Woman's Hour

Woman's Hour

United Kingdom

The programme that offers a female perspective on the world


India Willoughby, the first transwoman to be a panellist on an all-female talk show. Long-term relationships in your fifties  

India Willoughby was born as Jonathan and had a very public life as a man for 10 years, working as an ITV reporter and news reader. Two years ago aged 50, she had permanent gender reassignment surgery. She joins Jenni to share her story of transitioning, and to discuss why she feels there's a place for a transwoman to talk about women's issues in the media. More on the challenges of being in your 50's. Today Helen talks to Suzi Godson, the Sex and Relationship Columnist for The Times about maintaining your relationship. Lauren Laverne's playlist - 70 tracks for our 70 years - today the 1980's. And with the release of Disney's MOANA, a female lead character that doesn't have a love interest, a crown or a castle - how far has Disney come with its female characters. Plus as London's exclusive Dorchester hotel attracts criticism following reports of it asking female employees to ensure they adhere to grooming standards we look at whether these are just standard grooming requirements of any high class business environment, or another example of women's bodies being policed more rigorously than men's? Presenter Jenni Murray Producer Beverley Purcell.

First female Chief Whip, Suzi Godson, Aids, Women coaches  

The National Theatre's production of This House is playing at the Garrick Theatre in London. It's set in 1974, in the engine rooms of the House of Commons. The play looks at the secret world of the Whips who roll up their sleeves and go to extreme lengths to influence an unruly chorus of MPs. Baroness Ann Taylor was the first female chief whip. She is played by Lauren O'Neil and was an advisor on the play. She joins Jenni. HIV AIDS is the leading cause of death worldwide for women aged between 15 - 44, according to World Health Organisation. On World Aids Day Jenni speaks to Christine Stegling, Executive Director at International HIV and AIDS Alliance and Professor Margret Johnson, HIV and AIDS Consultant at The Royal Free Hospital London. Suzi Godson, the Sex and Relationship columnist for The Times talks to Kalsoom Bashir a 53 year old woman from a Pakistani Muslim background. Her parents arranged her marriage for her. She now works as co-director for Inspire, a counter extremism and human rights organisation which seeks to address inequalities facing British Muslim women. Only 30% of shortlisted coaches in this year's Sports Coach UK awards were women and there were no female candidates on the shortlist for the Lifetime Achievement award, the High Performance Award or the Coach of the Year. Is this surprising considering that just 17% of qualifying coaches each year are female? Jenni talks to Gillian Wilmot, Chair of Sports Coach UK and to Kath Robinson, a hockey coach. Presenter: Jenni Murray Producer: Rebecca Myatt.

Marine le Pen and the French presidential race, Georgette Heyer, No fault divorce  

Will Marine le Pen become the first female President of France? Journalist Agnes Poirier looks at the career of the leader of the Front National. Newly discovered stories by the best selling author Georgette Heyer have been published in a collection called 'Snowdrift and Other Stories'. Jennifer Kloester, Heyer's biographer on how she found the stories and why she's publishing them thirty two years after the author died. Suzi Godson, The Sex and Relationship columnist for The Times has been hearing from women in their fifties about the changes and challenges of this particular decade on long term relationships. Today we hear about supporting a partner through severe depression. Should no fault divorces be made easier? Jo Edwards of Resolution, a national organisation of family lawyers.

