Episodes

  • Self Esteem is creating pop with purpose, tackling the patriarchy, sexual abuse and toxic relationships to a fun danceable beat. She is nominated for this year's Mercury Prize for her second album Prioritise Pleasure and joins Emma in the studio.

    The cost of living crisis has been a central point of contention between the two candidates vying to be our next Prime Minister. Emma is joined by Baroness Minouche Shafik, Director of the London School of Economics. Previously deputy governor at the Bank of England - touted by many as the favourite to have replaced Mark Carney as the Governor of the Bank when he stood down in 2019, instead Andrew Bailey took the role and recently declared a recession is likely.

    Before 1900, a woman who wanted to study the stars had to have a father, brother, or husband to provide entry. Now in a new book ‘The Sky Is for Everyone’, thirty seven leading women working in the field of astronomy, who have broken down barriers tell their personal stories of scientific success. Two of the women featured in the book are Cathie Clarke, Professor of Theoretical Astrophysics at the Institute of Astronomy, Cambridge and Professor Carole Mundell, the Hiroko Sherwin Chair in Extragalactic Astronomy, Head of Astrophysics at the University of Bath, and President of the UK Science Council.

    It’s been two weeks since the Lionesses brought home the Euro 2022 trophy. Last week the England Captain Leah Williamson spoke on this programme about the importance of ensuring girls have the chance to play football. Emma is joined by Richard, not his real name, whose daughter played for the Crystal Palace junior team but has recently heard her team has been cut.

    Presenter: Emma Barnett
    Producer: Emma Pearce

  • It has been a year since the Taliban took control of Afghanistan. The country is in economic crisis, there are droughts and the lives of women and girls have been impacted hugely. Emma is joined by an expert panel including the first female deputy speaker for the Afghanistan Parliament Fawzia Koofi, the former Women’s Minister Hasina Safi and Samira Sayed Rahman, from the International Rescue Committee. They will discuss access to education for girls, what role the international community should play and the situation for Afghan refugees in the UK.

    Over the weekend we learnt the Crown Prosecution Service - the CPS - said it isn't going to be prosecuting any of the people who were arrested at a vigil for Sarah Everard who was murdered last year. We hear from Barrister Pippa Woodrow of Doughty Street Chambers in London who's represented two of the women in this case.

    The government says it wants to improve how victims are treated in the criminal justice system across England and Wales. As part of that aim, there's a draft Victims Bill. It wants to give more weight to what a victim of crime says, improve support for victims so they can recover better, and make it easier for victims to maintain contact with the criminal justice system and stay connected. But the Children's Commissioner says the experience of children as victims needs special attention in this Bill, as they have different needs to adults. The Children's Commissioner for England, Rachel de Souza, tells us more.

    Plus are you pro-pocket? Data shows the majority of women want them, but clothes don’t always have them. We’re joined by comedian Tiff Stevenson to talk about her love for them and fashion historian Amber Butchart, who delves into their history.

    Presenter Emma Barnett
    Producer Beverley Purcell

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  • Having led the England women’s team to Euro 2022 victory, the Lionesses' captain, Leah Williamson, reflects on the Euro 2022 victory and answers young listeners' questions.

    The Armed Forces are not reaching their targets in terms of recruiting women. The MOD is hoping to increase the proportion of women in the armed forces to 30% by 2030 but they have not met the target set for 2020. We discuss with Lauren Godier-McBard and Ria Jackson.

    It's the end of an era - the actor playing Peggy in The Archers is hanging up her mic at the age of 103. June Spencer has played the matriarch since 1951. Her last appearance was on Sunday's omnibus edition. Felicity Finch who plays Ruth Archer, shares how the rest of the cast has reacted to the news.

    It’s been described as one of the most seismic events of the 20th century, but how did the Partition of India affect women? The split led to violence, disruption and death with women facing kidnapping, rape and forced suicide. It was a time of huge destruction and disruption but it was also a time of courage, compassion and survival of the women who overcame trauma to somehow rebuild their lives. We hear from Shruti Kapila, Professor of Indian History at Cambridge University and Ritu Menon, feminist publisher and writer, and author of Borders & Boundaries: Women in India’s Partition.

