Woman's Hour: Daily Podcasts

BBC  |  Podcast , ±57 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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Why do Conservatives elect female leaders?

As the Conservative Party looks set to elect its third female leader and prime minister, it has left observers and women in other political parties wondering about the secret of their success. The Labour Party have yet to elect a female leader despite having introduced all women shortlists for the 1997 election which returned a record 101 female Labour MPs to the House of Commons, one of whom was Fiona Mactaggart the MP for Slough. She joins Emma Barnett alongside former cabinet minister and MP for Chipping Barnet Theresa Villiers.

This year, there have been increasing reports of refugees attempting to travel into Europe by sea, with some travelling by dinghy across the Mediterranean and across the channel into the UK. Last week, the Ocean Viking search & rescue ship rescued 466 women, children and men in 10 rescue operations within 60 hours in the Mediterranean, including two heavily pregnant women and a 3-week-old baby. Emma is joined by Rebecca, a British midwife and medical lead on board the Ocean Viking.

Leonardo DiCaprio has been called out for only publicly dating women under the age of 25. It comes as the 47-year-old actor broke things off with his girlfriend Camila Morrone who was 22 years his junior. We discuss why women are responding to the news online with so much humour and mockery with the digital culture commentator Hannah Van-de-peer. Emma also speaks to the relationship psychologist Emma Kenny.

Helen Fields is a criminal barrister turned bestselling author. Her latest novel The Last Girl to Die follows private investigator Sadie Levesque as she investigates murder on the Isle of Mull, far off the coast of Scotland.

Presenter: Emma Barnett
Producer: Lucinda Montefiore

Baroness Hale, Gossip, Women and unions, Becoming a mother when yours is dying, 'Frock Up Friday', Fangirls

Baroness Brenda Hale on Roe v Wade and her reaction – as well as if she supports the barrister strikes. She also talks about the differences between the UK and US justice systems, and whether we need to re-evaluate how rape cases are tried in the UK .

How much do you gossip? Two women who rely on gossiping to make a living talk about how much it runs the world, and its importance in politics.

Women are in some of the lowest-paid jobs in the country – but they also make up the majority of trade union members. General Secretary of UNISON, Christina McAnea, talks about why unions are striking and what could happen next.

How does it feel to become a mother when your own mother is dying? Hear one woman’s story of when this happened to her, and expert advice on how to cope with it and look after yourself, as well as everyone else.

It’s the joy of dressing up without the stress of going to the event…Frock Up Friday is something that now involves more than 15 thousand people dressing up every Friday night, and feeling good about themselves. The founders tell us about how we can be involved.

Fan-girls are often ridiculed or called hysterical – but they can do more than just sing a long to songs. A member of the BTS Army and a Korean Culture expert tell us about how fangirls can prompt activism and change.

Presenter: Anita Rani
Producer: Lottie Garton

'Frock up Friday', Young Conservative women, Fan Girls, Exercising outside,

The race to be the next Prime Minister comes to an end of Monday, when either Liz Truss or Rishi Sunak will enter Number 10. Ella Robertson McKay has recently interviewed both candidates as the National Chair of the Conservative Young Women group – which represents female party members under the age of 35. Ella joins Anita to discuss what each candidate is offering to young women and what Ella’s members think the winner should prioritise.

At the start of lockdown in spring 2020 two friends living in Hastings set up a Facebook group for friends to experience the excitement of dressing up on a Friday and getting ready to go out when everybody was forced to stay at home. The 'Frock up Friday' movement was born and within three weeks the group had 10,000 members worldwide, now two years later they number 15,000 and are still growing. The friends who founded the group call themselves the 'Mother Frockers' – Beverli Francis and Suzie Simms – and they’ll be joining Anita Rani this morning to talk about their picture book which details many of the fabulous outfits members share, their festival this weekend for online friends to finally meet up in person, as well as their plans for the future.

