Episodes

  • The Labour Party has been setting out plans for women at Conference this week: a second deputy leader who must be a woman, a separate government department for women and equalities plus paid leave for domestic violence victims. Naz Shah, Shadow Minister for Women and Equalities, discusses what her party has to offer women experiencing the most "stubborn inequalities"

    When British tennis player Heather Watson lost in the first round of the Australian Open a few years ago, she put it down to ‘girl’s things’. By referring to her period, she brought the topic of menstruation into the sporting world along with the challenges she has faced. Now, the effect of menstruation on female athlete’s performance is openly discussed, with moves to help women train during their cycles. To discuss Jane is joined by Heather Watson and Georgie Bruinvels an endurance runner and Research Scientist looking at the impact of the menstrual cycle on the performances of female athletes.

    Barbara Res is believed to be the first female engineer to lead the construction of a major skyscraper when she supervised the building of the iconic Trump Tower. She went on to work with Donald Trump as the Executive Vice President in charge of development and construction, and then later spoke out against him in the lead up to the 2016 Presidential elections. Now she's in the UK to speak at a conference on women in engineering.

    Why does singing make us feel good and what can parents do to encourage their children to sing if they are not particularly musical themselves? Jane is joined by Dr Saoirse O’Sullivan, Associate Professor, Faculty of Medicine & Health Sciences at Nottingham University to talk about her research into the health benefits of singing and by Fran Hannan, a former music teacher, from Musical Futures, a not-for-profit organisation that helps teachers improve their singing and music skills.

    Presenter: Jane Garvey
    Interviewed Guest: Naz Shah
    Interviewed Guest: Heather Watson
    Interviewed Guest Georgie Bruinvels
    Interviewed Guest: Barbara Res
    Interviewed Guest: Dr. Saoirse O' Sullivan
    Interviewed Guest: Fran Hannan
    Producer: Caroline Donne

  • Mercury Prize nominee Lily Allen talks about the highs and lows of fame . Dementia UK have just produced an information leaflet on sex and intimacy
    for couples living with dementia to help people deal with the changes in their relationship. Why are health professionals reluctant to address issues around sex and intimacy and older people? We discuss the lengths some parents will go to to get their children into their preferred school. Could many divorced women be potentially losing out on substantial sums of money from their husbands private pensions.
    Is it golden age for strong female roles in television drama? The musician Vika Bull talks about playing Etta James in At Last . And Niki Segnit talks about the concept of lateral cooking as we Cook The Perfect flatbread and crackers.

    Presenter; Jane Garvey
    Producer: Rabeka Nurmahomed
    Editor: Beverley Purcell

    Guest; Alexis Zegerman
    Guest; Dr Rebecca Montacute
    Guest; Michelle Cracknell
    Guest; Christopher Brooks
    Guest; Emma Bullimore
    Guest; Dr Sarah Simons
    Guest; Zena Aldridge

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  • When Sri Lankan Tamil-British rapper M.I.A. performed her hit Paper Planes at the Grammys three days before giving birth in 2009, she was hailed as the first truly global superstar. A few years later she was labelled a “terrorist” and sued for millions by the National Football League for showing her middle finger during a performance with Madonna at the 2012 Super Bowl. Her journey from pop star to political activist has been a difficult one and it is documented in the film Matangi/Maya/M.I.A. She joins Jane to talk about her career, why the music industry couldn’t bend her to fit their idea of the perfect pop star and being on “Team Normal”.

    UKIP has fewer women in leading roles than other parties and electoral analysts have long pointed to the party’s stronger support among men. So what’s behind the decreased visibility of UKIP women and where have the women voters who had previously backed the party gone? With the party’s annual conference beginning in Birmingham, we ask how UKIP is dealing with criticism that it's oft remarked “woman problem” is getting worse?

    Dementia UK have just produced an information leaflet on sex and intimacy for couples living with dementia. It aims to help people consider and address the changes in their relationship. How do you deal with changes that can include one person becoming more interested in sex than the other, issues concerning consent or difficulties for the person with dementia in recognising the ways their relationship may have changed? We hear from Sue, who had to face such challenges with her husband, Dr Sarah Simons and Zena Aldridge from Dementia UK.