    BBC Afghan have a new radio programme called 'Women' which focuses on women and girls, especially those in rural areas. It's presented by Shazia Haya in Pashto, and Aalia Farzan in Dari who fled their home country last August when the Taliban retook control. Faranak Amidi is the presenter of World Service's The Fifth Floor and caught up with Shazia and Aalia.

    Presenter: Anita Rani
    Producer: Lucy Wai
    Editor: Lisa Jenkinson

  • It’s been described as one of the most seismic events of the 20th century, but how did the Partition of the former imperial domain of British India into two countries, India and Pakistan, affect women? The split led to violence, disruption and death with women facing kidnapping, rape and forced suicide. It was a time of huge destruction and disruption but it was also a time of courage, compassion and survival of the women who overcame trauma to somehow rebuild their lives. We hear from Shruti Kapila, professor of Indian History at Cambridge University and Ritu Menon, feminist publisher and writer, and author of Borders & Boundaries: Women in India’s Partition, as they discuss the stories of women at this time.

    Marvel, famous for its superhero comics, series and films has bought the story of Partition alive on screen in the new hit series Ms Marvel which features a Muslim female superhero for the first time. But is entertainment a good way to bring historical events to a new audience and generation? We hear from Fatima Asghar one of the writers responsible for an episode in the series dedicated to Partition. She explains how her own family story has influenced her writing.

    The poet and musician Amrit Kaur uses her love of music to help raise awareness of the women whose lives were affected by Partition. She started learning the Indian classical instrument at the age of 13 and since then has travelled the world using music to share the struggles of women through her music, which also includes the use of Punjabi folk songs. She performs a Punjabi poem written by Amrita Pritam.

    How are the events of the 1947 Partition remembered and understood by the younger generations? How does this type of trauma affect generations to come? We speak to three young women Unzela Khan, Dr Binita Kane and Amrit Kaur to talk about how the events of 1947 have shaped their lives and how it's contributed to who they are today.

    Presenter: Anita Rani
    Producer: Rabeka Nurmahomed

  • Having led the England women’s team to Euro 2022 victory, Lionesses captain Leah Williamson joins Woman’s Hour for a very special programme. Leah joins Jessica Creighton to reflect on winning England’s first major trophy since 1966 and to discuss the future of women’s football both at the elite level and in schools. She also talks about her passions outside of football, including being a DJ. Jessica and Leah speak to Radio 1’s Adele Roberts and Dr Kelly Jakubowski, from Durham University who is an expert in music and psychology, about how you find the perfect track for a celebration. And, fashion and football aren't necessarily two things you'd put together, but they are two topics very close to Leah's heart. She expresses herself through her clothes and will talk about her love of unisex fashion. We will also speak to an original Lioness, Sue Whyatt, to discuss how far the game has come.

    Presenter: Jessica Creighton
    Producer: Emma Pearce

  • In a report published on Friday, the Joint Committee on Human Rights says the Government bears ultimate responsibility for the pain and suffering caused by public institutions and state employees that railroaded mothers in the 1950s, 60s and 70s into unwanted adoptions in England and Wales. Anita Rani speaks to Harriet Harman MP, who is Chair of the Joint Committee on Human Rights and Veronica Smith, founder member of the Movement for an Adoption Apology. TikTok has become one of the most popular social media apps in the world. We hear from author and content creator Tova Leigh who contacted us to say she has noticed more and more disturbing content on the site that encourages violence against women and girls, and BBC Technology reporter Shiona McCallum.The first international England Women’s football match was in November 1972. 50 years on, we speak to Woman’s Hour listener and reserve goalkeeper for the England team, Sue Whyatt who says the team are still waiting for their 'caps; and we hear from the honorary secretary of the Women’s Football Association, Patricia Gregory who co-organised that match.Jersey has elected its first ever female Chief Minister. In elections last month, more women won seats in Jersey’s States Assembly than ever before. Emma Barnett speaks to Kristina Moore, a former journalist and TV presenter, to find out how her first few weeks in office are going.From picking up the pen to survive in prison and since her release, Lady Unchained has made it her mission to become an advocate for life after prison. She is a poet, performer, and award winning broadcaster. We speak to her as she releases her debut poetry book: Behind Bars: On punishment, prison & release.

