Woman's Hour

Woman's Hour

United Kingdom

The programme that offers a female perspective on the world


Women's marches, Deborah Lipstadt, How to slow down the ageing process  

Women's Marches: We hear from women who took part in the US and the UK, in Washington, Barnstaple and Liverpool. Professor Deborah Lipstadt was sued by the historian David Irving for calling him a holocaust denier. As a new film about the trial is released Deborah Lipstadt talks about why she think the judgment is even more relevant in our 'post-truth' times. Writer Ali Land spent a decade working as a Child and Adolescent Mental Health Nurse before writing her first novel, Good Me Bad Me, which is narrated by a teenager who struggles to break free of her dark family history after turning her mother - a serial killer - into the police. Nobel prize winner Dr Elizabeth Blackburn, co-author of The Telomere Effect, has discovered Telomeres, the 'shoelaces' or protective caps at the end of chromosomes which help to slow down the ageing process. She talks to Jane about how she believes her discovery could help you to live longer and look younger. Presenter: Jane Garvey Producer: Lucinda Montefiore.

Call The Midwife, Nicole Kidman, Miriam Margolyes  

As Call The Midwife returns to our screens we hear from it's creator and Executive Producer, Heidi Thomas. She shares some of the upcoming story lines including Thalidomide and FGM. The actor Miriam Margolyes talks about her life and career as part of our series 'The Chain'. How easy was it to raise a family on a vegan diet in the 1970s? Joanne O'Connell the author of The Homemade Vegan and Dilys Cluer who has been a vegan since 1948 discuss. Older parents: we hear from Sue Tollefsen who gave birth to her daughter Freya when she was 57 and Charlotte who is now 23 about what it's like to have an older dad. Nicole Kidman talks about her new film 'Lion' based on the true story of a five year old boy who gets lost on the streets of Calcutta and ends up being adopted by a couple in Australia. The poet Theresa Lola performs her poem 'Notes on Loving Your Grandfather with Dementia'. Samantha Ellis, author of a new book Take Courage, tells us why she believes Anne Bronte's writing is every bit as accomplished and radical as her sisters' work. Presented by Jenni Murray Producer: Rabeka Nurmahomed Editor: Jane Thurlow.

Jackie - the influence and impact of a First Lady, Women-led marches, Liz Earle, Anne the "forgotten" Bronte  

As the biopic Jackie hits our cinemas we discuss the influence and impact of First Lady fashion with Kenya Hunt, Fashion Features Director at Elle, and Oriole Cullen, curator of Modern Textiles and Fashion at the V&A. How did Jackie Kennedy make the role her own and why was her style so important? This weekend as President Donald Trump takes office, women-led marches, will be taking place around the world. Has his election galvanized a new era in feminist activism? Jenni talks to Kirsty Walker who's organised a rally in Liverpool and to Sam Smethers Chief Executive of The Fawcett Society. The last in our series of interviews called the Chain Professor Lalage Brown Emeritus Professor of Adult & Continuing Education at the University of Glasgow. We continue our series My Name is My Brand with Liz Earle one of the biggest names in the beauty industry. Plus playwright and journalist Samantha Ellison on why she wants to change people's perception of Anne the "forgotten" Bronte sister, with her new biography, Take Courage: Anne Bronte and the Art of Life. Presented by Jenni Murray. Producer Beverley Purcell.

