300 episodes

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

Woman's Hour BBC

    • Kids & Family
    • 4.2 • 87 Ratings

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

    Dame Darcey Bussell; Single Fatherhood; Rape Review with Max Hill QC

    Dame Darcey Bussell; Single Fatherhood; Rape Review with Max Hill QC

    Dame Darcey Bussell is the former Principal of The Royal Ballet & Strictly Judge, President of the RAD & creator of Diversity Dance Mix. She joins Anita to talk about her passion for dance and her mission to rescue Britain’s ballet dancers, and raise spirits and money for struggling dance companies, by creating the British Ballet Charity Gala. The event was performed at the Royal Albert Hall in London bringing together eight ballet companies in one evening of dance. It will be pay per view streamed from 7pm tonight and available on demand until 18 July.

    This Sunday is Father’s Day, and a new film out today on Netflix – ‘Fatherhood’ - explores the life of a single father raising his daughter. What is it like for the men who are lone parents? And how do young women feel growing up without a mother? Anita speaks to two fathers, and their daughters, to share their stories.

    The government has just published its delayed review into how the criminal justice system deals with rape in England and Wales. It comes after charges, prosecutions and convictions for rape fell over the last five years and looks at every part of the system from when an allegation is made to whether or not it makes it trial and then conviction. A crucial part of the legal chain is the Crown Prosecution Service which decides which cases go forward for trial based on the available evidence. The head of the CPS is the Director of the Public Prosecutions – currently Max Hill QC. He joins Anita to discuss the government’s review and their own plans for increasing conviction rates.

    Presented by Anita Rani
    Producer: Louise Corley
    Editor: Karen Dalziel

    • 57 min
    Shirley J. Thompson; Female rabbis; Underwear in Pakistan

    Shirley J. Thompson; Female rabbis; Underwear in Pakistan

    Composer Shirley J. Thompson is the first woman in Europe to have composed and conducted a symphony within the last 40 years - New Nation Rising, A 21st Century Symphony, which was originally commissioned for the Queen’s Golden Jubilee in 2002, and then used for the 2012 Olympics Opening Ceremony. She’s now composed a new work, Emanation, which she’s written for the disabled-led ensemble BSO Resound. The ensemble is giving a live-streamed performance of the world premiere from Lighthouse, Poole.

    Earlier this week, Lindsey Taylor-Guthartz was ordained as an Orthodox rabbi at a Jewish college in New York. But as a woman, her ordination is not recognised by the Orthodox community in the UK. She is also no longer able to teach at the London School of Jewish Studies. Lindsey talks to Emma about the positive role of women within Orthodox Judaism and why she thinks opinion on female rabbis is starting to change. However, hers is by no means a position shared by all women within the community. Rachie Binstock explains why she is comfortable with the tradition of male-only rabbis when it comes to her faith.

    What do you look for in a good pair of pants? Advertisers have long told us that lacy, barely-there luxury is what all women want. But high on the priority list for most women is almost certainly comfort. However, experiencing the simple pleasure of a well-fitting bra and pants is not something accessible to all women everywhere. BBC Urdu reporter Saher Baloch talks to Emma about the uncomfortable problem of female underwear in Pakistan, and Qamar Zaman from underwear manufacturer Amami Clothing explains the taboo hampering efforts to bring about change.

    • 57 min
    Jessie Ware; girls disappearing from care services; women's football and sponsorship

    Jessie Ware; girls disappearing from care services; women's football and sponsorship

    The singer-songwriter Jessie Ware was nominated for Female Solo Artist and Album of the Year at this Year’s BRIT Awards. She was also included in Barack Obama’s favourite music playlist of 2020. Jessie has been busy in lockdown recording new songs for the deluxe Platinum Pleasure edition of her hit album What's Your Pleasure? In tandem with her music career, her family’s passion for food led to her weekly podcast Table Manners with her mother Lennie, and she has just released her second book - Omelette - a loving gaze of life through eating and food. She joins Emma to discuss some of her favourite food memories from white bread and spaghetti Bolognese to chopped and fried fish – and omelettes.