Dina Asher-Smith, Social Care Funding Crisis  

The NHS and social care were barely mentioned in the chancellor's Autumn Statement, and health groups and think tanks have been vocal with their criticism in the days since. We focus on the lack of funding for social care, what does this mean for the largely female workforce? And what are the knock on effects for the (predominantly female) carers at home, and our health services? Allyson Pollock, Professor of Public Health Research & Policy and Sarah Wollaston MP, Chair of the House of Commons Health Committee, discuss. Laura Trevelyan, BBC World News America Anchor, in New York joins Jane to talk about the women in Donald Trump's family. How influential, if at all, are Melania, Ivanka, Tiffany and even Ivana, his first wife, and what kind of role will they have over the next four years? Dina Asher-Smith is twenty years old and the fastest female sprinter in British history whose meteoric rise took her from carrying kits for athletes in the London 2012 Olympics to competing herself in Rio this year. As tickets go back on sale for the International Association of Athletics Federations' World Championships in 2017 today, Dina explains her preparations for it, and the challenges of balancing a sports career with university life. Suzi Godson, The Sex and Relationship columnist for The Times has been hearing from women in their fifties about the changes and challenges of this particular decade on long term relationships. Today we hear from Erika who is 54. For over twenty years in a happy heterosexual marriage and had two daughters, she now is in a same sex marriage with Susan. In Grace Wilson's timely graphic novel 'Saving Grace' four twenty-somethings need to find somewhere to live in London. Their creepy landlord has kicked them out of their rented flat, he's doing it up to sell on as prices rise and gentrification takes hold. Weird potential housemates, dingy rooms, crummy jobs and everyday sexism all feature in this social commentary in comic-book form based on Grace's own experiences.

Looking after your hair when you wear wigs, weaves and braids, Women in their 50s and long-term relationships  

Today Woman's Hour begins a series of interviews with sex and relationship columnist Suzi Godson talking to women in their fifties about the challenges this decade brings to marriage and partnerships. The first interview is with Mary, aged 57 who lives with her son aged 13 and partner Steve. Mary and Steve have been together for 15 years. In her fifties, Mary is faced with caring for Steve who suffered a debilitating stroke three years ago as well as bringing up a teenager. Following the Chancellor Philip Hammond's autumn financial statement, we talk to Mary-Ann Stephenson from the Women's Budget Group about the impact the financial statement will have on women's finances and lives by 2020. BBC London journalist Valley Fontaine has been on a personal journey to learn how to grow her natural Afro hair whilst wearing weaves, wigs and braids. She joins Jane Garvey along with Consultant Trichologist Shirley McDonald. A novel, Playing FTSE, takes place in an investment bank in the noughties The author, Penelope Jacobs, draws on her own extensive experience of working in the financial markets. She talks to Jane about sexual politics, workplace ethics and whether the culture has changed since the 2008 banking crisis. Presenter: Jane Garvey Producer: Lucinda Montefiore.

Amma Asante, Diana Athill, Prue Leith  

The director Amma Asante talks about her new film A United Kingdom - the true story of Seretse Khama, the prince of Botswana, and Ruth Williams, the London office worker he married in 1948. Prue Leith is a cook, restaurateur, food writer, Great British Menu judge, and novelist. She talks about her seventh novel 'Prodigal Daughter' and her decision to get married again at the age of 76. Do parents spend too long looking at their mobiles? Anne-Marie O'Leary, Editor in Chief at Netmums and to child psychologist Dr Richard Woolfson discuss the pros and cons of smartphones. In August 1946 Diana Athill travelled to Florence by the Golden Arrow train for a two-week holiday with her cousin Pen. Almost 70 years later she has published a recently discovered diary of the trip. She talks about the changing nature of travel, and about her approaching her 99th birthday. Psychotherapist Alan Corbett explains why so few men are able to talk about the sexual abuse they've endured, and the difference long term therapy can make for some. As the hairdressing industry gets ready for the British Hairdressing Awards next week, we hear from Karine Jackson, Chancellor of the Fellowship of British Hairdressers and Ruth Hunsley, Editor of Hairdressers' Journal about why there are not more women at the top. This month's Late Night Woman's Hour is about friendship. Regular Woman's Hour listeners Julie Ann Richards and Sarah Adams-Greener discuss their friendship which spans over forty years and Dr Teri Apter, A psychologist at Cambridge University who studies female friendships explains the benefits friends can have. And Alice Sara Ott plays Grieg's March of the Trolls for us. Presented by Jenni Murray Produced by Sophie Powling Edited by Jane Thurlow Interviewed guest: Amma Asante Interviewed guest: Prue Leith Interviewed guest: Anne-Marie O'Leary Interviewed guest: Richard Woolfson Interviewed guest: Diana Athill Interviewed guest: Alan Corbett Interviewed guest: Karine Jackson Interviewed guest: Ruth Hunsley Interviewed guest: Teri Apter.

Owning our ambition, The work of print maker Helena Markson, Sophie Walker of the Women's Equality Party.  

