300 episodes

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

Woman's Hou‪r‬ BBC

    • News
    • 4.5 • 67 Ratings

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

    Weekend Woman's Hour: Body image; Caring for an abuser; Tracey Thorn on her friend Lindy Morrison

    Weekend Woman's Hour: Body image; Caring for an abuser; Tracey Thorn on her friend Lindy Morrison

    The 2011 Census found that 6.5 million people in the UK are carers and provide unpaid care by looking after an ill, older or disabled family member, friend or partner. It found that women are more likely to be carers than men, with 58% of carers being female and 42% male. Emily Holzhausen, Director of Policy and Public Affairs at Carers UK and Alyson Corner, psychologist and co-runs the 'My Horrid Parent' website discuss carers who have a relationship with the person they are caring for that involves a history of abuse.

    A parliamentary report into body image has just been published. The Women's and Equalities Committee has been looking into why so many people feel dissatisfied about the way they look. We hear from Caroline Nokes MP, Chair of the committee. Tatyana Findlater who's 21 and has visible burn scars who gave evidence to the Committee and Dawn Estefan, Psychotherapist who works with black women's groups.

    Janice Baker, shepherdess on a farm in the Durham Hills, was badly injured when she working having been trampled by one of her own sheep. Her son, the Countryfile and former One Show presenter Matt Baker dropped everything to help keep the farm going. They discuss what happens when the roles are reversed and a child has to help a parent.

    Women play a critical role in the cacao industry in West Africa but their voices are rarely heard. Dr Nyagoy Nyong'o’s, Fairtrade Global CEO talks about what life is like for women cocoa farmers.

    Hairdressers and beauty salons have been closed for a total of eight months since the start of the pandemic. Weddings were banned in the UK for more than three months last year. Our reporter Melanie Abbott spoke to hair and make-up artist Kirsty McCall.

    Writer and singer-songwriter Tracey Thorn talks about her new book, My Rock 'n' Roll Friend. The friend in question is Lindy Morrison who was drummer for an Australian band, The Go-Betweens. Tracey talks about friendship, being a female performer and why she chose to write about Lindy.

    Presenter: Anita Rani
    Producer: Paula McFarlane
    Editor: Siobhann Tighe

    • 57 min
    Body image. Caring for an abuser. Bafta lookahead. Mrs Sri Lanka Beauty pageant controversy

    Body image. Caring for an abuser. Bafta lookahead. Mrs Sri Lanka Beauty pageant controversy

    A parliamentary report into body image has just been published. The Women's and Equalities Committee has been looking into why so many people feel dissatisfied about the way they look. They did a survey which said that 61% is adults and 66% of children feel bad about how they look most of the time. They wanted to find out whether certain groups are most at risk at poor body image and looked at the impact of social media, advertising, diet culture as well as racism and misogyny.
    We hear from Caroline Nokes MP chair of the committee. Tatyana Findlater who's 21 and has visible burn scars who gave evidence to the Committee and Dawn Estefan a psychotherapist who works with black women's groups to discuss various issues including body image.


    A fight broke out on the stage of the latest Mrs Sri Lanka Beauty pageant last weekend because the winner was accused of being a divorcee. The competition is open only to women who are married and NOT divorced. Why has this beauty pageant received so much media attention and scrutiny? Kanchana N Ruwanpura is Professor of Human Geography at the University of Gothenburg, in Sweden and a Fellow at the Centre for South Asian Studies at the University of Edinburgh.

    The 2011 Census found that 6.5 million people in the UK are carers and provide unpaid care by looking after an ill, older or disabled family member, friend or partner. It found that women are more likely to be carers than men, with 58% of carers being female and 42% male.

    But what if your relationship with the person you're caring for involves a history of abuse?

    And a look ahead to this year's BAFTA's with Edith Bowman.


    Presenter Anita Rani
    Producer Beverley Purcell

    • 43 min
    Tracey Thorn on her friend Lindy Morrison; Shadow Chancellor Anneliese Dodds; Women in the Wedding and Beauty Industry.

    Tracey Thorn on her friend Lindy Morrison; Shadow Chancellor Anneliese Dodds; Women in the Wedding and Beauty Industry.

    Writer and singer-songwriter Tracey Thorn has a new book out, My Rock 'n' Roll Friend. The friend in question is Lindy Morrison. They first met backstage at the Lyceum in London in 1983 when Tracey was 20, insecure, shy, just starting out in the music business. Lindy, ten years older than Tracey, was drummer for an Australian band, The Go-Betweens. To Tracey she looked like "self belief in a minidress". Tracey joins Emma to talk about friendship, being a female performer and why she chose to write about Lindy.

    A year ago this week Anneliese Dodds was appointed Shadow Chancellor of the Exchequer by the newly elected leader of the Labour Party Keir Starmer becoming the first ever woman to hold this position. The economic landscape has shifted dramatically over the last year with women often being worst hit by jobs losses and access to support. Anneliese reflects on the big issues of the last year and talks to Emma Barnett about Labour’s plans for a post covid recovery.