In July the healthcare charity Nuffield Health published data which showed that 47% of women had done no vigorous exercise in the past year. It was quickly pointed out that there might be lots of reasons for this - lack of time and money for example but there are other factors too. Every Body Outdoors is a group of women who are determined to fight for clothing and kit which fits them and they want to see larger and plus-sized people out and doing exercise. Charlotte Petts joins 5 of the group in the Brecon Beacons as they walk and talk about their campaign and their experiences.

In the third and final part of our Woman’s Hour series on Fangirls we ask: Is there a darker side to being a fangirl? We speak to freelance writer Jessica Lucas.

Presenter: Anita Rani
Producer: Kirsty Starkey

Interviewed Guest: Liz Bates
Interviewed Guest: Ella Robertson Mckay
Interviewed Guest: Beverli Francis
Interviewed Guest: Suzie Simms
Reporter: Charlotte Petts
Interviewed Guest: Jessica Lucas

Baroness Hale on Roe v Wade, Lara Feigel

The former President of the Supreme Court Baroness Brenda Hale joins Emma Barnett to give her reaction to the overturning of Roe vs Wade in the United States. She will also talk about a woman’s right to an abortion here in the UK.

In her new book, Look! We Have Come Through! Living with D.H. Lawrence, Lara Feigel, Professor of Modern Literature and Culture at King’s College London, tells the story of a pandemic year spent in the company of her partner, her two children and D.H Lawrence. Lara joins Emma to talk about D.H Lawrence and how an author can inform and change your life.

Friends Forever, Fangirls, Period Justice and Flood Victims, and Energy Crisis and use of Public Facilities

In a new series 'Friends Forever?' we are looking at key relationships in many women's lives, those with female friends. Specifically we're interested in when things go wrong - when and why friendships fall apart and how devastating that can be. And, whether they can be repaired. Annie and Lizzie were very close at school and after and then their lives diverged. They each told their story to Jo Morris.

More than 33 million people have been impacted by the devastating floods in Pakistan, and over a thousand people have died since mid-June. Emma is joined by two students from Pakistan who have set up Mahwari Justice campaign to get sanitary products to those in need.

In the second part of our Woman’s Hour series on Fangirls we ask: Can fangirls change the world? We speak to Professor Jay Song, associate professor in Korean Studies at the University of Melbourne about the political power of fangirls, and a member of the BTS Army, Dr Heta Bhatt. We deep dive into the world of K-Pop band BTS and their loyal fandom called the BTS Army, who have been instrumental in shaping politics and socioeconomic issues in Korea and beyond.

The cost of living crisis is having an impact on us all. And while paying a monthly fee to go to the gym may likely be seen by some as non-essential expenditure – some people say using the facilities there like showering can help shave hundreds of pounds off energy bills. Should there be boundaries on what facilities people can use in the public sphere? We are joined on the programme by the money saving expert and mum Gemma Bird. The mayor of Bristol, Marvin Rees also chats to us about setting up ‘warm banks’ - those are heated sites like museums and galleries for those unable to afford their energy bills.

Outliving Mum, Women and Unions

How does it feel to reach the age your Mum was when she died? Jo Morris has talked to 3 women who feel a clock ticking. Their stories are all different but they have one thing in common – none of them have felt able to talk about this before. They didn’t want to worry their loved ones or vocalise difficult thoughts.

As the cost of living crisis worsens for families across the country, workers have been voting for industrial action over below-inflation pay offers in what many are describing as the “summer of discontent” . They include transport workers, firefighters, doctors, nurses, teachers, postal workers, civil servants, lawyers and British Telecoms engineers. Women are in some of lowest paid jobs and now make up the majority of trade union members. We speak to Christina McAnea General Secretary of the UK’s largest union - UNISON – and also to Sarah Boston, author of Women Workers and the Trade Unions. We investigate what role women are playing in both the movement and the strikes.

Presented by Emma Barnett
Producer Beverley Purcell

Gossip: why we love it, why we do it, professional gossips, & its use in novels, films and television

What comes to mind when you hear the word gossip? You’re probably imagining two women together whispering or laughing. Gossip has a bad reputation, but it can be a way of forming and maintaining, friendships. Comedian Rachel Parris and improv-artist Lauren Shearing who she works with on 'Austentatious: An Improvised Jane Austen Novel, talk about the role gossip plays in their relationship.