Funke Abimbola, senior lawyer and diversity leader in the UK, will be talking about women owning their ambition and being up front about what they want in the workplace. A look at the life and work of Helena Markson, a pioneering printmaker in post-war Britain whose work - like many female artists across history - has been largely overlooked Ahead of the first ever Women's Equality Party Conference in Manchester this weekend Jenni talks to its Party Leader Sophie Walker about the progress the Party's made since it was formed less than two years ago. Plus, as part of our anniversary celebrations Lauren Laverne has done us a playlist - 70 tracks for our 70 years - today it's Girl Groups. A look ahead to tonight's Late Night Woman's Hour which this month is about friendship. And what does the book: From Frazzled to Fabulous: The Man Who Has It All have to tell us about everyday sexist language and attitudes. Presenter Jenni Murray Producer Beverley Purcell.

Late Night Woman's Hour  

She's your BFF, your Bestie. Thelma to your Louise, or Eddie to your Patsy. This month on Late Night Woman's Hour, Lauren Laverne discusses female friendship, its rules, strengths and weaknesses, and how it changes over time, with psychologist Terri Apter, novelist Lucy Caldwell, Into Film journalist Ceyda Uzun and Julie-Ann Richards and Sarah Adams-Greener, two Woman's Hour listeners who have been friends since they were three. This programme is available in two versions. The long version is podcast only and is available by clicking the MP3 button on the Late Night Woman's Hour programme page or subscribing to the Woman's Hour daily podcast. The shorter broadcast version will be available on Iplayer shortly after transmission on Friday 25th November. Lucy Caldwell's collection of short stories, Multitudes, is published by Faber. Here We Are, Lucy's short story about two young women falling in love in 1990s Belfast, first appeared in Granta.

Prue Leith, Ingrid Betancourt, Smart phones, Hairdressers  

Prue Leith is a cook, restaurateur, food writer, Great British Menu judge, novelist and business woman. In 1995, having published 12 cookbooks, she gave up writing about food to concentrate on fiction. Prue joins Jenni to talk about her seventh novel 'Prodigal Daughter' and her decision to get married again at the age of 76. In 2002, the French Colombian politician Ingrid Betancourt was kidnapped and held hostage for six years in the Colombian jungle by the FARC or Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia. Watching Ingrid's emotional release on TV in 2008, was Amanda Lindhout, a young Canadian journalist. A month later she herself was taken hostage at gun-point in Somalia, and held for 460 days. Kim Chakanetsa brings both women together to talk for the first time. As the hairdressing industry gets ready for the British Hairdressing Awards next week, we hear from women within the industry and ask why there are not more at the top. Jenni talks to Karine Jackson, Chancellor of the Fellowship of British Hairdressers and Ruth Hunsley, Editor of Hairdressers Journal (sponsor of the awards). A Netmums study claims that although 60% of mothers felt unsupported and lonely in 2006, only 28% feel that way now. Netmums claim that the smartphone has revolutionised women's experiences of parenthood. But if new technology has enhanced the experience of parents, what is its impact on children? Jenni talks to Anne-Marie O'Leary, Editor in Chief at Netmums and to child psychologist Dr Richard Woolfson. Presenter: Jenni Murray Producer: Rebecca Myatt.

'Honour Killings', Dementia Care, Hygge  

Last month Pakistan passed a landmark bill that guarantees mandatory prison sentences of 25 years for perpetrators of so-called "honour killings". What and how might such a change affect so-called honour killings and honour based violence within the UK, and what are the challenges involved in prosecuting cases where British girls are taken to Pakistan and are forcibly married or murdered? Jasvinder Sanghera, founder and director of the charity Karma Nirvana, Bradford West Labour MP Naz Shah and lawyer Sulema Jahangir of firm Dawson Cornwall join Jane to discuss. Reverse mentoring is the idea that older workers (usually in their forties or fifties) can benefit from having a younger mentor (usually in their twenties or thirties). By tapping into the skills and perspectives of the technologically savvy millennials you might be able to enhance your career - and maybe even streamline your home life. Penny Power OBE, founder of The Business Café who uses reverse mentoring and Lucy Lyall Grant from Freeformers, a digital training company, who is a reverse mentor, discuss. The author Nicci Gerrard has been campaigning for carers of people with dementia to have the same rights as parents of sick children, and be allowed to remain with them in hospital for as many hours as they need. To discuss the merits and implications of unrestricted hospital visiting hours are Nicci Gerrard and Sarah Gigg, Deputy director of Nursing at Kingston Hospital. In her new book 'How to Hygge: The Secrets of Nordic Living' London-based Norwegian cook and writer Signe Johansen explores the culture of Hygge and offers suggestions on how you can adopt the Nordic way of living. Signe makes one of her favourite winter warmers, Triple Cherry Gløgg, in the Woman's Hour. Presenter: Jane Garvey Producer: Kirsty Starkey.

