grand slam titles and four Olympic golds but has suggested it's time to move on. She's made the announcement in VOGUE, where she's said retirement - "causes a great deal of pain. I hate it." So she hasn't explicitly said she's giving up but she's given a large hint, saying she wants to focus on her family. Jessica Creighton speaks to former tennis player, Jo Durie and sports journalist Natasha Henry about the tennis icon.

The Armed Forces are not reaching their targets in terms of recruiting women. The MOD is hoping to increase the proportion of women in the armed forces to 30% by 2030 but they have not met the target set for 2020. One of the barriers to change is thought to be visibility - new research has found the UK public knows little or nothing about female veterans. Lauren Godier-McBard led the research and Ria Jackson is an RAF veteran and founder of the blog The V word.

BBC Afghan have a new radio programme called 'Women' which focuses on women and girls, especially those in rural areas, in Afghanistan and Pakistan. It's presented by Shazia Haya in Pashto, and Aalia Farzan in Dari who fled their home country last August when the Taliban retook control. It aims to inform, educate and empower its listeners. Faranak Amidi is the presenter of World Service's The Fifth Floor. She spoke to Shazia and Aalia.

This spring more than two million people had registered to become potential blood stem-cell donors in the UK. That’s regarded as a milestone by DKMS, which is the biggest stem cell-register in the UK. And it gives one mother in Northern Ireland some much-needed hope. Anne Greer’s youngest son is in a critical condition in hospital. Daniel was fit and well, but in May after complaining of back pain that was coming and going, he was diagnosed with leukaemia. The family want people around the world to donate blood to see if their stem cells are a life-saving match for Daniel.

Today we're going to be talking about women in the world of elite bodybuilding where in the UK alone there will be more than 200 female bodybuilding shows this year. Kate Bishop - co-creator of the book Core which includes 42 photos of ‘muscly women’ doing what the book describes as 'subverting the archetype ...

Brit and Mercury Prize-winning singer Heather Small, Chronic illness, Abortion

The British-born actor and singer Olivia Newton-John has died at the age of 73. Best remembered for playing the iconic role of Sandy in the musical film Grease. We pay tribute with Stockard Channing who played Rizzo in Grease, and the film critic Karen Krizanovich and Olivia Moore who is currently playing her in the stage version in London's west end.

Brit & Mercury prize winner Heather Small on ‘Colour My Life’, her first album in sixteen years. For the album, she teamed up with the London Metropolitan Orchestra to re-imagine all of her Top 10 hits as well as release new songs and covers.

What is it like to live with a chronic but hidden illness? Poppy Nash is a textile artist who lives with type 1 diabetes and one of her latest works The Art of Dying 2.0 is a full-scale installation of bedclothes and bedding, examining the experience of living in isolation as a ‘vulnerable’ person through the pandemic. Ione Gamble lives with Crohn’s disease. She’s the founder & editor of the art, fashion and culture publication, Polyester and has now written a book, Poor Little Sick Girls.

The overturning of Roe v Wade in the USA has put abortion very much at the top of the news agenda. Our 2019 series in which women spoke, often for the first time, about their abortions seems even more relevant now. Today, a woman we are calling Kerry talks about the abortion she had when she was 18 and her certainty then and now that this was the right choice for her.

Presenter: Jessica Creighton
Producer: Dianne McGregor

Child strip searches; Dr Sam Roberts of NICE

In 2020 a black 15 year old schoolgirl, known as Child Q, was strip-searched by police while on her period after being wrongly suspected of carrying cannabis. A safeguarding report on the incident concluded it was unjustified and racism was "likely" to have been a factor. New data published by the Children’s Commissioner has found what she calls a “concerning” number of children have been strip-searched by the Metropolitan Police without an appropriate adult present. BBC reporter Celestina Olulode joins Jessica to talk us through this data and we also hear from Jacqueline Courtenay, a mother from North London who organised a rally about this issue.