  • It looks like Serena Williams is leaving tennis. She's won 23 grand slam titles and four Olympic golds but has suggested it's time to move on. She's made the announcement in Vogue, where she's said retirement - "causes a great deal of pain. I hate it." So she hasn't explicitly said she's giving up but she's given a large hint, saying she wants to focus on her family. Jessica Creighton speaks to former tennis player, Jo Durie and sports journalist Natasha Henry about the tennis icon.

    The Armed Forces are not reaching their targets in terms of recruiting women. The MOD is hoping to increase the proportion of women in the armed forces to 30% by 2030 but they have not met the target set for 2020. One of the barriers to change is thought to be visibility - new research has found the UK public knows little or nothing about female veterans. Lauren Godier-McBard led the research and Ria Jackson is an RAF veteran and founder of the blog The V word.

    BBC Afghan have a new radio programme called 'Women' which focuses on women and girls, especially those in rural areas, in Afghanistan and Pakistan. It's presented by Shazia Haya in Pashto, and Aalia Farzan in Dari who fled their home country last August when the Taliban retook control. It aims to inform, educate and empower its listeners. Faranak Amidi is the presenter of World Service's The Fifth Floor. She spoke to Shazia and Aalia.

    This spring more than two million people had registered to become potential blood stem-cell donors in the UK. That’s regarded as a milestone by DKMS, which is the biggest stem cell-register in the UK. And it gives one mother in Northern Ireland some much-needed hope. Anne Greer’s youngest son is in a critical condition in hospital. Daniel was fit and well, but in May after complaining of back pain that was coming and going, he was diagnosed with leukaemia. The family want people around the world to donate blood to see if their stem cells are a life-saving match for Daniel.

    On Woman’s Hour we talk about girls a lot, their safety, their mental and physical health but we don’t often talk to them. For an occasional series called 'Girl’s World' Ena Miller went to talk to groups of girls at their schools in their friendship groups, not necessarily about the big ‘issues’ but about what makes them laugh, who they laugh with…what they care about. Today, India and Alice are both aged 13 and they live in Stroud.

    Today we're going to be talking about women in the world of elite bodybuilding where in the UK alone there will be more than 200 female bodybuilding shows this year. Kate Bishop - co-creator of the book Core which includes 42 photos of ‘muscly women’ doing what the book describes as 'subverting the archetype of femininity' and one of the bodybuilders in the book, Louise Plumb, discuss.



    Presenter: Jessica Creighton
    Producer: Kirsty Starkey

    Interviewed Guest: Natasha Henry
    Interviewed Guest: Jo Durie
    Interviewed Guest: Laura Godier-McBard
    Interviewed Guest: Ria Jackson
    Interviewed Guest: Shazia Haya
    Interviewed Guest: Aalia Farzan
    Interviewed Guest: Anne Greer
    Reporter: Ena Miller
    Interviewed Guest: Kate Bishop
    Interviewed Guest: Louise Plumb

  • The British-born actor and singer Olivia Newton-John has died at the age of 73. Best remembered for playing the iconic role of Sandy in the musical film Grease. We pay tribute with Stockard Channing who played Rizzo in Grease, and the film critic Karen Krizanovich and Olivia Moore who is currently playing her in the stage version in London's west end.

    Brit & Mercury prize winner Heather Small on ‘Colour My Life’, her first album in sixteen years. For the album, she teamed up with the London Metropolitan Orchestra to re-imagine all of her Top 10 hits as well as release new songs and covers.

    What is it like to live with a chronic but hidden illness? Poppy Nash is a textile artist who lives with type 1 diabetes and one of her latest works The Art of Dying 2.0 is a full-scale installation of bedclothes and bedding, examining the experience of living in isolation as a ‘vulnerable’ person through the pandemic. Ione Gamble lives with Crohn’s disease. She’s the founder & editor of the art, fashion and culture publication, Polyester and has now written a book, Poor Little Sick Girls.