Why do we gossip and why's it get such a bad rap when we enjoy it so much? We hear from Dr Kathryn Waddington, Emerita Fellow in Psychology at Westminster University who's researched and written about gossip for 25 years.

In the Middle Ages the word gossip meant ‘women who supported other women during childbirth’ so when did it change into the ‘gossip’ we know today? Historians Professor Melanie Tebbutt from Manchester Metropolitan University and Dr Natalie Hanley-Smith from Oxford Brookes University discuss.

So what if the discovering and reporting of gossip is your profession? Journalist Marie Le Conte, a former diarist for the Evening Standard and Camilla Wright the founder of Popbitch look at the life of a professional gossip.

Sex and relationships are a cornerstone of gossip. It’s often - ‘who is doing what?’ and ‘with whom!?’ But what happens if you broadcast your life to the world? Rubina Pabani and Poppy Jay are the hosts of BBC podcast Brown Girls Do It Too. In the days of social media - how do they find the judgemental gossip mill?

Gossip is often a key strand in storylines in films, TV and novels. Whether it’s introduced for comic effect or used in the build up to the climax of a drama, or to build intrigue in a reality television series Literary critic Alex Clark and film and television critic, Hanna Flint illustrate how.

Presenter: Emma Barnett
Producer: Kirsty Starkey

Guest: Rachel Parris
Guest: Lauren Shearing
Guest: Dr Kathryn Waddington
Guest: Prof Melanie Tebbutt
Guest: Dr Natalie Hanley-Smith
Guest: Marie Le Conte
Guest: Camilla Wright
Guest: Rubina Pabani
Guest: Poppy Jay
Guest: Alex Clark
Guest: Hanna Flint

DJ BB, DJ Ritu, Dame Esther Rantzen, Ros Whitehouse, Dr Caroline Boyd, Joy Porter, Dr Mariaelena Huambachano

On our final day of Listener Week Jessica Creighton brings a host of stories to the table inspired by your requests.

Listener Carol is DJ BB. She got in touch to tell us about taking up DJ’ing in her 50s and setting up an event called ‘She’s In Control’. Nearly 60 she tells us about the negative perception of older women in music and the club scene. DJ Ritu is the same age as Carol but has been in the club scene since her 20s. They both join Jess Creighton to dissect the music and club scene through the lens of an older female DJ.

Have you decided to retire and then changed your mind months or years later? What made you de-retire? Were the reasons financial? Did you miss the mental stimulation or daily structure or the socialising? Jessica Creighton speaks to Ros Whitehouse who, in her early 70’s, felt society was telling her to retire but within months she realised it was a mistake. Dame Esther Rantzen, founder of the Silver Line Helpline, joins them.

We received an email from an anonymous listener who described her experience of being an unwanted child. To discuss this issue, and the impact it can have later in life, Jessica speaks to Dr Caroline Boyd – a peri-natal, chartered clinical psychologist.

And we look at matrilineal communities who trace kinship through the female line and can involve the inheritance of property and titles with Woman’s Hour listener and Professor of Indigenous and Environmental History at the University of Hull, Joy Porter and Dr. Mariaelena Huambachano, Environmental Humanities, Native American and Indigenous Studies at Syracuse University.

Presenter: Jessica Creighton
Producer: Lisa Jenkinson
Studio Manager: Duncan Hannant
Photo Credit: Mahaneela

Rosie's Plaques, Anorexia and Sectioning, Hormones and Learning to Trapeze

As Listener Week continues...

Nicky e-mailed us about a group in Norwich called Rosie’s Plaques, who put up blue plaques for the brilliant and daring things women have done over the years. Maggie Wheeler from the group joins Emma Barnett to talk about why they do it.