Nicole Kidman, Older mums, Craft, The Chain  

Australian superstar, Nicole Kidman is starring in a new film, Lion. It is based on the true story of a five-year-old Indian boy who gets lost on the streets of Calcutta, thousands of miles from home. Saroo survives many challenges before being adopted by a couple in Australia. 25 years later, he sets out to find his lost family. Jenni talks to Nicole Kidman about playing Saroo's adoptive mother. As part of our coverage for the Woman's Hour Craft Prize this week we're looking at the history of Craft. Jenni asks Dr Catharine Rossi, Senior Lecturer in Design History at Kingston University, London and Joanna Norman, Deputy Head of Research at the V&A why it was seen as separate from high art. When did craft leave pure functionality and begin to be appreciated for its originality, beauty and design? In the 4th link of 'The Chain' we hear from Elizabeth Hodgkin, the daughter of Professor Dorothy Hodgkin, the only British woman to win a Nobel Prize for science. Liz watched her mother collect the prize in 1964 after Dorothy discovered the chemical structures of penicillin and vitamin B12. Former gallery boss Dame Julia Peyton-Jones has become a mum for the first time at 64. In 2008, Sue Tollefsen gave birth to her first child aged 57 following IVF treatment in Russia. She joins Jenni to discuss parenting her daughter who is now eight along with Charlotte Tigwell whose father was aged 50 when he had her. Presenter: Jenni Murray.

Dava Sobel, Miriam Margolyes  

Dava Sobel, bestselling author of Longitude speaks to Jane about her new book The Glass Universe. It tells the story of the women employed as calculators or "human computers" at the Harvard Observatory in the 19th century. Their discoveries changed our understanding of the stars and the history of astronomy. Eating Disorders and Older Women: One in 28 women aged 40 to 50 are thought to be living with illnesses like anorexia or bulimia according to new research. Tom Quinn from Beat, the UK's eating disorder charity talks to Jane about the importance of tackling the stereotype that it is a young woman's illness. 'The Chain' where a guest chooses the woman who has inspired her most. Yesterday the philosopher MM MCabe nominated Miriam Margolyes, and today Miriam talks about ageing, Harry Potter and being the naughtiest girl in the school. Vegan Mums: the number of vegans in the UK has increased more than threefold in the past 10 years - but where did it all begin? Joanne O'Connell, author of The Homemade Vegan, and Dilys Cluer, a vegan since 1948, look back at the early days of vegan living when resourcefulness and creativity were key to raising a healthy family. Presented by: Jane Garvey Produced by: Caroline Donne.

Call the Midwife, MM McCabe, Women's Rights in Saudi Arabia  

Call the Midwife returns to our screens for the sixth series and its creator Heidi Thomas joins Jane to discuss the many themes in this cosy but hard-hitting social drama. Another series of 'The Chain' - where a guest gets to choose the woman who has inspired them most. Yesterday the classicist Mary Beard nominated her old tutor at Cambridge, the philosopher MM MCabe. MM taught at Cambridge and King's College where she is Emeritus Professor of Ancient Philosophy. In Saudi Arabia a controversial new pop music video in support of women's rights has gone viral. It shows women going wild - skateboarding, playing basketball, driving bumper cars and piling into the back of an SUV while a young boy takes the wheel. We discuss its content, why it was made and what it tells us about women's rights. Continuing our series 'My name is my Brand' we talk to Annie Sloan, creator of Annie Sloan Chalk Paint. Annie trained as a fine artist in the 1970s, was a singer in an all girl band and then went on to create her own successful brand of decorative paint. Presenter: Jane Garvey Producer: Lucinda Montefiore.

Mary Beard, Watching porn in public places - your reaction, Are fathers being failed by employers?  

Historian Mary Beard is the first link in our latest series of The Chain, talking about her life and the woman who's been her biggest inspiration - the next link in the chain. Are fathers being failed in the workplace if they want to take their equal share in caring for children? It's a question that's being asked by one parliamentary committee today. We speak to one dad about taking five months off work when his baby was born and hear from Sarah Jackson, Chief Executive of Working Families and Maggie Stilwell, Managing Partner for Talent UK and Ireland at EY. On Friday we heard producer Siobhann Tighe describe her experience of finding herself next to a man on a bus who was watching porn on his mobile. Many people contacted Woman's Hour to give their reaction and to let us know about similar experiences. We'll hear from some of them and will also be talking to Rhiannon Lucy Cosslett who writes for The Guardian and was co-founder of the feminist blog, The Vagenda. Theresa Lola is a young Nigerian-British poet who won this year's National Slam Final - she performs some of her work. Presenter: Jane Garvey Producer: Anne Peacock.

