300 episodes

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

Woman's Hour BBC

    • Kids & Family
    • 4.4 • 221 Ratings

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

    Rise in menopause tribunal cases; Brené Brown; Women's FA Cup Final; Ravinder Bhogal; Ghislaine Maxwell trial update

    Rise in menopause tribunal cases; Brené Brown; Women's FA Cup Final; Ravinder Bhogal; Ghislaine Maxwell trial update

    Brené Brown has always called herself a mapmaker and in her sixth and newest book, the Atlas of the Heart, out this week, she takes us on a journey through 87 of the emotions and experiences that define what it means to be human. Her TEDx talk “the power of vulnerability” is one of the top five most viewed TED talks in the world with more than 50 million views. She joins Anita.

    This Sunday marks 100 years since women's football was banned by the English Football Association. Because of Covid the Women's FA Cup final, traditionally played in May, will take place with Arsenal taking on Chelsea and shown live on the BBC. Kelly Simmons, director of the Women's Professional Game at the Football Association; and Jen O' Neill, editor of football magazine She Kicks discuss the game.

    The number of tribunal cases in which employees are alleging menopause related discrimination is on the rise. Analysis of the Courts and Tribunals Service has shown that menopause was cited ten times in the first six months of 2021, and could rise to 20 by the end of the year, if the rate continues as it is. Research by Menopause Matters earlier this year found five cases in 2018, and 16 in 2020. Although these figures appear very small, nearly one million women are said to have left work due to menopausal symptoms and there is currently a Women and Equalities Committee inquiry looking into workplace practices around the menopause. So what can be done to prevent a situation getting as far as a tribunal? I’m joined by Lauren Chiren, who runs Women of a Certain Stage, providing coaching, mentoring and training on the menopause at work and Sinead Casey, a partner with the law firm Linklaters, who advise employers on workplace issues including menopausal women, and has been looking at the recent uptake in cases.

    Over the next few Fridays we’ll be looking at alternative Christmas food ideas and who better to start off with than Ravinder Bhogal, journalist, chef and owner of Jikoni, her restaurant in London. Always challenging traditional notions of food preparation she joins Anita to share her thoughts on creating some rich adaptations of everything from brussel sprouts and ham to samosas and mathi. And tells us why Christmas is a particularly special time for her and her family.

    The British socialite Ghislaine Maxwell has been in court all week in New York City on sex trafficking and other charges. She’s challenging claims that she groomed underage girls for convicted paedophile Jeffrey Epstein for sexual abuse. He died in prison in 2019. She’s been in a US jail since her arrest last year. We hear from Stephen Wright, Associate Editor at the Daily Mail currently in New York City covering the Ghislaine Maxwell trial.


    Presenter: Anita Rani
    Producer: Kirsty Starkey

    Interviewed Guest: Brené Brown
    Interviewed Guest: Kelly Simmons
    Interviewed Guest: Jen O'Neill
    Interviewed Guest: Lauren Chiren
    Interviewed Guest: Sinead Casey
    Interviewed Guest: Ravinder Bhogal
    Interviewed Guest: Stephen Wright

    • 57 min
    Joanna Chiu; Modern Stepmums; Angela Merkel's military farewell

    Joanna Chiu; Modern Stepmums; Angela Merkel's military farewell

    The Women’s Tennis Association has suspended all events in China over concerns for the Chinese tennis player Peng Shuai. Her safety has become a matter of international concern after she posted sexual assault allegations against former Vice-Premier Zhang Gaoli and then disappeared from public view. She has since reappeared and has said she is safe and well but there are still concerns for her wellbeing. Last week China’s foreign ministry said it was not a diplomatic matter and the issue had been maliciously hyped up. In a timely new book, 'China Unbound: A New World Disorder', the journalist Joanna Chiu says that for far too long western societies have mishandled or ignored Beijing’s actions, out of narrow self-interest. She believes decades of wilful misinterpretations have, over time, become complicit in the toxic diplomacy, human rights abuses, and foreign interference China engages in today. Joanna speaks to Krupa Padhy about Peng Shuai, the #metoo movement in China and her work as founder and chair of NuVoices, which highlights and supports women working on the subject of China.

    Back in the summer a parliamentary report came out about women in the armed forces. It was put together by the Defence Sub-Committee on Women in the Armed Forces which gathered evidence from four thousand women involved in the army now and in the past. It made for very bad reading. Stories of bullying, harassment, discrimination came to light, as well as sexual assault and rape. That report duly went to the Government, which today makes public whether or not it's upheld the Committee's recommendations.

    Pregnant women say they are worried about catching Covid at work and not is enough is being done to keep them safe, that's according to a recent survey by the UK maternity rights charity Maternity Action. It recently surveyed just over 400 women who worked in different settings from offices to factories and chemical plants. Ros Bragg is the director at Maternity Action

    A new podcast "You're Not My Mum: The Stepmum's Side" was launched last week on BBC Sounds. Katie Harrison is the host and she's passionate about raising awareness of the complexities and realities of being a modern stepmother. She joins Krupa Padhy to talk about some of the challenges along with Suzie Hayman who is a counsellor and spokesperson for the parenting charity Family Lives and author of "Be A Great Step-Parent."