    A few weeks ago the Times newspaper published the results of an investigation which said that the Police and social services were failing thousands of girls as young as 11 who had been repeatedly reported missing while at risk of sexual abuse. One child in West Yorkshire had ‘disappeared’ 197 times in three years. We speak to Kelly, who was one of those regularly disappearing from the children’s homes she lived in in the 1990’s, about the impact the lack of intervention at the time has had on her life. Now volunteering as an ambassador for the Maggie Oliver Foundation, supporting other young women who have had similar life experiences, she concurs with the Times research believing these vulnerable young people are continuing to be let down. As a campaigner in this area for many years, Maggie Oliver explains what she thinks needs to happen going forward to stop the continued abuse and exploitation. They are joined by Charlotte Ramsden, President of the Association of Children's Services.

    Women football fans of Norwich City have persuaded their club to drop sexist and degrading images attached to a sponsorship deal, despite it being very lucrative. Norwich City has got rid of a sponsorship worth £5 million. The content that was considered offensive was on the Youtube and Instagram sites of an Asian online gambling company called BK8. Eddie Mullan is a big fan of Norwich City, so much so she makes banners for the matches with a group called Along Comes Norwich and Simon Stone is the BBC Sport reporter.

    Gemma Barnett has won the spoken word category of the new Poetry for Good competition, the UK’s first nationwide poetry awards launched in celebration of key workers for her poem The Front Desk. Gemma is an actor but as theatres began to close last year with COVID she realised she needed to get another job – finding work as a GP’s receptionist. She wrote this poem in admiration of the female team who worked there. Emma hears about Gemma’s experiences and hears her poem.

    • 56 min
    Summer hair trends; Police & sexual misconduct - Woman's Hour/Newsnight reveal 1,400 accused

    Summer hair trends; Police & sexual misconduct - Woman's Hour/Newsnight reveal 1,400 accused

    Summer’s here and despite the restrictions still in place on social gathering we’re still managing to meet up with friends and enjoy the odd night out. One aspect of that is of course looking your best and a big part of that is your hair, which has had to take a backseat in terms of grooming and maintenance over the last eighteen months of lockdowns. But, we are returning to salons and apparently trying lots of new and old styles, as well as getting more creative with colour. Hair stylist Nicky Clarke gives Emma Barnett a summer make over and Camilla Kay from Glamour Magazine points out the trends including seventies flicks and “big hair” and the “Shullet” – the modern take on the mullet.

    Most of us would think of the police as a safe place to turn to in a time of need. But it's a belief that has been seriously questioned by a couple of incidents over the past year. In a joint investigation with Newsnight we asked police forces in the UK, how many police had been accused of sexual misconduct. Of course most police officers do their jobs with integrity and honesty but campaigners say some of the results were worrying. Our reporter Melanie Abbott has been looking at this.

    Shamima Begum, Kimberly Polman and Hoda Muthana are just a few of the names who made headline news around the world after leaving their homes in the West to join the so called Islamic State. With rare access to the detention camp in Northern Syria, Alba Sotorra Clua's new film 'The Return: Life After ISIS' features some of the women who devoted their lives to the group and who feel they should be given the chance to start over, back home in the West.

    MP Jess Phillips is calling for there to be less shame around HPV – a sexually transmitted infection that she had in her twenties. Most sexually active people will contract HPV but won’t know they have it. For 90% of people it clears up but for others it can be serious. Jess Phillips found out she had HPV when she was 22 and pregnant and is talking about this to raise awareness for Cervical Cancer Screening Awareness week. Dr Sarah Jarvis also joins Emma.