    The overturning of Roe v Wade in the USA has put abortion very much at the top of the news agenda. Our 2019 series in which women spoke, often for the first time, about their abortions seems even more relevant now. Today, a woman we are calling Kerry talks about the abortion she had when she was 18 and her certainty then and now that this was the right choice for her.


    Presenter: Jessica Creighton
    Producer: Dianne McGregor

  • In 2020, a black 15-year-old schoolgirl, known as Child Q, was strip-searched by police while on her period after being wrongly suspected of carrying cannabis. A safeguarding report on the incident concluded it was unjustified and racism was "likely" to have been a factor. New data published by the Children’s Commissioner has found what she calls a “concerning” number of children have been strip-searched by the Metropolitan Police without an appropriate adult present. BBC reporter Celestina Olulode joins Jessica to talk us through this data and we also hear from Jacqueline Courtenay, a mother from North London who organised a rally about this issue.

    It's the end of an era - the actor playing Peggy in The Archers is hanging up her mic at the age of 103. June Spencer has played the matriarch since 1951. Her last appearance was on Sunday's omnibus edition. Camilla, the Duchess of Cornwall was a big fan of Peggy's, calling her, "a true national treasure who has been part of my life, and millions of others, for as long as I can remember". Felicity Finch who plays Ruth Archer, has known June for a long time and tells Jessica how the rest of the cast has reacted to the news.

    Following the launch of the Women's Health Strategy we speak to the new chief executive of NICE - the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence. The agency makes recommendations to the NHS in England and Wales on medicines, treatments and procedures. Dr Sam Roberts took up the post in February 2022. Before joining Nice, she was Managing Director of Health and Care at Legal and General but began her career in clinical practice and spent some time working as a junior doctor in a London hospital.

    How does it feel to reach the age your Mum was when she died? Our reporter Jo Morris talked to three women whose stories are different but who all feel that the age their Mum passed away has shaped their lives. First, Rachel lives in Devon with her family. Even people who know her really well, don’t know about a feeling she’s been keeping secret.

    The Commonwealth Games ends today and what a couple of weeks it's been. England have come second, after Australia, in the medals table with Scotland 6th, Wales 8th and Northern Ireland 10th. Across all sports there have been a lot of success for the home nations women. Jessica is joined by Jeanette Kwakye, former Olympic athlete and BBC broadcaster.

  • This time last week we were looking forward to the big match: The Lionesses at the European Championship Final at Wembley. We hoped, but we just couldn't predict what would happen, but what a great moment when they won against Germany! But don't let the success of women's football overshadow the sport that's been with us all along: netball. At the Commonwealth Games, the English team - known as the Roses - are in the semi-final tomorrow, up against Australia. If they win, they'll be in the final on Sunday. And don't forget: the Roses WON at the Commonwealth Games last time around, four years ago. We speak to ex-Roses captain, Ama Agbeze.

    In the last normal academic year before the pandemic, 7,894 children were permanently excluded from English state schools. However, the data shows that certain groups of children are more likely to be excluded than others. Boys are three times more likely than girls, children on free school meals are four times more likely than other children, and Gypsy Roma, Travellers of Irish heritage, and black Caribbean children are all significantly more likely to face school exclusion than white British children. To explore why these disparities exist, Anita is joined by Dr Amelia Roberts, deputy director of UCL’s Centre for Inclusive Education; Jason Arthur, CEO of Mission 44, a charitable foundation which aims to support disadvantaged young people; and Lisa Smith, chair of the Advisory Council for the Education of Romany and Other Travellers.

    When we think about the World War II war effort, Indian women in saris are not the first people that come to mind. Social historian Kiran Sahota has been researching the role of Indian women in the war, and has curated her research into a documentary and exhibition, which is currently on tour in the UK.

    There’s been anger from counsellors and psychotherapists about new guidelines around access to rape victims therapy notes. The changes introduced by the CPS were first reported exclusively by Woman’s Hour back in May when solicitors raised concerns. Now five leading bodies representing psychiatrists, psychologists and counsellors have raised their own concerns. Newsnight reporter Anna Collinson has been looking into the story. We also hear from Dame Vera Baird, the Victims Commissioner for England and Wales.