Following the launch of the Women's Health Strategy we speak to the new chief executive of NICE - the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence. The agency makes recommendations to the NHS in England and Wales on medicines treatments and procedures. Dr Sam Roberts took up the post in February 2022. Before joining Nice, she was Managing Director of Health and Care at Legal and General but began her career in clinical practise and spent some time working as a junior doctor in a London hospital.

England's netballers - the Roses, School exclusions, South Asian women in WWII, Rape survivors and therapy, Women artists

This time last week we were looking forward to the big match: The Lionesses at the European Championship Final at Wembley. We hoped, but we just couldn't predict what would happen, but what a great moment when they won against Germany! But don't let the success of women's football overshadow the sport that's been with us all along: netball. At the Commonwealth Games, the English team - known as the Roses - are in the semi-final tomorrow, up against Australia. If they win, they'll be in the final on Sunday. And don't forget: the Roses WON at the Commonwealth Games last time around, four years ago. We speak to ex-Roses captain, Ama Agbeze.

In the last normal academic year before the pandemic, 7,894 children were permanently excluded from English state schools. However, the data shows that certain groups of children are more likely to be excluded than others. Boys are three times more likely than girls, children on free school meals are four times more likely than other children, and Gypsy Roma, Travellers of Irish heritage, and black Caribbean children are all significantly more likely to face school exclusion than white British children. To explore why these disparities exist, Anita is joined by Dr Amelia Roberts, deputy director of UCL’s Centre for Inclusive Education; Jason Arthur, CEO of Mission 44, a charitable foundation which aims to support disadvantaged young people; and Lisa Smith, chair of the Advisory Council for the Education of Romany and Other Travellers.

When we think about the World War II war effort, Indian women in saris are not the first people that come to mind. Social historian Kiran Sahota has been researching the role of Indian women in the war, and has curated her research into a documentary and exhibition, which is currently on tour in the UK.

There’s been anger from counsellors and psychotherapists about new guidelines around access to rape victims therapy notes. The changes introduced by the CPS were first reported exclusively by Woman’s Hour back in May when solicitors raised concerns. Now five leading bodies representing psychiatrists, psychologists and counsellors have raised their own concerns. Newsnight reporter Anna Collinson has been looking into the story.

According to the art market, men are 10 times better at painting than women, with men’s art valued ten times more than women’s. Now, a new Radio 4 documentary, 'Revaluating Art' explores why. Its creator, Mary-Ann Sieghart explains.

Presenter: ...


Body images being used in ads.

Presenter Jessica Creighton
Producer Beverley Purcell

Euros 22 legacy, Kansas and abortion rights, Dance music and women, Sam Smith, Juliette Pochin

Kansas is the first state in the US to decide in a referendum to protect abortion rights in a major victory for pro-choice groups. What impact could this have across the rest of America after the overturning of Roe vs Wade? Professor Fiona De Londras, Chair of Global Legal Studies at Birmingham Law School updates us.

The Lionesses win is still being celebrated, with thousands gathering in Trafalgar Square on Monday to celebrate. The women’s game, however, has a history of being dramatically underfunded compared to the men’s and currently 37% of schools don’t offer girls’ football in PE. To change this, the government has announced a £230 million investment into improving grassroots football… but will it work? Former English international footballer Rachel Yankey and Francesca Brown, the founder and chief executive of Goals4Girls discuss their hopes for women’s football and the lasting legacy of the Euro win.

We’re looking at dance music on the programme today. A new report has found that just 5% of dance music in the UK charts has a female as the lead artist. The report also looks at gender equality issues at festivals, and how ‘The Male Gaze’ places pressure on women in the industry. The Radio 1 DJ Jaguar joins Jessica, alongside Nicola Davies, the report’s lead author.

Sam Smith was the first, and youngest woman to ever to run a stockbroking company in the UK, and she often found herself the only woman in a room or trading floor. She's one of just nine female CEOs of companies in the FTSE 100 index, and has decided to step down from her role at the firm she founded FinnCap Group PLC. So what are her reflections on how things have changed for women in the 24 years since she joined the world of finance?

