299 episodes

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

Woman's Hour BBC Radio 4

    • Kids & Family
    • 4.6 • 5 Ratings

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

    Alison Rodgers, Dan Scorer, Ros Coward, Anita Anand, Sarah Class, Tracey Cox, Dr Tristram Wyatt

    Alison Rodgers, Dan Scorer, Ros Coward, Anita Anand, Sarah Class, Tracey Cox, Dr Tristram Wyatt

    If you’re a social media user you may well be familiar with the concept of vabbing – vaginal dabbing – where you use vaginal fluid as a perfume behind the ears and neck. Proponents claim it acts as an aphrodisiac to would-be lovers by spreading pheromones. Emma Barnett talks to sex expert Tracey Cox and the evolutionary biologist Dr Tristram Hunt. Have you tried it? Does it work? And is it sanitary?

    Adam Downs is one of 15 people with learning disabilities who is in a high security hospital. He is currently at Rampton Secure Hospital with serial killers, murderers and paedophiles even though he has never been convicted of an offence. Ex-patients include killers Charles Bronson, Ian Huntley and Stephen Griffiths. His mother Alison Rodgers and Dan Scorer from the learning disability charity Mencap talk to us about their campaign for him to be cared for in the community. They say at least 2000 people with learning disabilities and or autism are currently being detained in inpatient hospital units in England and the Government is not reaching the targets they set.

    It’s almost 25 years since Diana Princess of Wales was killed in a car crash in Paris. She once famously said “being a princess isn’t all it’s cracked up to be” so what is the life of a princess in the modern royal family and how are our perceptions of that role influences by fiction and culture. Emma Barnett talks to Anita Anand the presenter of the Radio 4 series “Princess” which looks at famous historical and fictional princesses and also to writer and journalist Ros Coward who’s co-authored a new book “Diana: Remembering the Princess”

    Award winning musician Sarah Class who has composed and produced the music for the series ‘BBC Africa’ narrated by Sir David Attenborough, plays live in the studio ahead of her appearance at the Earth Prom concert at the Royal Albert Hall on 27th August, as part of the BBC Proms series.

    Presenter: Emma Barnett
    Producer: Lisa Jenkinson

    • 57 min
    Britain's secret war babies, Naomi Stadlen, Health impacts of anal sex

    Britain's secret war babies, Naomi Stadlen, Health impacts of anal sex

    Mary Phillips was born to a white British mother and an African American GI father – who she never met. She was one of around two thousand mixed-race children born into white, rural communities after the second world war. She joins Emma Barnett to tell the story of how she found her four half siblings in America, decades later, and what she found out about her father.

    Who do Conversative-voting young women want to be their next Prime Minister? Woman's Hour can reveal new data from Ella Robertson McKay, National Chair of the Conservative Young Women group.

    New research shows increasing numbers of young women in the UK are suffering injuries and other health problems because of the growing popularity of anal sex among straight couples. Emma Barnett talks to one of the authors of the report, Lesley Hunt who is a Consultant Colorectal Surgeon at Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust and also to Claudia Estcourt, from the British Association for Sexual Health and HIV.

    In her three books about mothering, the psychotherapist Naomi Stadlen has made visible the work, loving and teaching that mothers do. She joins Emma who herself has a much-thumbed copy of Naomi's first book 'What Mothers Do - especially when it looks like nothing'.

    The dating app Tinder is celebrating its tenth birthday. The launch of the app in 2012 and other digital platforms has changed how many people meet their long or short term partners. But not everyone thinks online dating has improved romance for the better. Aurora Townsend is the founder of Planet Theta and George Rawlings is co-founder of Thursday.

    Presenter: Emma Barnett
    Producer: Emma Pearce

    • 57 min
    Musician Self Esteem, Baroness Minouche Shafik and Female Astronomers

    Musician Self Esteem, Baroness Minouche Shafik and Female Astronomers

    Self Esteem is creating pop with purpose, tackling the patriarchy, sexual abuse and toxic relationships to a fun danceable beat. She is nominated for this year's Mercury Prize for her second album Prioritise Pleasure and joins Emma in the studio.