    According to the art market, men are 10 times better at painting than women, with men’s art valued ten times more than women’s. Now, a new Radio 4 documentary, 'Revaluating Art' explores why. Its creator, Mary-Ann Sieghart explains.

    Presenter: Anita Rani
    Producer: Kirsty Starkey

    Interviewed Guest: Ama Agbeze
    Interviewed Guest: Dr Amelia Roberts
    Interviewed Guest: James Arthur
    Interviewed Guest: Lisa Smith
    Interviewed Guest: Kiran Sahota
    Interviewed Guest: Vera Baird
    Interviewed Guest: Anna Collinson
    Interviewed Guest: Mary-Ann Sieghart

  • Last week we talked about the Spanish equality ministry’s summer campaign promoting body positivity on the beach featuring diverse women of different shapes and sizes. But the campaign has received a lot of criticism since as it used multiple women’s images without their permission. We hear from one, Juliet Fitzpatrick who had a double mastectomy, who believes her face was manipulated and put onto the body of another woman - who had only one of her breasts removed.

    US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's controversial visit to Taipei in the face of warnings from Beijing. Pelosi has hinted she’d attracted China’s annoyance not for becoming the highest ranking US official to visit Taiwan in a quarter century, but because she’s a woman. Nancy Soderberg is an American foreign policy strategist and former US ambassador to the UN. And we are also joined by Isabel Hilton, the founder of China Dialogue. Good morning

    Poetry is the space where I go to make sense of the world' - the the words of Hanan Issa an Iraqi-Welsh poet from Cardiff who was recently appointed as the next National Poet of Wales. She joins Jessica to explore some of the themes which influence her work and talk about what the new role means to her.

    Since Roe v Wade was overturned in the US more women are telling their stories but secrecy and shame still surrounds abortion. In 2019 we asked you ‘have you had an abortion? How did you feel about it then and how do you feel about it now? Over the past few week's we've given you the opportunity to hear some of the stories again. Today in the fourth episode of the series we hear from a woman in her 60's we are calling "Alison".

    And Chrysta Bilton talks to us about her new book Book - A Normal Family: The Surprising Truth About My Crazy Childhood (And How I Discovered 35 New Siblings)

    Presenter Jessica Creighton
    Producer Beverley Purcell
    PHOTO CREDIT; Sue Lacey

  • Kansas is the first state in the US to decide in a referendum to protect abortion rights in a major victory for pro-choice groups. What impact could this have across the rest of America after the overturning of Roe vs Wade? Professor Fiona De Londras, Chair of Global Legal Studies at Birmingham Law School updates us.

    The Lionesses win is still being celebrated, with thousands gathering in Trafalgar Square on Monday to celebrate. The women’s game, however, has a history of being dramatically underfunded compared to the men’s and currently 37% of schools don’t offer girls’ football in PE. To change this, the government has announced a £230 million investment into improving grassroots football… but will it work? Former English international footballer Rachel Yankey and Francesca Brown, the founder and chief executive of Goals4Girls discuss their hopes for women’s football and the lasting legacy of the Euro win.

    We’re looking at dance music on the programme today. A new report has found that just 5% of dance music in the UK charts has a female as the lead artist. The report also looks at gender equality issues at festivals, and how ‘The Male Gaze’ places pressure on women in the industry. The Radio 1 DJ Jaguar joins Jessica, alongside Nicola Davies, the report’s lead author.

    Sam Smith was the first, and youngest woman to ever run a stockbroking company in the UK, and she often found herself the only woman in a room or trading floor. She's one of just nine female CEOs of companies in the FTSE 100 index, and has decided to step down from her role at the firm she founded FinnCap Group PLC. So what are her reflections on how things have changed for women in the 24 years since she joined the world of finance?