    The writer and broadcaster Sali Hughes has been talking to women about objects in their lives that are important to them. The things we cherish aren’t always vintage, or even antique - or even expensive. Instead, we treasure the stuff that reminds us of special people, or particular times in our lives or which stand for something important. Today it’s the turn of publicist Bianca Presto.

    The ‘bog people’ – bodies preserved in the peat bogs of Northern Europe since the iron-age – are studied enthusiastically by the history-obsessed characters of Sarah Moss’s new novel, Ghost Wall. But for one of them, teenage Silvie, the experiences of the bog people aren’t so far from her 1990’s reality. Sarah joins Jane to discuss how history doesn’t always stay in the past.

  • Lily Allen has been making headlines since she blazed into the music industry when she was a teenager. She’s a talented singer songwriter with three Ivor Novello Awards to her name and has been nominated for this year’s Mercury Prize. But it hasn’t been easy; she’s battled addiction, lost a child and has been stalked. After the highs and lows of fame she’s now writing her own headlines with her controversial new memoir My Thoughts Exactly. Jenni talks to her about her life and career.

    Niki Segnit’s new book Lateral Cooking explains how recipes are related to each other through a shared culinary DNA and explores how with just a tweak of an ingredient or technique, one dish leads to another. She joins Jenni in the studio to Cook the Perfect Flatbread and Crackers.

    Dr Claire Corps had a kidney transplant at the age of 12, two brain haemorrhages in her teens and a liver transplant in her early twenties. Despite all this she went onto become a globally recognised leading transplant scientist. She was featured in an interview with her parents on Woman’s Hour at the age of 11 and she joins Jenni to share her remarkable story.

    Is social media driving fear of childbirth? As more women are posting their difficult birth stories on line, what impact does this have on mothers- to- be? Is it an indication that birth trauma is becoming more widespread? Julie Jomeen, Professor of Midwifery at the University of Hull and midwife Marie-Louise who blogs as The Modern Midwife, join Jenni to discuss.


    Presenter: Jenni Murray
    Producer: Laura Northedge

    Interviewed Guest: Lily Allen
    Interviewed Guest: Niki Segnit
    Interviewed Guest: Dr Claire Corps
    Interviewed Guest: Professor Julie Jomeen
    Interviewed Guest: Marie-Louise

  • What lengths will parents go to, to get their children into the 'right' school? Playwright, Alexis Zegerman and Dr Rebecca Montacute from the Sutton Trust discuss.

  • On Thursday a mother in Northern Ireland who bought abortion pills for her 15 year old daughter will appear before Belfast High Court. She is challenging a decision by the Public Prosecution Service in Northern Ireland to prosecute her. The mother – who’s remaining anonymous – faces two charges of unlawfully procuring and supplying abortion drugs.

    The legendary blues and soul singer Etta James, who died in 2012, is being celebrated in a show: ‘At Last – The Etta James Story’. Etta James is one of the most critically acclaimed and influential female singers of the past 50 years, despite never achieving huge popular success. Her early life was wild, included violence, drug addiction and armed robbery. Jenni is joined by the musician Vika Bull who is playing her.

    Almost one third of professional parents know someone who has used ethically ‘dubious tactics’ to get their child into their preferred school, according to a new report by the Sutton Trust. So, what lengths will parents go to, to get their children into the ‘right’ school? Alexis Zegerman, writer of Holy Sh!t which is playing at the Kiln theatre in London and Dr Rebecca Montacute, Research Fellow at the Sutton Trust and author of the report Parent Power 2018 discuss.

    Who were the first female doctors? Most people would say 19th century pioneers such as Elizabeth Garrett Anderson, but there is a much longer history of women in medicine. We speak to Briony Hudson, the curator of a new exhibition by the Royal College of Physicians which looks at the role of female apothecaries, herbalists, midwives – and of course doctors – who have all worked within a male-dominated world for over 500 years.