Alexandra Heminsley, Renee Fleming, Spending less  

Alexandra Heminsley tells us about her new book about becoming an open water swimmer. Women will be taking to the streets in Washington, London and cities around the globe on 21st of January to take a stand on a range of social justice and human rights issues. We hear from an organiser of the London march Emma McNalley, Kelly Dittmar Assistant Research Professor at the Centre for American Women and Politics at Rutgers University and from Jan Halper-Hayes who is part of the Trump transition team. The financial journalist Michelle McGagh set herself a challenge to spend nothing for a whole year. She tells us how it enriched her life. Helga Dittmar a psychologist who studies the link between consumer culture and happiness tells us why we can sometimes feel addicted to buying new things. We hear from the American soprano Renee Fleming about her new album and why she included songs written by Bjork. It is estimated that one in five children are affected by a parent's drinking. Tracey West of the National Association for Children of Alcoholics and Emma Spiegler a Family Support Manager at Adfam the charity for families affected by drugs and alcohol discuss how to cope and deal with the situation. Diana Henry's new book 'Simple' offers everyday recipes with the minimum of effort. She cooked the perfect Seared Tuna with Preserved Lemon, Olives and Avocado. In the first of a series of interviews with women who've used their names to launch a business we talk to Isla Rowntree of Isla Bikes.

Viewing porn in public spaces - is it illegal? Can poetry alleviate suffering? And 'Simple' seared tuna.  

We can now download or stream virtually anything on our mobile or tablet and that includes porn. Woman's Hour Producer Siobhann Tighe was on the bus going home after work when she noticed the man sitting next to her was using his phone to watch it. So, what happens when a stranger views pornography in a public space, close to you when you're not expecting it and don't want to see it? Jenni talks to Siobhann about what happened to her and to Professor Clare McGlynn from Durham University about the rules surrounding watching porn in public. Applications for the first Woman's Hour Craft Prize in partnership with the V&A and the Crafts Council are still open. Rosy Greenlees from the Crafts Council will be telling us more it and why it's significant. As Dannii Minogue admits to using Botox at difficult times in her life to mask her feelings we look at the link between our emotional lives and our appearance with psychoanalyst and writer Anouchka Grose and and by Dr Michael Lewis of Cardiff University School of Psychology. Diana Henry Cooks the Perfect Seared Tuna served with preserved lemon, olives and avocado - a recipe that's from her new book 'Simple'. And find out how poetry can alleviate suffering with acclaimed poet Fiona Sampson on Woman's Hour this Friday. Presenter Jenni Murray Producer Beverley Purcell.

Barbara Taylor Bradford, Teeth, Silent treatment, Thrift  

Barbara Taylor Bradford has written 31 bestselling novels and her first, A Woman of Substance, is ranked in the top ten bestselling books of all time. It was adapted into a Channel 4 mini-series in 1985 and the final episode drew 13.8 million viewers, which remains the channel's highest ever audience. A season of films based on Barbara Taylor Bradford's novels will begin on January 16th. Barbara talks to Jenni about the enduring popularity of her novels. In another item from the Woman's Hour archive, first broadcast in 1968, Kay Evans talks to women trade unionists about the position of working women during the centenary week of the Trades Union Congress. Cutting back is the latest in our New Year series on good habits. Jenni talks to the financial journalist Michelle McGagh, who set herself a challenge of not spending any money for a whole year and Helga Dittmar, a psychologist who conducts studies into the link between consumer-culture and happiness. Tooth decay is the leading cause of child hospital admissions. There were more than 40,000 operations under general anaesthesia to remove multiple teeth in children and teenagers last year. Jenni discusses the extent of the problem with Claire Stevens, NHS consultant in paediatric dentistry and spokesperson for the British Dental Association. A couple in Japan made news headlines when it emerged that they had not spoken for 20-years, despite bringing up children and sharing a house. The husband admitted that he had been "sulking" about the amount of attention his wife gave the children. Jenni speaks to Penny Mansfield, director of relationships charity OnePlusOne and to author Harry Benson about what happens when communication in a relationship breaks down.