    Last year she turned 50 - at the same time her daughter left home for university. Thrown by how much it affected her, Juliette Pochin, a record producer working with artists ranging from Alfie Boe through to Harry Styles and the London Symphony Orchestra, has come out from behind the studio and written a cabaret show Music, Mayhem and a Mezzo. She is making her debut at the Edinburgh Fringe from the 5th to the 13th August.

    Presenter: Jessica Creighton
    Producer: Kirsty Starkey

    Interviewed Guest: Professor Fiona de Londras
    Interviewed Guest: Rachel Yankey
    Interviewed Guest: Francesca Brown
    Interviewed Guest: Jaguar
    Interviewed Guest: Nicola Davies
    Interviewed Guest: Sam Smith
    Interviewed Guest: Juliette Pochin

  • The Commonwealth Games in Birmingham are underway and for the first time in a major multi-sport event, more medals will be awarded to women than men, with the medal programme confirming a total of 136 events for women compared to 134 for men. Jessica speaks to BBC Sports presenter Clare Balding as well as the first ever female Chef de Mission for Team Scotland, who for the first time have more women competing in their team than men.

    Six weeks after pop star Lizzo changed the lyrics of her song because it contained an ableist slur, Beyonce has been criticised for using the same term. In her new song ‘Heated’, which is co-written by hiphop star Drake, the slur is used twice. In a statement, Beyonce said the term wasn't used intentionally in a harmful way, and will be replaced. Hannah Diviney is a writer and Disability Activist from Sydney, who went viral for calling out both Lizzo and Beyonce.

    The impact of body image on mental and physical health is "wide-reaching" according to a new wide-ranging report out today by the Health and Social Care Committee which calls for e.g. for the Government to introduce a law so "commercial images" which feature bodies which have been doctored in any way - including changing body proportions or skin tone - are legally required to carry a logo to let viewers know they have been digitally altered. And the Government to speed up the introduction of a promised licensing regime for non-surgical cosmetic procedures to prevent vulnerable people being exploited. Jessica hears from Jeremy Hunt is Chair of the Committee, and Dawn Steele, a patient trustee to the board of the Joint Council For Cosmetic Practitioners.

    Penelope Campling is a psychiatrist and psychotherapist. Over the course of her 40-year career, she has seen many changes in the way we treat serious mental illness. She spent twenty years running the NHS personality disorder unit in Leicester. She has now retired from the NHS, still practising as a psychotherapist, and has just published her second book, Don’t Turn Away: Stories of Troubled Minds in Fractured Times.

    Presenter: Jessica Creighton
    Producer: Dianne McGregor

  • In today's Woman's Hour we dedicate the programme to Women's Football after the Lionesses won the Euro 2022 Championship last night.

    Rebecca Myers is a journalist for The Times and a prominent voice in Women's Sport, she joined Andrea to give a match report and described some of her favourite moments.

    What will the legacy of last night’s Women’s Euro 2022 be? The former lioness and second highest goal scorer for England Kelly Smith joins Andrea Catherwood alongside Dame Heather Rabbatts, Dame Heather was the first female board member of the Football Association when she joined in 2012.

    We will also discuss the grass roots of the game and what more oppurtunities could be given to girls who want to play at school and beyond, Andrea speaks to Baroness Sue Campbell the Director of Women’s Football at the FA.

    David Kogan negotiated the sale of the TV rights for the Women’s Super League and is a long time advisor to the FA, he joins Andrea to discuss what next for the business side of the sport.

    Neither the Wales nor Scotland women’s football teams qualified for the Euro 2022 tournament, but will England’s victory, and Northern Ireland’s involvement in the group stages, be a boost for all the nations of the UK? The Scottish crime writer and football fan Val McDermid joined us alongside Laura McAllister, former Wales international team captain and currently deputy chair of UEFA's Women's Football committee and Caragh Hamilton, a midfielder for the Northern Ireland team.

    And Evelyn, a seven-year-old goalie from Leeds, has written a poem in honour of her favourite Lioness.

    Presenter: Andrea Catherwood
    Producer: Emma Pearce

  • The actor Samantha Womack on her new role as the White Witch in The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe.