Last year she turned 50 - at the same time her daughter left home for university. Thrown by how much it affected her, Juliette Pochin, a record producer working with artists ranging from Alfie Boe through to Harry Styles and the London Symphony Orchestra, has come out from behind the studio and written a cabaret show Music, Mayhem and a Mezzo. She is making her debut at the Edinburgh Fringe from the 5th to the 13th August.

Presenter: Jessica Creighton
Producer: Kirsty Starkey

Interviewed Guest: Professor Fiona de Londras
Interviewed Guest: Rachel Yankey
Interviewed Guest: Francesca Brown
Interviewed Guest: Jaguar
Interviewed Guest: Nicola Davies
Interviewed Guest: Sam Smith
Interviewed ...

Commonwealth Games, Personality Disorders

The Commonwealth Games in Birmingham is underway and for the first time in a major multi-sport event, more medals will be awarded to women than men, with the medal programme confirming a total of 136 events for women compared to 134 for men. Jessica speaks to the the BBC Sports presenter, Clare Balding as well as the first ever female Chef de Mission for Team Scotland, who for the first time have more women competing in their team than men.

The impact of body image on mental and physical health is "wide-reaching according to a new wide ranging report out today by the Health and Social Care Committee which calls for e.g. for the Government to introduce a law so "commercial images" which feature bodies which have been doctored in any way - including changing body proportions or skin tone - are legally required to carry a logo to let viewers know they have been digitally altered. And the Government tospeed up the introduction of a promised licensing regime for non-surgical cosmetic procedures to prevent vulnerable people being exploited.. Jessica hears from Jeremy Hunt is Chair of the Committee, and Dawn Steele, a patient trustee to the board of the Joint Council For Cosmetic Practitioners.

Penelope Campling is a psychiatrist and psychotherapist. Over the course of her 40-year career she has seen many changes in the way we treat serious mental illness. She spent twenty years running the NHS personality disorder unit in Leicester. She has now retired from the NHS, still practising as a psychotherapist and has just published her second book, Don’t Turn Away: Stories of Troubled Minds in Fractured Times.

Presenter: Jessica Creighton
Producer: Dianne McGregor

Women's Euro 2022

What will the legacy of last night’s Women’s Euro 2022 be? The former lioness and second highest goal scorer Kelly Smith joins Andrea Catherwood alongside Dame Heather Rabbatts, Dame Heather was the first female board member of the Football Association when she joined in 2012.

We will also discuss the grass roots of the game and look at how accessible the sport is for girls across the UK.

David Kogan negotiated the sale of the TV rights for the Women’s Super League and is a long time advisor to the FA, he will join Andrea to discuss what's next for the business side of the sport.

And you’ll hear from Evelyn, a 7 year old goalie from Leeds, who has written a poem in honour of her favourite Lioness.

Presenter: Andrea Catherwood
Producer: Emma Pearce

Actor Samantha Womack, The Lionesses win, Dame Carolyn Fairbairn, Dear Daughter podcast, Jane Roe's daughter, The Home Edit

The actor Samantha Womack on her new role as the White Witch in The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe.

As the Lionesses reach the final of the Euros on Sunday let's not forget that the FA, the Football Assocation, banned the women's game for fifty years. Jacqui Oatley, the first female Match of the Day commentator, reflects on the women's game.

Women with learning disabilities die on average 26 years younger than the general population. In her first interview since taking up the role of chair of trustees at the learning disability charity Mencap, Dame Carolyn Fairbairn tells Emma about why the life, and death, of her sister Diana Fairbairn, who had learning disabilities and cerebral palsy, has inspired her new campaigning role to improve support for people with learning disabilities.

Namulanta Kombo on her award winning podcast 'Dear Daughter', which started with her idea of writing letters to her young daughter with advice for life.

Norma McCorvey is the real person behind the Roe vs Wade court case of 1972. Her eldest daughter Melissa Mills discusses what her mum would have made of the court case she was so central to being overturned.

Friends and business partners Clea Shearer and Joanna Teplin have become stars of pandemic feel-good TV with their Netflix show Get Organised with The Home Edit. They go into someone’s home and transform a cluttered space into something beautiful and functional.

Presenter: Anita Rani
Producer: Dianne McGregor

27 episodes

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