Amma Asante, Lady Justice Hallett, Do nurseries benefit pre-school children?  

Lady Justice Hallett on her legal career and taking part in The Trial of Hamlet, a project designed to encourage young people, particularly girls, to consider law as a profession. Sending pre-school age children to nursery instead of keeping them at home could benefit them, according to new research from Oxford University and the London School of Economics. The findings are based on data from the German Social-Economic Household survey. Dr Laurence Roope co-author of the report and Dr Denise Hawkes, programme leader at the Institute of Education, University College of London discuss. To mark the programme's 70th anniversary, The Woman's Hour Power List 2016 is looking at the women who have made the biggest impact on women's lives in seven decades. Today the Everyday Sexism founder Laura Bates and Historian Helen McCarthy look at the men who have had the biggest impact on women's lives over the last 70 years. The director Amma Asante talks about her new film A United Kingdom. Presenter: Jane Garvey Producer: Eleanor Garland.

Diana Athill,  Male survivors of sexual abuse, Alice Sara Ott  

Which women are likely to be included in the US President-elect's cabinet? Jane is joined by Kelly Dittmar, Assistant Research Professor at the Centre for American Women and Politics at Rutgers University and Stacy Hilliard, Chair of American Voices International. In August 1946 Diana Athill travelled to Florence by the Golden Arrow train for a two-week holiday with her cousin Pen. Almost 70 years later she has published a recently discovered diary of the trip. Diana talks to Jane about the changing nature of travel, whether approaching one's 99th birth should be considered an achievement, and why she has recently become an avid follower of Chelsea Football Club. Psychotherapist Alan Corbett has written a book about what he calls 'the invisible men', men who have experienced sexual trauma, either in childhood or in adult life. He talks to Jane about why so few men are able to reveal the awful experiences they've endured, the toxic effects of sexual abuse not only on male survivors but on partners and children as well, and the difference long term therapy can make for some men. Alice Sara Ott is a prodigiously talented German-Japanese classical pianist who plays barefoot. She has a new album, Wonderland in which she takes the listener into the world of mountain trolls and elves, hills and fjords through a selection of Grieg's works. Alice will be playing March of the Trolls live in the studio. Presenter: Jane Garvey Photograph by Diana Athill by Mark Crick.

Rochelle Clark, England's most capped rugby player; Magda Szubanski, star of Kath & Kim; the Gilmore Girls back after 16 years.  

Rochelle 'Rocky' Clark Britain's most capped Rugby player. Actor Magda Szubanski, the star of comedy Kath & Kim. Parents Estelle Clarke and Liz Dutton and the Education Correspondent Sean Coughlan look at the cost of higher education and the struggle to pay for it. In light of our recent 70th anniversary poll which said 32% of you would consider having cosmetic surgery - we look at why women consider invasive procedures to enhance their looks. Netflix is releasing four new episodes of the hit US TV series Gilmore Girls, 16 years after it was first created. We hear from Lauren Graham who plays Lorelai and Alexis Bledel who plays Rory. Plus we discuss why so many of us fill our conversation with phrases like 'so',' like', and 'you know what I mean'. And winner of The Women's Engineering Society Karen Burt Award, Clare Lavelle, a chartered engineer who's worked on big projects in the energy sector - including the development of the world's first commercial wave farms. Presented by Jane Garvey. Producer: Rabeka Nurmahomed Editor: Beverley Purcell.