    As the Lionesses reach the final of the Euros on Sunday let's not forget that the FA, the Football Assocation, banned the women's game for fifty years. Jacqui Oatley, the first female Match of the Day commentator, reflects on the women's game.

    Women with learning disabilities die on average 26 years younger than the general population. In her first interview since taking up the role of chair of trustees at the learning disability charity Mencap, Dame Carolyn Fairbairn tells Emma about why the life, and death, of her sister Diana Fairbairn, who had learning disabilities and cerebral palsy, has inspired her new campaigning role to improve support for people with learning disabilities.

    Namulanta Kombo on her award winning podcast 'Dear Daughter', which started with her idea of writing letters to her young daughter with advice for life.

    Norma McCorvey is the real person behind the Roe vs Wade court case of 1972. Her eldest daughter Melissa Mills discusses what her mum would have made of the court case she was so central to being overturned.

    Friends and business partners Clea Shearer and Joanna Teplin have become stars of pandemic feel-good TV with their Netflix show Get Organised with The Home Edit. They go into someone’s home and transform a cluttered space into something beautiful and functional.

    Presenter: Anita Rani
    Producer: Dianne McGregor

  • We talk to journalist Fiona Govan based in Madrid who writes for Olive Press about the controversy surrounding a new ad campaign in Spain proclaiming “All Bodies are Beach Bodies”. Posters including women of all shapes and sizes, including women with mastectomies with a slogan “Summer Belongs to Us too.” Helpful messaging? Or “absurd” as some opposition politicians claim which is creating “a problem where it doesn’t exist”.

    Should children who misbehave be excluded permanently from school? Recently, Southwark Council in London hit the headlines when it urged its headteachers to sign up to an ‘Inclusion Charter’ to avoid school exclusions. Some campaigners argue that excluding troubled children leaves them vulnerable to exploitation and puts them at risk of becoming part of a world of crime. Others say that it is necessary to exclude pupils who are disrupting the education of others or pose a danger to staff and other children. Anita is joined by Louisa McGeehan, chief executive of Just for Kids Law, a legal charity for children and young people; Tom Bennett, School Behaviour Advisor to the Department for Education, and Sarah Hewitt-Clarkson, headteacher of Anderton Park Primary School in Birmingham.

    We talk to Namulanta Kombo about her award winning podcast “Dear Daughter” which started with her idea of writing letters to her young daughter with advice for life.

    And the writer and comedian Helen Wood who wrote shows such as ‘The Usherettes’ and ‘The National Trust Fan Club’ tells us about her latest production ‘Let’s Talk About Philip’ which explores the the mystery and secret surrounding her brother’s death 32 years ago.

    Presenter: Anita Rani
    Producer: Lisa Jenkinson
    Studio Manager: Sue Maillot

  • Friends and business partners Clea Shearer and Joanna Teplin have become stars of pandemic feel-good TV, with their Netflix show Get Organised with The Home Edit. They go into someone’s home – be it a Hollywood celebrity or a stressed family of five - and transform a cluttered space into something beautiful and functional. The emphasis is firmly on giving busy women back some time and headspace through better organisation of their homes. Clea and Joanna join Emma to give some pro tips and explain how they got the business off the ground with a little help from Hollywood actor and exec Reese Witherspoon.

    Women with learning disabilities die on average 26 years younger than the general population. This shocking figure is contained in a new report which investigates health inequalities for people with learning disabilities, and the resulting premature and, often, entirely avoidable deaths. In her first interview since taking up the role of Chair of Trustees at the Learning Disability charity Mencap, the former Director General of the CBI Dame Carolyn Fairbairn tells Emma about why the life, and death, of her sister Diana Fairbairn, who had learning disabilities and cerebral palsy, and who died last December, has inspired her new campaigning role to improve support for people with learning disabilities.

    As the Women and Equalities Committee in Parliament releases its final report into the overlooked impacts of the menopause, Emma speaks to the Chair of that Committee, Conservative MP Caroline Nokes, about the actions she wants the government to now take up. These include consulting on making menopause a protected characteristic under the Equality Act – meaning employers would have to make reasonable adjustments for menopausal women in the workplace.