    Presenter: Jenni Murray
    Producer: Kirsty Starkey

    Interviewed Guest: Grainne Teggart
    Interviewed Guest: Emma Vardy
    Interviewed Guest: Vika Bull
    Interviewed Guest: Rebecca Montacute
    Interviewed Guest: Alexis Zegerman
    Interviewed Guest: Briony Hudson

  • The Liberal Democrat conference is underway. Deputy leader Jo Swinson joins us to discuss how plans to become a “movement for moderates” will attract women voters and help her party elect their first woman leader

    The current crop of TV dramas feature a plethora of strong female characters? Is this a golden age for women in TV and can it last?

    New Zealand is about to mark 125 years of women's suffrage. It was the first self-governing country in the world to extend this right to all women in parliamentary elections. We hear from three women from New Zealand about how the vote came about what issues women are fighting for today.

    Fan Bingbing is one of China's top actresses but she has been missing for two months. Her millions of fans are worried and there are rumours that she may have been
    detained by the Chinese authorities.

    Beck Dorey-Stein was a teacher looking for a new job when she accidentally ended up as a stenographer in the Obama White House. She has since written an account of her experiences, From the Corner of the Oval Office: One woman’s true story of her accidental career in the Obama White House .

    Presenter: Jane Garvey
    Interviewed guest: Jo Swinson
    Interviewed guest: Emma Bullimore
    Interviewed guest: Dr Caroline Daley
    Interviewed guest: Claire Trevett
    Interviewed guest: Dr Gill Greer
    Interviewed guest: Kerry Allen
    Interviewed guest: Beck Dorey-Stein
    Producer: Lucinda Montefiore

  • Online blogger, Emi Ozmen frequently wears clothes that match her daughter, and her son; otherwise known as 'twinning'. Journalist, Claire Spreadbury, finds the practise embarrassing. They join Jane to discuss.

    Adele Parks writes international bestselling novels. Her first novel, Playing Away, was published in 2000 and since then has produced 17 more novels. Her books have been translated in twenty six languages. She talks about her stellar career, where she gets her ideas from and her latest novel, 'I Invited Her In'.

    Age UK has published a new report warning that many divorced women are potentially losing out on substantial sums from their husband's private pensions. They say a lot of the women don't realise they are entitled to this money and are calling for urgent reforms so that the pensions are split fairly. We hear from Michelle Cracknell, Chief Executive at The Pension Advisory Service and Christopher Brooks, an Age UK Senior Policy Manager.

    The Oscar nominated film 'The Breadwinner' tells the powerful story of an 11-year-old girl named Parvana growing up under the Taliban in Afghanistan in 2001. When her father is wrongfully arrested, Parvana disguises herself as a boy in order to support her family. The director, Nora Twomey, joins Jane to discuss working in animation.

    Presenter: Jane Garvey
    Producer: Kirsty Starkey.

  • A new film Skate Kitchen tells the story of an all girl New York skateboard collective. We hear from two of the skaters Nina Moran and Dede Lovelace and from the film's director Crystal Moselle.

    We discuss why women who want to use implants or the coil as a contraceptive are having trouble finding someone to fit them. Professor Helen Stokes-Lambard is the chair of the Royal College of GP's and Dr Katie Bramhall-Stainer discuss how cuts have affected the situation and Lisa Hardin tells us about her own experience of getting a coil fitted.

    The best selling author Kate Atkinson tells us about her new novel Transcription.

    When the American rapper Mac Miller died last week from an overdose his ex girlfriend Ariana Grande was bombarded with abuse and blame for his death. Why are some women held responsible for the recovery of their male partners? We hear from journalist Bolu Babalola and the executive director of Addaction Karen Tyrell.

    Harriet Harman talks about improving the working lives of women MP's in her role as Mother of the House and why the next leader of the Labour Party has to be a woman.

    The hashtag witchesofinstagram has more than one million tags on Instagram and is a huge subculture on social media. We discuss why with two women who describe themselves as witches Alicia and Antonina.