    The cost of living crisis has been a central point of contention between the two candidates vying to be our next Prime Minister. Emma is joined by Baroness Minouche Shafik, Director of the London School of Economics. Previously deputy governor at the Bank of England - touted by many as the favourite to have replaced Mark Carney as the Governor of the Bank when he stood down in 2019, instead Andrew Bailey took the role and recently declared a recession is likely.

    Before 1900, a woman who wanted to study the stars had to have a father, brother, or husband to provide entry. Now in a new book ‘The Sky Is for Everyone’, thirty seven leading women working in the field of astronomy, who have broken down barriers tell their personal stories of scientific success. Two of the women featured in the book are Cathie Clarke, Professor of Theoretical Astrophysics at the Institute of Astronomy, Cambridge and Professor Carole Mundell, the Hiroko Sherwin Chair in Extragalactic Astronomy, Head of Astrophysics at the University of Bath, and President of the UK Science Council.

    It’s been two weeks since the Lionesses brought home the Euro 2022 trophy. Last week the England Captain Leah Williamson spoke on this programme about the importance of ensuring girls have the chance to play football. Emma is joined by Richard, not his real name, whose daughter played for the Crystal Palace junior team but has recently heard her team has been cut.

    Presenter: Emma Barnett
    Producer: Emma Pearce

    • 52 min
    Women in Afghanistan one year after the Taliban took control, Children's Commissioner Rachel de Souza

    Women in Afghanistan one year after the Taliban took control, Children's Commissioner Rachel de Souza

    It has been a year since the Taliban took control of Afghanistan. The country is in economic crisis, there are droughts and the lives of women and girls have been impacted hugely. Emma is joined by an expert panel including the first female deputy speaker for the Afghanistan Parliament Fawzia Koofi, the former Women’s Minister Hasina Safi and Samira Sayed Rahman, from the International Rescue Committee. They will discuss access to education for girls, what role the international community should play and the situation for Afghan refugees in the UK.

    Over the weekend we learnt the Crown Prosecution Service - the CPS - said it isn't going to be prosecuting any of the people who were arrested at a vigil for Sarah Everard who was murdered last year. We hear from Barrister Pippa Woodrow of Doughty Street Chambers in London who's represented two of the women in this case.

    The government says it wants to improve how victims are treated in the criminal justice system across England and Wales. As part of that aim, there's a draft Victims Bill. It wants to give more weight to what a victim of crime says, improve support for victims so they can recover better, and make it easier for victims to maintain contact with the criminal justice system and stay connected. But the Children's Commissioner says the experience of children as victims needs special attention in this Bill, as they have different needs to adults. The Children's Commissioner for England, Rachel de Souza, tells us more.

    Plus are you pro-pocket? Data shows the majority of women want them, but clothes don’t always have them. We’re joined by comedian Tiff Stevenson to talk about her love for them and fashion historian Amber Butchart, who delves into their history.

    Presenter Emma Barnett
    Producer Beverley Purcell

    • 56 min
    Weekend Woman's Hour: Leah Williamson, Women and Partition, Afghan women's radio

    Weekend Woman's Hour: Leah Williamson, Women and Partition, Afghan women's radio

    Having led the England women’s team to Euro 2022 victory, the Lionesses' captain, Leah Williamson, reflects on the Euro 2022 victory and answers young listeners' questions.

    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. We discuss with Lauren Godier-McBard and Ria Jackson.

    It's the end of an era - the actor playing Peggy in The Archers is hanging up her mic at the age of 103. June Spencer has played the matriarch since 1951. Her last appearance was on Sunday's omnibus edition. Felicity Finch who plays Ruth Archer, shares how the rest of the cast has reacted to the news.

    It’s been described as one of the most seismic events of the 20th century, but how did the Partition of India 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.

    BBC Afghan have a new radio programme called 'Women' which focuses on women and girls, especially those in rural areas. 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. Faranak Amidi is the presenter of World Service's The Fifth Floor and caught up with Shazia and Aalia.

    Presenter: Anita Rani
    Producer: Lucy Wai
    Editor: Lisa Jenkinson

    • 56 min
    The Partition of India in 1947 and its impact on Women

    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

    • 51 min

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