The contraceptive pill and mental health, Isla Rowntree, Women-only offices  

There are twenty combinations of the contraceptive pill and sixty brands - how can you decide which is the right one for you? What can you do if you feel that going on the pill has had an impact on your mental well being? Following her own personal experience of an adverse reaction to hormonal contraception, the Deputy Editor of The Debrief Vicky Spratt will be sharing the findings of her investigation. We discuss her findings with Dr Michael Craig the Clinical Lead at the National Female Hormone Clinic at the Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust and Professor Anne MacGregor, Associate Specialist at Barts Sexual Health Centre in London, and ask what further research might be needed. As part of a new series, 'My Name is My Brand' we'll be hearing from a number of women who have successfully set up their own business. First Isla Rowntree who runs Islabikes. Offices focusing on women-led businesses are on the rise but are they a good idea? Do women gain from this unique office environment or, by separating themselves from the mixed-gender working world, will they be at a disadvantage? Jenni speaks to Helen Milne, the Chief of Finance and Operations at the Women's Organisation in Liverpool, and Founder of Orchid Blush, Ruth Marcella, about the pros and cons of female focused office life. Presented by Jenni Murray Produced by Jane Thurlow Interviewed guest: Vicky Spratt Interviewed guest: Michael Craig Interviewed guest: Anne MacGregor Interviewed guest: Isla Rowntree Interviewed guest: Helen Milne Interviewed guest: Ruth Marcella.

Alexandra Heminsley, Women in parliament, Optimism, Ray BLK, Alcoholism  

Alexandra Heminsley, author of Run Like A Girl, has written a new book Leap In about becoming a swimmer. She shares her experiences and gives advice about what diving in can do for your mind and your body. A new report by the Women and Equalities Committee is calling on political parties to publicly set out their plans to increase the number of women parliamentary candidates by 2020, currently only thirty per cent of MPs are women. It is also calling for the government to set a target of 45% representation of women in parliament and local government by 2030. To discuss whether the targets go far enough Jane is joined by Sarah Childs, Professor of Politics and Gender at Bristol University and the Conservative MP Flick Drummond who is a member of the Committee. In the next of our 'Learn good habits' series, Optimism. Encouraging tips on how to be optimistic can be found in psychology, business, politics and the family. But what are we learning and why? Jane is joined by Dr Anneli Jefferson, Researcher in the Department of Philosophy at Birmingham University and Oliver Bennett, Emeritus Professor of Cultural Policy at Warwick University. The winner of BBC Music Sound of 2017 is Ray BLK. Past winners include Adele, Jessie J, and Ellie Goulding. Ray BLK a 23 year old female singer of, "Soulful RnB vibes and real rhymes" from Catford, who has won the prize despite being an unsigned artist. She joined us to talk about how growing up in a deprived part of London inspired her music and a determination to work hard. And, from the Woman's Hour archive, voices from 1966 talking about the impact on individuals and families of alcoholism. Presenter: Jane Garvey Producer: Erin Riley.

Renee Fleming, Women's March on Washington, Children of alcoholics, Altruism  

On 21 January there will be a Women's March on Washington. The march is not billed as an anti-Trump protest, but as a stand on a range of social justice and human rights issues. Many other marches are taking place across the world including two in the UK. We discuss. It is estimated that one in five children are affected by their parents drinking. We hear the experience of a listener with two young children who is trying to manage and support her 73-year-old alcoholic father and we consider the impact on children of alcoholic parents and look at what support is available? American Opera singer Renee Fleming joins Jane. She is in the UK performing at the Royal Opera House in London and has just released her latest album which includes both classical music and re-versioned Bjork tracks. It's New Year resolution time but instead of diets and dry Januaries, we're looking into developing good habits. We kick off with altruism. Presenter: Jane Garvey Interviewed guest: Emma Gray Interviewed guest: Emma McNalley Interviewed guest: Kelly Dittmar Interviewed guest: Jan Halper-Hayes Interviewed guest: Tracy West Interviewed guest: Emma Spiegler Interviewed guest: Renee Fleming Interviewed guest: Vanessa King Producer: Lucinda Montefiore.

