300 episodes

The programme that offers a female perspective on the world

Woman's Hour BBC

    • News

The programme that offers a female perspective on the world

    Helen Lewis on Difficult Women, elder abuse in care homes, the National Women's Register

    Helen Lewis on Difficult Women, elder abuse in care homes, the National Women's Register

    Helen Lewis discusses her new book ‘Difficult Women: a history of feminism in 11 fights’ and why she believes that today’s feminists could gain from being more generous to the feminists of previous generations.

    A new Care Quality Commission report says that in a three month period in 2018, 899 sexual incidents or incidents of alleged sexual abuse were reported that took place in adult social care services such as residential and nursing homes. Elderly women were the ones most at risk. Jenni is joined by Veronica Gray, deputy CEO for Action On Elder Abuse to discuss their concerns.

    Dorka Herner studied psychology at university before becoming a TV journalist in Hungary. After having five children, she decided to change career and write a book ‘Inspired Parenting’ about what she had learnt as a mother. How do you become a more patient parent? How do you share attention between all of your children? And, what are the most common flashpoints in a crowded house?

    In 1960, a Guardian article on the isolation of mothers in suburbia sparked a network of women to meet up. There was only one rule: no talking about children or housework. The National Women’s Register as it’s become known is still going strong with members all over the country. Jenni talks to its national organiser Natalie Punter and to one of its trustees Jo Thompson, who’s a member of her local group in Leighton Buzzard in Bedfordshire, about how the organisation and its groups have changed over the years.

    Presenter: Jenni Murray
    Producer: Ruth Watts

    • 46 min
    When your child has cancer...

    When your child has cancer...

    Childhood cancer is thankfully rare and the past few decades have seen dramatic improvements in the outlook for children diagnosed with the disease; today more than three-quarters survive. We hear from three mothers – Sam, June and Jenny - whose children were diagnosed. How did they cope day to day watching their offspring struggle through endless treatment? How does it impact the rest of the family? And how has the experience affected their response to the world around them?

    Presenter: Jenni Murray
    Producer: Kirsty Starkey

    Interviewed Guest: Sam Waters-Long
    Interviewed Guest: Jenny Grenfell-Shaw
    Interviewed Guest: June Williams
    Interviewed Guest: Helen Campbell
    Interviewed Guest:, Anna Regan

    • 46 min
    Mercury retrograde. A new study into eating disorders. Clever working class women in the UK. Author Anne Enright.

    Mercury retrograde. A new study into eating disorders. Clever working class women in the UK. Author Anne Enright.

    Astrology concepts such as retrogrades and returns are no longer niche, they’re meme-worthy, and horoscopes have evolved from a bit of fun into revered life guidance. This isn’t the first time astrology has been part of the Zeitgeist, but it’s definitely enjoying a mainstream moment.
    So as Mercury the planet that rules technology, travel and communication is retrograde for the first time this year, we look at what that really means and the impact it could have on our life.

    An estimated 1.24 million people are affected by eating disorders in the UK, and less than half of those people make a full recovery. Yet the treatment and diagnosis is still comparatively misunderstood. We look at research which is just about to be launched that'll examine the possible genetic links.

    Clever working class women in the UK – how do they break through and how are they seen by their peers and those in power?

    Plus the author Anne Enright talks to us about her new novel "actress .


    Presenter Jenni Murray
    Producer Beverley Purcell

    Guest; Yasmin Boland
    Guest; Wendy Stacey
    Guest; Melanie Reynolds
    Guest; Panya Banjoko
    Guest; Kristin O’Donnell
    Guest; Anne Enright
    Guest; Dr Janet Treasure
    Guest; Andrew Radford

    • 45 min
    Sharon Horgan, Weinstein verdict, Dads and Hair, and Noor Inayat-Khan

    Sharon Horgan, Weinstein verdict, Dads and Hair, and Noor Inayat-Khan

    The Military Wives Choir captured the nation’s hearts when they got the number one spot in the Christmas chart in 2011. In her new film, Sharon Horgan plays one of the women who got the choir started. She joins us to discuss working on the feel-good project.