The Sewing Group at the Royal Court, Stef Penney  

Earlier this month Dr Waney Squier, consultant paediatric neuropathologist, won a High Court appeal and was reinstated having been struck off in March over evidence she gave as an expert witness for the defence in so-called shaken baby syndrome (SBS) cases. Dr Squier disputes the existence of Shaken Baby Syndrome, otherwise known as Non Accidental Head Injury, a controversial diagnosis that causes about 250 criminal and family court cases each year. While she will now once again be able to practice clinically, she will not be not able to act as an expert witness for the next three years. Alison Holt, BBC Social Affairs Correspondent, discusses Dr Waney Squier, the Syndrome and medical views surrounding it. Stef Penney's new novel, Under A Pole Star, follows the life of Flora Mackie, a whaler's daughter from Dundee in the nineteenth century. Stef Penney talks to Jenni about her fascination with the landscape of the far north, the dark side of the 'golden age' of exploration, the hurdles a woman faced in the male-dominated world of the late 19th century and why, as one reviewer said, she chose to apply the same forensic scrutiny to sex as she does to an icescape. Chartered engineer Clare Lavelle has won The Women's Engineering Society prestigious Karen Burt Award. The annual award for newly chartered women engineers recognises excellence and potential in the practice of engineering. During her career, Clare has worked on major projects in the energy sector, including the development of the world's first commercial wave farms. 'The Sewing Group' is a new play at the Royal Court that appears to explore life for a woman starting to live in a community in pre-industrial England. Playwright, Emma Crowe, unravels a story where all is not as simple as it seems and the locals grow increasingly suspicious of the newcomer. Presenter:: Jenni Murray Producer: Kirsty Starkey.

Gilmore Girls, Lynne Truss, Student loans, Football  

Lynne Truss, the best-selling author of 'Eats, Shoots and Leaves' and 'A Cat Out of Hell', joins Jenni to discuss her new novel 'The Lunar Cats'. It is the story of Alec Charlesworth, a retired librarian, and a group of 18th Century amateur scientists who happen to be talking cats. How many women are there at football matches? Jenni speaks to female fans and season ticket holders Kristine (Grimsby Town FC Supporter), Lydia (Everton FC Supporter) and Amy (Albion Rovers FC) about their experience of going to home and away games. Netflix is releasing four new episodes of the hit US TV series Gilmore Girls, 16 years after it was first created. The show followed single mother, Lorelai Gilmore, and her 16 year old daughter, Rory, who were more like best friends than mother and daughter. It is often described as one of the first feminist comedy series. Jenni speaks to Lauren Graham, who plays Lorelai, and Alexis Bledel who plays Rory. Jenni talks to parents who are figuring out their role in providing for their children. On Saturday the NUS will hold a national Demonstration. They'll be marching in central London under the banner of United for Education and alongside them will be a newly formed group, Parents Against Student Debt. How much does the government expect parents to contribute to the costs of their student children? We hear from parents Estelle and Liz and Sean Coughlan, BBC Education correspondent. Presenter: Jenni Murray Producer: Rebecca Myatt.

The legacy of Michelle Obama, An Inspector Calls, Nadja Spiegelman  

What impact has Michelle Obama had as First Lady? What is her legacy likely to be? Margo Miller, ex-Chair of Democrats Abroad and Malise Sundstrom, Chair of Republicans Overseas UK, discuss. Actors Barbara Marten and Diana Payne-Myers discuss the enduring appeal of JB Priestly's play An Inspector Calls. Nadja Spiegelman on her memoir 'I'm Supposed to Protect You From All This'. Presenter: Jenni Murray Producer: Eleanor Garland.

Rochelle 'Rocky' Clark, Alicia Glen, Magda Szubanski  

Rochelle 'Rocky' Clark talks to Jane about her long and distinguished rugby-playing career and her latest achievement of becoming England's most capped rugby player. New York City's deputy mayor, Alicia Glen, talks about the city's plans to stop the perpetuation of low pay among their employers and so start to close the wage gap for women and minorities. As part of our anniversary celebrations, Lauren Laverne has done us a playlist - 70 tracks for our 70 years. Today it's the Noughties. Actor Magda Szubanski, star of Australian comedy Kath & Kim and the hit film, Babe, discusses her memoir, Reckoning. Our drama this week is D for Dexter, part of this year's Children in Need Appeal. In its third series, the focus of the story is food poverty. Jane talk to the writer of the drama, Amanda Whittington, and to Robbie Davison, from Can Cook, one of the organisations, funded by Children in Need, and which helped to inspire the drama. Presenter: Jane Garvey Producer: Lucinda Montefiore.