Jill Saward, Osteoporosis, Career PAs  

Following the death of Ealing Vicarage rape victim Jill Saward, Katy Russell from Rape Crisis considers how Jill's case changed the treatment of victims of sexual violence and the impact of her life long campaign for victims and their families. On Woman's Hour yesterday we heard the experience of women working as secretaries and personal assistants in the 1980s. How is the profession viewed today? And what are the career prospects? Jenni is joined by Kirsty Miall head of Attic recruitment consultancy for PAs, and former PA Amelia Scudamore. Osteoporosis is a condition that weakens bones, making them fragile and more likely to break. It is estimated that 1 in 3 women over age 50 will experience fractures as a result of it. Jenni speaks to Dr Sally Hope, a clinical Assistant in a Metabolic Bone unit, and Anne Thurston, Head of Policy at the National Osteoporosis Society, to find out what to do if you think you might have osteoporosis and what treatment is available. Did you receive a beautifully made ornament for Christmas that you really don't like? Is there such a thing as good or bad taste? We'll be talking about taste in arts and crafts for the home with Dr. Karen Miller researcher in design management and sustainability at the University of Cambridge and Louisa Taylor, ceramicist and craft lecturer at the University of Brighton. Winter Skin: if you've turned-up the central heating in the cold weather and over indulged this Christmas the chances are that your skin is showing the effects. What can be done to repair the damage? Jenni speaks to Consultant Dermatologist Dr. Susan Mayou and journalist Kuba Shand-Baptiste. Presented by Jenni Murray Produced by Caroline Donne.

Raye, 'Pink tax', Psychosis, Police  

Pop singer Raye on her music and life, and being number 3 in the BBC Music Sound of 2017 List. Former Home Secretary Jacqui Smith and BBC Home Affairs Correspondent Danny Shaw discuss the possibility of a woman heading the Met and the appointment's impact. Paula Sherriff MP, the Shadow Minister for Women & Equalities, talks about her successful campaigns against gender pricing, the significance of these developments, and her plans to fight for women in the future. Postpartum Psychosis, a severe mental illness that affects some women following childbirth can return during the menopause, according to Ian Jones, Professor of Psychiatry and Director at the National Centre for Mental Health at Cardiff University. Jenni talks to Val who has experienced psychotic episodes and Professor Jones to find out how common it is, prevention, treatment and support.

Ruby Wax, Late diagnosis autism  

Ruby Wax on how she's gone from being almost continuously frazzled to reaching a calmer more contented place. In 2013, Ruby obtained a Masters degree in Mindfulness-based Cognitive Therapy from the University of Oxford. She has since written two books on the subject, Sane New World: Taming the Mind and A Mindfulness Guide for the Frazzled. She joins Jane to talk about how mindfulness really has changed her life for the better. Late diagnosis and misdiagnosis of women and girls with Asperger Syndrome has been receiving more publicity in recent years but the data is scattered and limited resources mean that some women don't get the support they need. When we discussed the topic recently, many listeners wrote into us about getting a diagnosis in their 60s and 70s. We speak to two of them: Catherine, who was diagnosed aged 66 and Anna whose mother was diagnosed at 72. Jane asks them about the benefits they feel a diagnosis gives them. American writer, Emily Witt on her book, Future Sex. As she approached the end of her twenties and found herself single, Emily wanted to know more about the kind of sex life she might have to look forward to. She visited a Public Disgrace porn shoot and met web cam performers to find out how some women's sex lives are being transformed. Presented by Jane Garvey Produced by Jane Thurlow.