    Last month, we asked listeners about the matriarchs in their lives, the redoubtable women whose stories deserve to be told. Today, listener Kate from Cambridge tells her Grandmother ‘Babushka’s story.

  • It’s been just over a month since Roe vs Wade was overturned by the Supreme Court in the United States. On this programme we’ve covered the aftermath of this ruling many times, but what about the woman at the centre of it all? Jane Roe, or a name you might be less familiar with, Norma McCorvey, the real person behind the Roe vs Wade court case of 1972. Her eldest daughter, Melissa Mills, joins Emma Barnett to discuss what her Mum would have made of the court case she was so central to, being overturned.

    Last night the England women’s team won in a decisive 4-0 victory against Sweden in the Euro semi-final at Bramall Lane. Emma speaks to BBC sports commentator Robyn Cowen, former England player, Anita Asante and sports commentator Jacqui Oatley about what this means for the sport.

    A new oratorio, Voices of Power, that contemplates the nature of female power across the centuries is set to make its world premiere at Hereford Cathedral tomorrow. Composed by Luke Styles and set to libretto by Jessica Walker, it features the thoughts from seven women from across two millennia, including the likes of Boudica, Margaret Thatcher and Eleanor Roosevelt. Luke and Jessica join Emma to discuss.

    Period and fertility tracking apps have been growing in popularity for years, but new analysis reveals the majority share sensitive personal data, with experts warning it could be used to target women with tailored advertising. We speak to Fatima Ahmed, obstetrician, gynaecologist and ORCHA'S clinical lead for women’s health.

  • After an eight month UK tour the children’s classic, The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe comes to London's West End with Samantha Womack - best known for playing Ronnie in Eastenders - taking on the role of the White Witch.

    Following last night's first TV debate Emma's joined by two women who will have a vote but have yet to decide whether to back the former chancellor Rishi Sunak or the foreign secretary Liz Truss. Sally Ann Marks is the chairman of the Maidstone and Weald Conservative Association and Lizzie Hacking is Deputy Chairman of the Hastings and Rye Conservative Association.

    If I said the phrase ‘girly drink’ to you, what image would it conjure up? A sweet cocktail, a fizzy wine? Or would you challenge the very notion that some drinks are for women and others for men? To discuss the history of women’s consumption of alcohol and their involvement in making it, Emma is joined by the historian and writer Mallory O'Meara, whose new book is called Girly Drinks – A World History of Women and Alcohol and Melissa Cole, beer writer and author of The Ultimate Book of Craft Beer.

    Plus as wedding season is upon us - some people will spend thousands on their special day. However Nell Frizzell, an author and journalist whose new novel is called Square One, had a different approach. How surprised was she that when she tweeted that she'd spent just four pounds on the fabric for her dress and her shoes cost one pound went viral.

    And the woman now campaigning for rights for women to get time off work after a miscarriage after losing three babies herself..


    Presenter Emma Barnett
    Producer Beverley Purcell

  • The BBC’s first Green Sport Awards has announced the winner of its Evergreen Award. Leilani Münter is an American former professional stock car racing driver whose environmental activism has been central to her career. Leilani used her race car as “a 200mph billboard” to get environmental messages in front of the 75 million race fans in the USA. Leilani joins Emma.

    A new reoprt by MPs says the NHS in england is facing its worst staffing crisis in history. Women make up 77% of NHS staff. Dame Jane Dacre is a Professor from UCL Medical School and contributed to the report joins Emma alongside Dr Radhika Vohra who is a GP and menopause specialist.

    It’s almost a year since the Taliban took power in Afghanistan. Lynne O’Donnell has years of experience reporting from the country and decided to return earlier this month. She says she was detained, abused and threatened by the Taliban. Lynne is safely out of Afghanistan and joins Emma Barnett.

    Following the overturning of Roe v Wade in the US more women have talked about having had an abortion but many never speak openly about their experiences. In a series first broadcast in 2019 we hear five different personal testimonies from women. Today, a woman who felt her mental health was at risk when she found she was pregnant 10 months after the birth of her third child.

    Presenter: Emma Barnett
    Producer: Emma Pearce