    Yesterday, Harvey Weinstein was found guilty of committing a criminal sexual act and third degree rape - and could go to jail for over 20 years. He was acquitted of two counts of predatory sexual assault. While some are celebrating the verdict as the start of a new era and a sign of changing public attitudes towards sexual assault, Weinstein's lead attorney Donna Rotunno promised to appeal, saying "the fight is not over". So what does the ruling mean for women? Jane talks through the ramifications with Amanda Taub from the New York Times and feminist writer and commentator, Joan Smith.

    There are a growing number of videos on social media of dads doing hair - not their own but their daughter’s. And there are groups of men across the country who are gaining hairdressing skills so they can confidently style their daughter’s hair. Jack Woodhams is one of those dads, and he loves spending quality time with his daughter doing her hair. Khembe Clarke teaches dads the techniques they need to style their daughter’s natural afro hair.

    A young Muslim woman, Noor Inayat-Khan was many things: a dutiful daughter, a musician, an artist, a poet fluent in several languages and a published writer. Later, she was a vital part of the fight against Nazism, as a wireless telephonist in the Women’s Auxiliary Air Force. She sacrificed her life for the cause of freedom and now a new interactive exhibition is keeping her story alive. Jane talks to Lynelle Howson, an historian at the Commonwealth War Graves Commission.

    Presenter - Jane Garvey
    Producer - Anna Lacey

    Guest - Amanda Taub
    Guest - Joan Smith
    Guest - Sharon Horgan
    Guest - Lynelle Howson
    Guest - Khembe Clarke
    Guest - Jack Woodhams

    • 47 min
    Family Secrets. Author Michelle Gallen. Women protesting in India.

    Family Secrets. Author Michelle Gallen. Women protesting in India.

    We continue our series Family Secrets. Listener Melanie explains why she finally went to the police to reveal her family secret after 37 years.

    There's global attention on President Trump’s trip to India – a guest of Prime Minister Modi of the Hindu Nationalist BJP. This morning he'll be making a speech at a cricket stadium in Gujarrat. Meanwhile- hundreds of women are said to be on hunger strike in Uttar Pradesh in the north of the country, protesting about new Citizenship laws. Salman, Divya Arya, a Women’s Affairs journalist at the BBC in India, gives us the background to the protests which have been going on for some time.

    Plus Majella works in the local chip shop in a small town in Northern Ireland with her alcohol-dependent mother. She’s the subject of Michelle Gallen’s first novel ‘Big Girl, Small Town’ . She talks to Jane about the inspiration behind it.


    Presented Jane Garvey
    Producer Beverley Purcell

    Guest; Michelle Gallen

    • 48 min
    Phoebe Waller-Bridge, Emetophobia, a Perfect Winter Salad

    Phoebe Waller-Bridge, Emetophobia, a Perfect Winter Salad

    Phoebe Waller-Bridge, famous for Fleabag and Killing Eve, is on the programme.

    We hear why the fear of being sick or hearing others be sick affects more women than men. It's called emetophobia and someone who suffers from it explains what it's like. Professor David Veale, a consultant psychiatrist at the Maudsley Hospital, joins us too.

    Islamic faith marriages aren’t valid under English law according to a recent Court of Appeal ruling. Now campaigners are worried that thousands of Muslim women have no rights if they divorce. We hear from Somiya who had to persuade her husband to marry her officially and Pragna Patel from Southall Black Sisters.

    An all-female team of investigative journalists from the 50-50 team at Open Democracy carried out an investigation into crisis pregnancy centres in 18 countries. Nandini Archer, the assistant editor, tells what they found out.

    We cook the perfect winter salad of red leaves, mackeral and orange with the food writer Catherine Phipps.

    And Tilda Offen, Harriet Adams and Ellie Welling, friends of 17 year old Ellie Gould who was murdered last year, tell us why they want self-defence classes to be part of the national curriculum.

    Presented by: Jane Garvey
    Produced by: Rabeka Nurmahomed
    Editor: Siobhann Tighe

    • 56 min

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