Women and Work Stress, Remembering Vera Rubin, Introducing Nadia Rose, Domestic Service  

New research by the Health and Safety Executive has shown that, from the age of 25, women feel significantly more stress at work than men. We discuss workplace stress with Dr Almuth McDowell Head of Organisational Psychology at Birkbeck University and Angela Clow, Professor of Psychophysiology at the University of Westminster. How do we get what we want from work this year? Sue Unerman joins Jane to discuss success strategies that help women renegotiate the way they work, deal with tricky conversations and make positive changes. Vera Rubin, pioneering American astronomer whose work on galaxy rotation rates led to the theory of dark matter, died on the 25th December. Dame Jocelyn Bell Burnell, Professor of Astrophysics at Oxford University talks about her life, work and legacy. The top five names in the BBC Music, Sound Of 2017 List are announced this week. rap artist Nadia Rose is fifth on the list. Two years ago she was studying for a degree while working 12 hour shifts in a betting shop to make ends meet, scribbling lyrics on the back of betting slips. The south London rapper is about to release her debut EP and performs her latest single, Tight Up in the Woman's Hour studio. As part of the Woman's Hour 70th birthday celebrations we've been mining the archive. Today, in a report first heard in 1959, two women of different generations describe their work as domestic servants. Presenter: Jane Garvey Producer: Erin Riley.

Phone-in: Family Festivities - fun or fraught?  

It's all over now, so how was it for you? We want to hear from you about the festive time with your families. How did you get on, were rifts healed, difficult subjects avoided, was it one of your best, and if so what did you do right? Phone lines open at 0800 on Monday: 03700 100 444. Jane Garvey will be taking your calls from 1000 alongside her guest Lowri Turner. Presenter: Jane Garvey Producer: Anne Peacock Guest Lowri Turner.

Andi Osho, Sofie Hagen and the Scummy Mummies help us celebrate 2016  

Singer Sophie Ellis-Bextor and her mother the broadcaster and author Janet Ellis discuss how their bond has developed through the years and how Sophie becoming a mother of four has affected their relationship. But what happens when you confound your mother's expectations? Campaigner Nimco Ali discusses her decision to speak out against FGM and how it has affected her relationship with her mother. Andi Osho, Sofie Hagen and the Scummy Mummies - Helen Thorn and Ellie Gibson - help us celebrate the 2016 by taking part in out festive quiz. They discuss being 'difficult' women. And when Jo Cox became the Labour MP, she decided that tackling the problem of loneliness would be a key priority in her new political role. She reached out across party lines to the Conservative MP Seema Kennedy, who had also spoken out passionately on the issue. Together they devised a plan to launch a commission into loneliness, which would represent a call to action. Since Jo's murder in June, Seema Kennedy has taken the plans forward with the help of Cox's friend and fellow Labour MP Rachel Reeves. They talk about their hopes for it's launch in January. Are the family courts failing vulnerable women? Civil hearings can allow abusive ex-partners to represent themselves in court and cross-examine their former victims. We discuss how and why this can happen with the family solicitor Elspeth Thomson from David Grace Solicitors in Newcastle, and Polly Neate the Chief Executive of Women's Aid. And we have a masterclass in small talk and surviving New Year's Eve parties from comedian Pippa Evans. Apparently, improv has all the answers. Presented by Jane Garvey Editor: Beverley Purcell Producer: Sophie Powling.

New Year new job; A comedian's guide to small talk  

It's been widely reported that a 30 year old woman was allegedly beheaded in Afghanistan after an apparent clash with the Taliban. Jane talks to BBC World News Journalist Zarghuna Kargar about the incident, and asks whether things can change for women under President Ashraf Ghani. The Welsh women's press Honno celebrates its 30th anniversary. Still independent, they are one of the oldest women's publishing houses in the UK. We talk to marketing manager Helena Earnshaw and Honno author Bethan Darwin. Are the family courts failing vulnerable women? Civil hearings can allow abusive ex-partners to represent themselves in court and cross-examine their former victims. We discuss how and why this can happen with the family solicitor Elspeth Thomson from David Grace Solicitors in Newcastle, and Polly Neate the Chief Executive of Women's Aid. Smart Works is a charity which offers any woman with a confirmed job interview free clothes and interview advice for the big day. Based in London, they have recently expanded to Bristol, Reading, Manchester and Edinburgh. Catherine Carr went to meet their Chief Executive Kate Stephens. And we have a masterclass in small talk and surviving New Year's Eve parties from comedian Pippa Evans. Apparently, improv has all the answers. Presenter: Jane Garvey Producer: Helen Fitzhenry.

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