    Women say they are at the back of the queue when it comes to Covid handouts. We hear from the wedding and beauty sector. Melanie Abbott talks to Kirsty McCall, a wedding make up artist had a breakdown after spending all her savings after Covid almost wrecked her business. Emma discusses the issues with Jessie Westwood, who set up the campaign What About Weddings? last year, and Victoria Brownlie, from the National Hair and Beauty Federation.

    Presented by Emma Barnett
    Producer: Louise Corley

    • 44 min
    Jessica Fellowes on the roaring twenties and comparisons with life today as come out of lockdown.

    Jessica Fellowes on the roaring twenties and comparisons with life today as come out of lockdown.

    As we begin to emerge from lockdown, what are the similarities with the ‘Roaring 20s’ 100 years ago when Britain, having survived the Spanish Flu and the Great War, became a hedonistic playground? Will this time create a need for crowds, parties, touch, and an urge to ‘get out and enjoy life’? Jessica Fellowes, author of Mitford Murders crime series and companion books to the television series Downton Abbey, describes the Bright Young Things who were the influencers of their day, ‘Bachelor Girls’ who no longer needed to be married to enjoy independence, and gives parallels with how technology transformed lifestyles – from the labour saving devices that freed women from endless housework, to the internet which enables women to work from home today.

    The public’s understanding of dementia is generally very poor and the message we receive about it are overwhelmingly negative. Could fiction be the answer to showing a more rounded and factual portrayal? Emma Barnett talks to Wendy Mitchell, Anna Wharton and Professor Jan Oyebode.

    Presenter: Emma Barnett
    Producer: Lisa Jenkinson
    Studio Engineer: Tanzy Leitner

    • 43 min
    Family farming with Janice and Matt Baker; New maternal mental health hubs; Author Susan Spindler; Statues of famous women

    Family farming with Janice and Matt Baker; New maternal mental health hubs; Author Susan Spindler; Statues of famous women

    What do you do, when your mother is in a spot of bother? You run to help…of course! That’s the situation the Countryfile and former One Show presenter Matt Baker found himself in last summer, when his mum Janice had a serious accident with some sheep, and was unable to continue with the day to day running of the family farm in the Durham Hills. Their story is documented in a four part series currently on More4 called Matt Baker: Our Farm in the Dales. Emma speaks to Janice and Matt.

    It's been announced that thousands of new, expectant or bereaved mothers will receive help and support for mental health problems through dozens of new dedicated hubs which are being set up across England. The hubs will bring together maternity services, reproductive health and psychological therapy under one roof as part of the NHS Long Term Plan. Around 6,000 women will receive care and treatment for a wide range of mental health issues from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) after giving birth to others with a severe fear of childbirth. Emma gets reactions to the news from Sarah Hughes, Chief Executive of campaigning charity Centre for Mental Health and Dr Alain Gregoire, President of the Maternal Mental Health Alliance.

    Another statue of a strong woman has made the headlines. Last year it was Mary Wollstonecraft. Now it's Greta Thunberg. A statue of the 18 year old environmentalist was unveiled in Winchester last week but some think it's a waste of money. Emma is joined by Christine Charlesworth, the statue's creator, who's not only made Greta during lockdown but two other British feminist icons as well.

    Susan Spindler's first novel Surrogate tells the story of Ruth who, at the age of 54, volunteers to carry a baby for her daughter, who has just had her seventh miscarriage. But how selfless is Ruth's kind offer? She has done all of the research, taken the hormones, done the tests, thought of everything. What she doesn't know is how being her daughter's surrogate will make her feel and the upheaval it will cause in all of her relationships. Susan tells Emma how she researched the story.

    • 42 min
    The Feminisation of Chocolate

    The Feminisation of Chocolate

    Inspired by her childhood in York, Emma Robertson, Senior Lecturer in History at La Trobe University, Australia explores chocolate and the history of imperial exploitation, sexism and racism in her study ‘Chocolate, Women and Empire: a Social and Cultural History’. Emma talks about the ‘ordinary’ women positioned at the two key stages of production, the cocoa farms of Nigeria and the Rowntree factory in York.

    Women play a critical role in the cacao industry in West Africa but patriarchal attitudes often exclude them from decision making, land ownership, and selling the crop. Dr. Nyagoy Nyong’o, Fairtrade Global CEO discusses the life of women cocoa farmers and the Women’s School of Leadership which seeks to empower women and promote gender rights.

    What it is like to work in a chocolate factory? Sarah Hartley talks about her job as a quality controller on the factory floor at Whitakers.

    Chocolate advertising has long been linked with women and sex. Dr Cathrine Jansson-Boyd, a Reader in Consumer Psychology at Anglia Ruskin University and Sue Quinn, food writer and author of 'Cocoa: an Exploration of Chocolate' discuss how chocolate advertisements target women.

    Presenter: Andrea Catherwood
    Producer: Paula McFarlane
    Interviewed Guest: Dr Emma Robertson
    Interviewed Guest: Dr. Nyagoy Nyong’o
    Interviewed Guest: Sarah Hartley
    Interviewed Guest: Dr Cathrine Jansson-Boyd
    Interviewed Guest: Sue Quinn

    • 57 min

Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5
67 Ratings

67 Ratings

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