300 episodes

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

Woman's Hour BBC Radio 4

    • Society & Culture
    • 4.9 • 14 Ratings

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

    Female history in 101 objects, Big hair, Toilet training and schools, Primodos

    Female history in 101 objects, Big hair, Toilet training and schools, Primodos

    A parliamentary committee has issued a new and scathing report about Primodos - a pregnancy test drug issued by doctors between the1950s and 1970s. The All Party Parliamentary Group on Hormone Pregnancy Tests says claims there is no proven link between Primodos and babies being born with malformations is “factually and morally wrong". The report claims evidence was “covered up” that it's possible to “piece together a case that could reveal one of the biggest medical frauds of the 20th century”. Around 1.5 million women in Britain were given hormone pregnancy tests which was 40 times the strength of an oral contraceptive pill. We hear from Hannah Bardell the SNP MP for Livingstone and a member of the APPG and Marie Lyon who gave birth to a daughter with limbs that were not fully formed - she had been prescribed Primodos. She has been campaigning for nearly 50 years.
    One in four children starting school in England and Wales are not toilet-trained, according to teachers who now spend a third of their day supporting pupils who are not school-ready, a report has found. That’s according to the early-years charity, Kindred2 who polled 1,000 primary school staff and 1,000 parents. Only 50% of parents think they are solely responsible for toilet-training their child, while one in five parents think children do not need to be toilet-trained before starting reception. What’s the reality in schools and whose responsibility is it? We hear from Steve Marsland, Headteacher, Russell Scott Primary school in Denton, Greater Manchester.
    Last week we got excited about big hair having a comeback after Miley Cyrus’ backcombed tresses at the Grammys made headlines. The larger-than-life hair-do was a fun change from the straight hair that has dominated fashion for decades. But it didn't last long - Paris Fashion Week is now in full swing and we’re back to the slicked back buns. So, will big hair ever truly come back and why did it fall out of fashion? Hair historian Rachael Gibson, and academic, and author of Don’t Touch My Hair, Emma Dabiri join Anita Rani to discuss big hair.
    In a new series, Woman’s Hour is starting frank and open conversations about how porn has shaped lives and relationships. Reporter Ena Miller has spoken to a woman who had to decide where to draw the line around her partner’s p**n use, and we revisit an interview with Erika Lust, the adult filmmaker whose work focusses on female pleasure and ethical production.
    Anita takes a walk through female history looking at 101 objects with the writer Annabelle Hirsch. There are artefacts of women celebrated by history and of women unfairly forgotten by it, examples of female rebellion and of self-revelation. They delve into a cabinet of curiosities ranging from the bidet and the hatpin to radium-laced chocolate and Kim Kardashian’s ring.
    Presenter: Anita Rani
    Producer: Kirsty Starkey
    Studio Manager: Duncan Hannant

    • 57 min
    Alabama IVF, Porn series, Tattoos

    Alabama IVF, Porn series, Tattoos

    Both Republicans and Democrats in the US state of Alabama are trying to find a legal solution that would protect access to IVF treatment, after a court ruling cast doubt on its future. Alabama's Supreme Court ruled earlier this month that frozen embryos have the same rights as children. Jenny Kleeman speaks to lawyer Eric Wrubel, who specialises in fertility law and Kristia Rumbley who has three frozen embryos at a fertility clinic in Alabama.
    How is porn shaping our sex lives? In a new Woman’s Hour series we want to start an honest conversation about how the availability and content of p**n affects what we do, how we feel and what we expect. Today, our reporter Ena Miller talks to a woman who had to decide where the line was for her around her husband's porn use.
    Is the boys' club in tattooing over? A new book, Tattoo You, celebrates the most innovate and trailblazing tattoo artists from across the world – two thirds of which are women, non-binary and trans artists. Tattoo expert Alice Snape and tattoo artist Tanya Buxton discuss shifts in the industry and the future of tattooing.
    The tale of the relationship between actress Tippi Hedren and director Alfred Hitchcock is told as part of a new play, Double Feature. In her memoir, Tippi accused Hitchcock of sexual assault. Joanna Vanderham, who plays Tippi, and Helen O’Hara, a film critic, join Jenny to explore how the play portrays that tumultuous relationship.
    Presenter: Jenny Kleeman
    Producer: Emma Pearce

    • 57 min
    Yvette Cooper on Raneem's Law, Porn review, Andi and Charlotte Osho, Lucia Keskin

    Yvette Cooper on Raneem's Law, Porn review, Andi and Charlotte Osho, Lucia Keskin

    Shadow Home Secretary Yvette Cooper is calling for 'Raneem’s Law' in memory of a 22-year-old woman who was stabbed to death by her ex-husband. Raneem Oudeh spoke to police five times in less than two hours before her ex-husband killed her and her mother Khaola Saleem in 2018. One of Labour’s proposals is for domestic abuse specialists in 999 control rooms so that victims speak to an expert from their first call. Emma speaks to Yvette Cooper in her first broadcast interview on the issue and also to Raneem’s aunt, Nour Norris, who is backing the proposals.
    In a new Woman’s Hour series we want to start an honest conversation about how the availability and content of p**n affects what we do, how we feel and what we expect from sex and relationships. Today we begin by speaking to the woman leading the Independent Pornography Review for the government looking at the legislative and regulatory framework around pornography. The Conservative peer Baroness Gabby Bertin joins Emma in the studio.
    Last July comedian, actor and author Andi Osho joined spoke to us about her second novel, Tough Crowd. During the interview Andi revealed she was also editing her mother’s memoirs – a legacy for her three children. Charlotte Osho has now published The Jagged Path and she joins Emma along with her editor/daughter Andi.
    A new sitcom called Things You Should Have Done starts on the 29th February on BBC Three. It follows Chi, who's parents have died and has to learn how to fend for herself. It was written by comedian Lucia Keskin, who also stars as Chi. She joins Emma to talk about the series and where her inspiration came from.