    The artist Di Mainstone tells us how she can hear bridges sing. She has done projects on Brooklyn Bridge and Clifton Suspension bridge in the past. She tells us about her latest project at the Northern Spire Bridge in Sunderland, which involves unique musical instruments made from leftover bridge material.


    Presented by Jenni Murray
    Producer: Rabeka Nurmahomed
    Editor: Beverley Purcell.

  • Frances O’Grady, the General Secretary of the TUC, said this week that up to two million people have been put off having a family because of low pay, the high cost of living and squeezed public services. But is she right? And is the declining size of British families anything to worry about? Jenni speaks to Nicola Smith, the TUC’s Head of Equality and Strategy and Dawn Foster, a 31 year old newspaper columnist.

    A new film called Skate Kitchen tells the story of an introverted teenager, Camille (Rachelle Vinberg), from Long Island who meets and befriends an all-girl New York skateboard collective. It's a story of friendship and female empowerment. The young women who star in the film are all part of a real skateboarding group. Jenni is joined by the director Crystal Moselle and two of the skaters and actors, Nina Moran and Dede Lovelace.

    The Norwegian opera singer, Lise Davidsen, is with us in the studio. She joins Jenni to discuss her career and the work that goes into being a soprano. She performed Verdi's Requiem at this year's BBC Proms.

  • Record numbers of women are running for office in 2018 in the upcoming mid-term elections in November. in the US. What difference will that make if they win? Jenni Murray speaks to Kelly Dittmar, Assistant Research Professor from the Centre for American Women and Politics at Rutgers University in New Jersey

    The American author and political commentator, Sally Kohn, is in the UK to deliver this year's Forgiveness Project Lecture where she'll be talking about how we need to bridge the divide in these unforgiving times.

    Appointed CEO of the Royal Academy of Engineers at the beginning of the year, Dr Hayaatun Sillem is the first woman to hold the post. She talks about why as a woman in her 40s from a mixed ethnic background she's in a unique position to challenge the stereotypes of what an engineer is and why a career in engineering can really make a difference to people's lives.

    The Advisory Group on Contraception (AGC) says half of councils in England have closed sites which give contraceptive services. This has happened since the 2015 public health cuts. It's having an impact on access to long-acting reversible contraceptives they say. Some medical experts are even linking this with the increase in abortions in England. Guests include Lisa Hardin who has had problems with contraception, Dr Katie Bramall-Stainer, a GP in Hertfordshire and Professor Helen Stokes-Lampard, Chair of the Royal College of GPs.

  • In England you are supposed to stay in education until you are aged 18 and 90% of 16-year-olds do so, according to the latest figures from the Department for Education, but what options are open to them? Jenni is joined by Catherine Sezen, a senior curriculum expert at the Association of Colleges and Professor Ann Hodgson Co-Director of the Centre for Post-14 Education and Work, at the Institute of Education, University College, London to discuss the very latest academic and vocational subjects and qualifications.

  • Harriet Harman has said that the next leader of the Labour Party has to be a woman and it was time that ambitious young men aspired to be her deputy. She talks about that and her priorities for improving the working lives of women MPs as 'Mother of the House'.

    Have you ever heard a bridge sing? The artist Di Mainstone has a thing about listening to bridges, she's done projects on Brooklyn Bridge and Clifton Suspension Bridge before. Now she's created fourteen 'Wonderloopers' which are unique musical instruments made from leftover building materials from the new Northern Spire bridge in Sunderland. They'll be sprouting on the bridge on 16th September and Di joins Jenni to explain her musical portals and the inspiration for them.

    Some women who are not old enough for the menopause stop having periods. This can be due to illness, stress, weight loss, or exercise. Richard Quinton, senior lecturer at Newcastle University and a consultant at the Royal Infirmary in Newcastle, explores why this happens and how it came about.