    Today Angela Merkel receives her official farewell as Germany’s chancellor, it’s a position she has held for the last 16 years. A special ceremony will take place in Berlin this evening where music of the Chancellor’s choice will be performed by a military band. More than a few eyebrows have been raised after the Chancellor picked a track by Nina Hagen also known as the Grandmother of Punk Rock. BBC Berlin Correspondent Jenny Hill and historian Katja Hoyer join Krupa Padhy to discuss Angela Merkel’s legacy, her musical choices and Nina Hagen.

    • 57 min
    Mississippi abortion law at the Supreme Court; Poet Kim Moore; England women's football win

    Mississippi abortion law at the Supreme Court; Poet Kim Moore; England women's football win

    The US Supreme Court is set to hear a case on a Mississippi abortion law, which would ban abortion at 15 weeks of pregnancy. It was signed in 2018 by the state's then Republican Governor, Phil Bryant. But it was blocked by several lower courts, so didn't come into effect. Now, Mississippi is asking the Supreme Court to rule in favour of their law and overturn the landmark case of Roe v Wade, which legalised abortion nationwide. Our reporter Melanie Abbott spoke to Jenny Ma, Senior Staff Attorney at the Center for Reproductive Rights, which represents the last abortion clinic in Mississippi and Amanda Taub, a reporter for the New York Times, joins Chloe live.

    Many of us have probably scribbled a poem to past lovers, but imagine writing a whole book dedicated to them. The poet Kim Moore has done just that with her new collection All the Men I Never Married. She joins Chloe to talk about the impact of those different relationships and the contradictions and complexities of desire.

    Last Saturday while talking to football fans outside the Castellani stadium in Empoli after a Serie A match, Greta Beccaglia, an Italian journalist with Toscana TV, was assaulted live on air. A fan appeared to spit in his hand before slapping the journalist on her bottom. Beccaglia has since filed charges after police managed to identify the man. Investigative journalist, Alessia Cerantola joins Chloe Tilley to explain why this story has caused such a stir in Italy.

    Last night in their World Cup 2023 qualifier the Lionesses - England Women's football team - beat their opponents Latvia 20-0. Whilst a great win, and one that saw Manchester City's Ellen White become the top scorer ever for England, what does that score line actually tell us about the structure of the women's game - are such results a failing of trying to mimic the way men's football is organised and does it need overhauling? Chloe speaks to BBC Women's Sport reporter Jo Currie.

    • 57 min
    Emily Ratajkowski, Republicanism in Barbados, Josephine Baker

    Emily Ratajkowski, Republicanism in Barbados, Josephine Baker

    Emily Ratajkowski is an American model, entrepreneur & writer. She rocketed to fame aged 21 when she took part in Robin Thicke’s music video, Blurred Lines. At the time Emily argued that the provocative display of her body represented a form of feminist empowerment. In her first book, My Body, she argues something more nuanced.

    The chemist Boots is in the firing line from campaigners. For Black Friday, Boots halved the price of the morning-after-pill and now campaigners want the reduced price to become permanent. Emma is joined by journalist Rose Stokes & Diana Johnson, Labour MP.
    Yesterday was big news for the Caribbean island of Barbados, as it cuts ties with the British Crown to become a republic. The country has sworn in its first president - Dame Sandra Mason. Celestina Olulode reporter for BBC World Service, joins Emma from Barbados.

    89-year-old barrister Margaret Owen OBE recently embarked on a 6-day hunger strike to raise awareness of the case of British-Iranian detainee Nazanin Zaghari Ratcliffe. Margaret’s protest followed the 21-day hunger strike by Nazanin’s husband Richard Ratcliffe. She joins Emma to talk about the experience and what she wanted to achieve.

    American-born French singer & dancer Josephine Baker is about to become the first black woman to be immortalised in the Pantheon mausoleum in Paris. She broke boundaries in the 1930s with performances mocking colonialism and became an international star. She was also a resistance fighter for France during World War II and had a role in the civil rights movement in the US. Research fellow at Trinity College, Cambridge Adjoa Osei joins Emma.

    Presenter: Emma Barnett
    Producer: Lucinda Montefiore

    • 57 min
    BBC Women's Footballer of the Year 2021; Ghislaine Maxwell court case; Adoption breakdown;Anorexia & relationships; Nicola Adams

    BBC Women's Footballer of the Year 2021; Ghislaine Maxwell court case; Adoption breakdown;Anorexia & relationships; Nicola Adams

    Vivianne Miedema of the Netherlands and Arsenal has been crowned the winner of BBC Women's Footballer of the Year 2021. The annual award from the BBC World Service is voted for by football fans from around the world. She is the all-time leading scorer in the FA WSL (women’s super league) and has scored more goals at the international level for the Netherlands than any other player, across both the women's and men's teams.
    This month, November 2021 she became the first player in the history of the WSL to score against every team they have faced, after scoring against Manchester United.