    • 57 min
    Nadine Shah, Vivian Oparah, Baby loss certificates, Amber Heard trolling

    Nadine Shah, Vivian Oparah, Baby loss certificates, Amber Heard trolling

    Through her songs, the Mercury prize nominated singer/songwriter Nadine Shah has explored mental health, the refugee crisis and feminism. The subject matter of her last album, Kitchen Sink, included themes of fertility, tradition and identity told through the stories of women at different stages of their lives. Now Nadine’s latest work - Filthy Underneath – is a raw collection of songs which chronicle a period of unprecedented turbulence in her life from grief to addiction and PTSD.
    The new podcast Who Trolled Amber? investigates allegations that Amber Heard was trolled online by an army of AI bots after her trial with Johnny Depp.
    Podcast host Alexi Mostrous and Professor Gina Neff, Executive Director of the Minderoo Centre for Technology and Democracy at the University of Cambridge, discuss this and the wider implications of abuse of women online.
                                                                                                             
    Parents across England who lost a baby before 24 weeks of pregnancy can now apply for a baby loss certificate as part of a new government scheme. Babies who are born dead after 24 weeks are officially registered - but this doesn’t happen for babies born before that stage. Every year there are thought to be a quarter of a million miscarriages and more than 11,000 hospital admissions for losses because of ectopic pregnancies. Now, campaigners say they’re thrilled that families will finally get the acknowledgement that their baby existed - for however short a time. Emma Barnett speaks to one such campaigner - Zoe Clark-Coates – who runs the baby loss and bereavement charity The Mariposa Trust and campaigned for these certificates for nine years.
                                                                                                    
    Vivian Oparah played the female lead in British hit film Rye Lane, for which she was Bafta-nominated this year. She's now starring in a new TV comedy thriller called Dead Hot, playing the sister of a man who's mysteriously disappeared. Vivian joins Emma in the Woman's Hour studio.
    Presented by Emma Barnett
    Producer: Louise Corley
    Studio Engineers: Emma Harth & Gayl Gordon

    • 53 min
    Actor Samantha Morton, Mary Beard, Leap year proposals

    Actor Samantha Morton, Mary Beard, Leap year proposals

    The twice Oscar-nominated actor Samantha Morton has just received the Bafta Fellowship: a lifetime achievement award which recognises an outstanding contribution to film and television. She grew up in the social care system and began working in film and television at the age of 13. In a moving speech at the Baftas last week, Samantha dedicated the award to every child in care today.
    2024 is a leap year and 29 February is the day when traditionally women are "allowed" to propose to their male partner.  We hear your stories and discuss the tradition with wedding speech writer Heidi Ellert-McDermott, and Dr Vera Beckley-Hoelscher, an academic at Royal Holloway, University of London.
    People in their early 20s are more likely to be out of work because of ill health than those in their early 40s, according to a new report . Lindsay Judge, Research Director at The Resolution Foundation, which carried out the research, explains how young women are particularly affected and are one-and-a-half times more likely to experince poor mental health than young men.
    And Emma speaks to the world-famous classicist Mary Beard about Legion - the new exhibition at the British Museum, about life in the Roman army. Mary will share stories of some remarkable women who lived in Roman military bases. 
    Presenter: Emma Barnett
    Producer:Lisa Jenkinson
    Studio Manager: Emma Harth

    • 57 min
    Kelsey Parker, Ukraine's children, Black girls in education, Aisling Bea

    Kelsey Parker, Ukraine's children, Black girls in education, Aisling Bea

    It has been almost two years since the death of The Wanted star Tom Parker after he was diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumour in 2020 aged 33. His wife, Kelsey Parker, announced last month that, after a lot of reflection, it was time to take off her wedding rings. Kelsey tells Anita Rani about the decision and how she has dealt with her grief.

    The Ukrainian government says it has identified 20,000 children who have been abducted by Russian forces. This week saw 11 Ukrainian children reunited with their families. The BBC’s Hague Correspondent, Anna Holligan, and filmmaker Shahida Tulaganova, who directed the ITV documentary Ukraine’s Stolen Children, discuss.

    Wicked Little Letters is a new black comedy film set in Littlehampton in the 1920s. It follows two neighbours, deeply conservative Edith Swan played by Olivia Colman and rowdy Irish single mother Rose Gooding played by Jessie Buckley. When Edith and other residents begin to receive poisonous pen letters full of obscenities, potty mouthed Rose is charged with the crime. The director, Thea Sharrock joined Emma Barnett to discuss this true story, and the parallels with trolling on social media today.

    How do black girls and women experience education in Britain today? Sociologist Dr April-Louise Pennant of Cardiff University joined Emma to discuss why Black Caribbean girls are excluded from school at double the rate of white girls and why intersectionality means the issue of afro hair continues to affect black girls' education today. She explores these issues and more in her book, Babygirl, You’ve Got This! Experiences of Black Girls and Women in the English Education System.

    The comedy and acting star Aisling Bea grew up in County Kildare in Ireland and in 2011 became the first woman for 20 years to win the prestigious stand-up competition So You Think You’re Funny? She spoke to Emma about her latest show, Alice and Jack.
    Presenter: Anita Rani
    Producer: Dianne McGregor

    • 56 min

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14 Ratings

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