An award-winning author, columnist, journalist, activist and a pioneering voice on immigration, diversity, and multiculturalism, Yamin Alibhai-Brown is arguably one of the most influential women in Britain. A self described 'leftie liberal, anti-racist, feminist, Muslim' she is a familiar face on our TV screens and on the newsstands, and is well known for her quick-wit and articulate commentary on gender identity and creating social change. Alibhai-Brown came to the UK in 1972 from Uganda after completing her undergraduate degree in English at Makerere University. As a journalist she has written for The Guardian, Observer, The New York Times, Time Magazine, Newsweek, The Evening Standard, The Mail and other newspapers and was a weekly columnist on The Independent for eighteen years. She was the first regular columnist of colour on a national newspaper in the UK, the first female Muslim too. For over twenty five years she has been consulted by various institutions and businesses on race and gender equality, and has met and advised politicians, peers and ministers on diversity and inclusion policies in Britain’s complex democracy. She is, it has to be said, a total powerhouse.
In this in-depth podcast I chat to Alibhai-Brown about her background, views and career. We talk at length about confronting sexism, racism, ageism and lookism. We cover the immense pressure on women over 45 in the media to look good, and chat about how she feels about getting older. We also speak in detail about Alibhai-Brown's latest book: 'Ladies Who Punch: Fifty Trailblazing Women Whose Stories You Should Know' which celebrates fifty daring and indomitable women who have punched their way through life and challenged the world order to fight for their human rights. Both famous and lesser known, the line-up includes Sophia Singh, the forgotten suffragette; detective superintendent Shabnam Chaudhri, the first Asian/Muslim to hold that role in the Met; and Harriet Wistrich, the inimitable human rights lawyer. Then there's Reni Eddo-Lodge, Caroline Criado Perez, Laura Bates and more (even women Alibhai-Brown doesn't like, but recognises for their extraordinary actions). Featuring interviews with the women themselves and cheering on those who are fighting for equality, this brilliant book of fearless ladies is a tonic during what is turning out to be an exceedingly crappy year.
Producer and audio engineer: Linda Ara-Tebaldi
Host: Alyson Walsh
Guest: Yasmin Alibhai-Brown
Music: David Schweitzer
Artwork: Ayumi Takahashi
Digital technician: Tom Hole at Stirtingale
Coordinator: Helen Johnson