    The British socialite Ghislaine Maxwell is due to go on trial in New York City today on sex trafficking and other charges - in a highly anticipated trial. She is expected to challenge claims she groomed underage girls for convicted paedophile Jeffrey Epstein for sexual abuse. He died in prison in 2019. She has been in a US jail since her arrest last year. Laura Pullman is the Content Editor at the Sunday Times and is the former New York Correspondent and Stephen Wright is Associate Editor at the Daily Mail who joins the programme from outside the court in New York.

    Nicola Adams OBE is officially Great Britain’s most successful female boxer of all time. She won gold at the London Olympics in 2012 and repeated the achievement in Rio in 2016. She is the only female boxer in the history of the sport to have won every major title available to her; Olympic, World, European and Commonwealth. So, it’s not a surprise that Amazon Prime Video have made a documentary about her. Lioness: The Nicola Adams Story explores her difficult upbringing and her battles with sexism, racism and homophobia to get in the ring. We find out how a girl from a council estate in Leeds became a #Lioness.

    In the first part of a new series 'Under Pressure' Zoe and James explain how 'Ed' which is the name they gave Zoe's eating disorder changed their lives. How is a relationship impacted when life stuff happens?

    We don’t often hear about adoptions that break down, but last week former BBC Scotland health correspondent Eleanor Bradford wrote about her "heart-breaking" decision to return her adopted son to the care system. She said she was unable to cope with her son’s “extremely challenging” behaviour and that she was “furious about the lack of support for adoptive parents” in Scotland. Eleanor Bradford joins Emma to share her experience along with the chief executive of Adoption UK, Sue Armstrong Brown.

    Presenter: Emma Barnett
    Producer: Kirsty Starkey

    Interviewed Guest: Stephen Wright
    Interviewed Guest: Laura Pullman
    Interviewed Guest: Vivianne Miedema
    Interviewed Guest: Nicola Adams
    Interviewed Guest: Eleanor Bradford
    Interviewed Guest: Sue Armstrong Brown

    • 57 min
    Weekend Woman's Hour: Beverley Knight, Melanie Sykes, Cinderella

    Weekend Woman's Hour: Beverley Knight, Melanie Sykes, Cinderella

    ‘The Drifters Girl’ is a musical which tells the story of Faye Treadwell, one of the first Black women to manage a vocal group in the US. Singer and actor Beverley Knight plays Faye.

    We discuss the ongoing appeal of the Cinderella story with Faye Campbell who is playing Cinderella at York Theatre Royal and Dr Nicola Darwood who recently co-edited a new book with Alexis Weedon called Re-telling Cinderella: Cultural and Creative Transformations.

    On Tuesday Sikh Women’s Aid launched a report into domestic abuse and child sexual abuse within the Sikh community. Conducted via anonymous surveys sent out over the summer, the survey of nearly 700 respondents showed that 70% had experienced domestic violence and 35% had experienced child sexual abuse or exploitation. To tell us more about this report and what can be done to help the issue, we're joined by the co-founder of Sikh Women's Aid and co-author of the report, Sahdaish Pall.

    We used to have YOLO, then FOMO, now we have HOGO. Post lockdown, the fear of missing out no longer plagues us. We have become too comfortable sitting on our sofas watching TV. The effort of putting good clothes on and leaving the house is too much. This hassle of going out (HOGO) has been blamed by the hospitality industry for an increase in the number of no-shows at restaurants and paid-for live events. We talk to psychotherapist and author of Happy Relationships: At Home, Work and Play, Lucy Beresford and actor Sadie Clark whose play, Algorithms, is on at Soho Theatre in December.

    TV and radio presenter Melanie Sykes has just announced that she’s been diagnosed with autism at the age of 51. She says it's 'truly life changing, or rather life affirming… and so many things make sense’. She tells us more.

    Presenter Zara McDermott’s new BBC documentary explores sexual harassment, teenagers, and what impact school is having. We speak to Zara and two contributors who feature in the documentary - activist Zan Moon and 14 year old Trinity.

    • 56 min

Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5
221 Ratings

221 Ratings

LRJalarned ,

Women Hour 11/11/21

Emma, I like how you “stand your ground” even when you agree or disagree with your guest. You are truly a diplomat.
LRJpgms1958@att’net

beanburgers ,

Love this podcast!

I have been listening from states for a long while now... I am going to really miss Jane as I already do miss Jenny... it will be a different show and I am sure interesting but it will never be the same without Jane’s intelligence, wit and boldness. I know I know she is gone yet just preparing myself!

Hannahderw ,

Inclusivity hour?

Maybe they should rebrand as inclusivity hour. It’s okay for women to be centered and for us to discuss things that do not include everyone.

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