    Presenter: Emma Barnett
    Producer: Kirsty Starkey

    Interviewed Guest: Harriet Wistrich
    Interviewed Guest: Nicky Clarke
    Interviewed Guest: Camilla Kay
    Photographer: Daniel Thomas Smith from Glamour
    Interviewed Guest: Alba Sotorra Clua
    Interviewed Guest: Jess Phillips
    Interviewed Guest: Dr Sarah Jarvis

    • 57 min
    Domestic violence prevention. Managing how our data’s used. Veteran journalist Hella Pick. "Freedom Day" postponed.

    Domestic violence prevention. Managing how our data’s used. Veteran journalist Hella Pick. "Freedom Day" postponed.

    We hear many stories of domestic abuse but rarely from those who have been the perpetrators. John, who's just completed a 20 week domestic violence prevention programme at the Hampton Trust, speaks out to encourage other men to seek help. He's joined by Vicky Gilroy who's a facilitator on the prevention programmes at the Hampton Trust .

    In today’s online digital world everything we do now on our phones or our computers—everything we look at, click on or say online, becomes “data”. Companies and governments increasingly share and use this information. A small UK based team of experts called Foxglove is challenging how our data’s used . Cori Crider a Director at Foxglove talks about how amongst other things the group successfully challenged the A Level grading algorithm last year,

    Plus as we mark Refugee Week Hella Pick joins us to talk about life as a Kindertransport survivor. She went on to carve out a hugely successful career in journalism. In her 35 year career she's reported on everything from the assassination of President Kennedy to the closing stages of the Cold War. In her book " Invisible Walls A Journalist in Search of Her Life", she explores her life as a female journalist and her struggles with identity.

    And scientific experts have urged the government to consider delaying 'Freedom Day' from the original planned Step 4 date following a rise in cases of the Delta variant. This will be devastating news for many of those working in the hospitality industry. To discuss the reaction and implications by Kate Nicholls, CEO of UK Hospitality, and Kirsty McCall, a make up artist who yesterday announced the closing of her business after 15 years.



    Presenter Emma Barnett
    Producer Beverley Purcell.

    • 57 min
    Paloma Faith, Heath Minister Nadine Dorries, Sexual harassment in the workplace, No-fault divorce

    Paloma Faith, Heath Minister Nadine Dorries, Sexual harassment in the workplace, No-fault divorce

    Paloma Faith on combining motherhood with her music as well as her reaction to the OFSTED survey that sexual harassment of schoolchildren has become normalised in schools. Her new single Monster is about her relationship with her career.

    What's the best way to stamp out sexual harassment in the workplace? We discuss with Stella Chandler, Director of Development at Focal Point Training which runs in person workplace behavioural courses that includes sexual harassment, and Deeba Syed, a lawyer who set up and manages the sexual harassment at work advice line at Rights of Women.

    The new figurehead known as Nannie is now being installed on the famous ship, the Cutty Sark: the tea clipper that resides in a specially designed dry dock in Greenwich next to the river Thames in London. Why is the figurehead of a ship often a woman? Louise Macfarlane is senior curator at the Cutty Sark.

    The Health Minister Nadine Dorries on the public call for evidence for England's first women's health strategy.

    The new no-fault divorce law has been delayed in England until 2022. What can make divorce less complicated and confrontational? We hear from Ellie, who is in the middle of a break-up, Kate Daly who runs Amicable, an online divorce service, and divorce lawyer Ayesha Vardag.

    What's so special about the relationship between gay men and their straight female best friends? In celebration of Pride Month, we discuss with Matt Cain, author and ambassador of Manchester Pride, and Jill Nalder, best friend of Russell T Davies, and the inspiration for Jill Baxter in the C4 drama 'It's a Sin'.

    Presenter: Chloe Tilley
    Producer : Dianne McGregor

    • 57 min

Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5
87 Ratings

87 Ratings

Finnwins ,

My link to the issues that matter

Despite living in rural Ireland, I always relate to at least one topic each day. Because, I’m a late 30 something woman with concerns, hopes and interests. Most of which have been addressed this past year.

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