Cosmetic Surgery  

In our recent 70th Anniversary poll of women, 32% said that they would consider having cosmetic surgery. Women under 35 are most enthusiastic, with 45% saying it is something they would consider. So why is cosmetic surgery so appealing to the young? What does that tell us about the way women feel about their bodies? And is it something that feminists can consider doing? Melanie speaks to Joan Smith, Angela Neustatter and Dr Jacqueline Sanchez Taylor. After the PIP breast implant scandal in 2010 the cosmetic surgery industry was dubbed the "wild west" with little protection for women undergoing procedures. A government review in 2013 recommended a raft of changes but three years on we ask what has happened? A GP who sat on the review panel says she believes her time was wasted. Why is it taking so long for improvements to happen? Melanie speaks to surgeon Rajiv Grover, Dr Rosemary Leonard and campaigner Jan Spivey. France is warning women about a rare form of cancer which has been found in some women with breast implants. But although there have been cases of the lymphoma BIA-ALCL found in the UK there are no formal written warnings about it for women having breast augmentation here. We find out what women need to know about this rare cancer. Melanie speaks to Dr Suzanne Turner and Charlie Fouracres. Presenter: Melanie Abbott Producer: Laura Northedge.

Weekend Woman's Hour: Marina Abramovic, War Widows, Dakota Fanning  

Marina Abramovic, the 'grande dame' of radical performance art, on her life and her art...and not leaving home till she was 29 years old. What is it like to be a war widow in Britain? Dr Nadine Muller Lecturer in English Literature and Cultural History at Liverpool John Moores University and Mary Moreland from the War Widows Association discuss a new project collecting the stories of the wives and families left behind. We discuss the US election result and what it may mean to women in the US and around the world with Cynthia Weber Professor of International relations at Sussex University, Diana Furchgott-Roth a member of Women for Trump, the Guardian journalist Zoe Williams and Kimberlé Crenshaw Professor of Law from Columbia University. We hear from two nominees of the WISE awards which celebrates the women leading the way in science, technology, maths and engineering. Linda Miller is the Project Manager of Crossrail's Farringdon Station and Clare Elwell is a Professor of Medical Physics at University College London. The English folk singer Shirley Collins tells us what it's been like to find her voice 38 years after losing it in the 80's to heartbreak. Woman's Hour Powerlist judges discuss how they'll pick the seven women who've made the biggest impact on women's lives over the past seven decades: Chair of the judges Emma Barnett, Sunday Times Columnist Ayesha Hazarika, former Labour advisor and commentator Julia Hobsbawm, Abi Morgan the award winning screenwriter and Jill Burridge the former editor of Woman's Hour. Dakota Fanning on her latest role in the film American Pastoral, the big screen adaptation of Philip Roth's novel.

Folk singer Shirley Collins - on finding her lost voice after 38 years  

Folk singer Shirley Collins - legendary singer and one of England's most respected song collectors. She describes her musical life in the 50s, 60s and 70s. losing her voice to heartbreak 38 years ago, and returning to music in her 80s with new album Lodestar. War widows stories. On Remembrance Day we look at what's it like to be a war widow. Jenni speaks to Dr Nadine Muller of Liverpool John Moores University, and to Mary Moreland of the War Widows Association, about a new project that collects stories from across the decades. Plus actor Phoebe Fox discusses Close To The Enemy, a new drama series on BBC2, set in a bomb-damaged London in the wake of WWII. Phoebe tells us about playing the character Kathy Griffiths, a young woman from the War Crimes Unit, insistent on bringing war criminals to justice. And 91 year old Romany traveller Zillah Smith. She and her ancestors have travelled the roads of Staffordshire for centuries, and now a biography by writer Netta Cartwright follows the stories of six generations of Zillah's family. Angela Robson went to meet them both in Zillah's caravan in Stafford. Presenter: Jenni Murray Producer: Emma Wallace.

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