Alice emailed in as she wants to address the issue of negative connotations around hormones. She feels that more conversations should happen between mothers and their children about hormones and we should be embracing our hormones and the way we behave because of them. Also joining the discussion will be Dr Farah Ahmed, women’s health specialist.

A topic that we feature a lot on Woman’s Hour is eating disorders and the mental health of young people, something that has been particularly highlighted during the pandemic. When it comes to mental health services, we often speak about waiting lists and lack of resources, but one listener, Freya, got in touch because she wanted to share her experience of having anorexia and being sectioned, and coming out the other side.

And Liz emailed to tell us about the unusual way she keeps fit: on a trapeze. It was a friend who persuaded to take it up in her late 40s. She'll be explaining how it changed her life and feels like joy therapy, along with Katy Kartwheel - an actress and circus performer, who also teaches aerial skills to people of all ages.

Listener Week: 106 marathons in 106 days, Universal Basic Income, Widowhood

Emma is joined by listener duo - and world record holders - Fay and Emma who ran 106 marathons in 106 consecutive days. Enduring a gruelling 2,777 miles of running, the pair hope to inspire people to be active while you can, focusing on what the body can do – not what it looks like!

The killing of 9 year old Olivia Pratt-Korbel in Liverpool has shocked the city and the country. Listener Bobby wanted us to discuss women being killed in shootings. Jenny Kirkham, content editor for the Liverpool Echo, joined Emma Barnett.

Listener Ruth Griffin got in touch to say “Please please get someone on to talk about Universal Basic Income!" Trials have been undertaken in Wales, Kenya and Finland, and Ruth asks…"why aren’t we pushing this to be introduced?" Professor Guy Standing is founder and co-President of the Basic Income Earth Network, an NGO promoting basic income as a right, Guy is joined by Ruth Kelly, a fomer Labour MP and Minister and now Senior Fellow at the Policy Exchange Think Tank.

We’ve all heard of Florence Nightingale, but have you heard of Rufaida Al-Asalmiya? Born 2,000 years before her, Rufaida was known for her work in promoting hygiene practices in invasive procedures, she was the first documented user of mobile care units in conflict zones. Listener Sofiya, who herself is a registered nurse and Muslim only just heard about Rufaida a few weeks ago. Sofiya joins Emma alongside writer Dr Shamaila Anwar.

As part of listener week Coral from London wants to know why widowhood is not talked about more - is it taboo? She's joined by Sue from Norwich who has experiences and wisdom to share.

Presenter: Emma Barnett
Producer: Emma Pearce

Listener week: Patriarchal wedding practices. Ukraine sponsorship. Rural bullying. Pubic hair loss in menopause

Listener Week: stories suggested by you.

Many of you wanted us to talk about the patriarchal nature of some wedding traditions which seem to have stood the test of time like being walked down the aisle by your dad. Why are they still around and what do they symbolise? We look at their roots with Rachael Lennon, author of Wedded Wife: A Feminist History of Marriage; and journalist Sarah Graham, who planned a feminist wedding.

We regularly cover the health issues women face as they approach the menopause. One listener asked us to raise awareness of a less publicised aspect of the process - which is pubic hair loss. Many women finds this gradually happens from the perimenopause on and unlike when you’re younger, it doesn’t grow back and it's said can exacerbate problems with libido and sexual identity. Emma finds out more from the Chair of the Menopause Society Paula Briggs and the Sex Therapist Stella Sonnenbaum.

The refugees minister, Lord Harrington, has made a plea to the Treasury to double the money given to families hosting Ukrainian refugees. He fears that the cost of living may lead to a quarter of the host households pulling out of the scheme at the end of October when the initial six months is up. Many people are having a positive life-affirming experiences, but we have also been contacted by some listeners who are having a trickier time and feel not much is being said publicly about when these situations go wrong.,

And advice for a mother who lives in a rural area who emailed about her daughter being bullied from . Kidscape’s CEO Lauren Seager-Smith and Consultant Child Psychologist Dr Jane Gilmour.

Presenter Emma Barnett
Producer Beverley Purcell

27 episodes

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