    The writer and broadcaster Sali Hughes has been talking to women about objects in their lives that are important to them. The things we cherish aren't always vintage, antique or expensive. Instead, we treasure the stuff that reminds us of special people, or particular times in our lives, or which stand for something important. Today it's the turn of Eos Counsell.

    In England you are supposed to stay in education until you are aged 18, and 90% of 16-year-olds do so, according to the latest figures from the Department for Education, but what options are open to them? Jenni is joined by Catherine Sezen, a senior curriculum expert at the Association of Colleges and Professor Ann Hodgson Co-Director of the Centre for Post-14 Education and Work, at the Institute of Education, University College, London to discuss the very latest academic and vocational subjects and qualifications.

  • Ruth Wilson, best known for a BBC version of Jane Eyre, The Affair and Luther, stars in a new film, The Little Stranger, based on the novel by Sarah Waters. Set in a large dilapidated house in 1940s England, it's a story of repression, class envy and strange goings on -featuring an aristocratic family and a local doctor.

    26-year-old Mac Miller died last Friday from an alleged overdose. The American rapper spoke openly about his ongoing addiction to drugs and alcohol. He had had a two year relationship with the pop star Ariana Grande which broke up earlier this year. She later said their relationship had become 'toxic'. Following his death, Ariana received a flood of online abuse and blame for his death. Why are some women held responsible for the recovery of their male partners? And what support is out there for women who have partners with an addiction? Bolu Babalola is a freelance pop culture journalist. Karen Tyrell is the Executive Director at the drug and alcohol charity Addaction.

    Last week marked the launch of the campaign: Women for a People's Vote. It was also last week that Conservative MPs set up Stand Up for Brexit, a group aimed at defending the referendum decision to leave the EU. Hailing from leave voting areas, Andrea Jenkyns, Maria Caulfield and Sheryll Murray are members and they've been some of the most prominent in their defence of the referendum. But what of the women who voted leave - what do they want from the Brexit process. Chloe Westley is campaign manager of the Taxpayers' Alliance and worked on the Vote Leave Campaign in 2016 - why does she think they still want Brexit delivered - and what does leaving mean now?

    Back in the summer our Woman's Lab presenters went to Manchester to try and help three single women approach their love lives in a different way. A month later we catch up with them to see if their love lives have changed.

    The hashtag #witchesofinstagram has over one million tags on Instagram - and is a huge subculture on social media, particularly for young women. Young witches Alicia, and Antonina, 26 and 18, discuss the appeal of the occult to women in 2018.

    Presenter; Jane Garvey
    Producer:
    Kirsty Starkey.

  • Serena Williams is at the centre of a debate about sexism after the US Open Singles Final at the weekend. Sports writer Anna Kessell joins Jane.

    Kate Atkinson is the bestselling author of ten novels. She talks to Jane about her latest book Transcription about a young woman recruited during World War II into the world of espionage.

    Mary Maina, Rwandan cricketer, coach and programme manager at charity Cricket Build Hope, explains how the charity is using cricket as a tool for tackling gender inequality.

    Author and historian Deborah Harkness discusses her All Souls Trilogy and its adaption for a major new TV series, A Discovery of Witches.

    Catching up with Jo Clift who came on the programme during Listener Week to discuss "the complex decision and feelings about letting your hair go grey after years of colouring".

    Presenter: Jane Garvey
    Producer: Lucinda Montefiore.

  • India's Supreme Court has ruled that gay sex is no longer a criminal offence but it is estimated that there are still over 70 countries and territories where same-sex relationships are still criminalised. This week two Malaysian women convicted of attempting to have lesbian sex were caned in a religious court. What does this mean for the LGBT community that are still denied being their equal rights and freedom around the world? Laura Carter, Researcher on sexual orientation and gender identity at Amnesty International and Leila Zadeh, Executive Director of the UK Lesbian & Gay Immigration Group discuss.

    The new season of The FA's Women's Super League starts this Sunday. It is the first time that it becomes fully professional. Reporter Siobhann Tighe visited the Arsenal team as they prepare for their first match.

    Corduroy, popular the 1970s, is undergoing something of a revival. Why? Amber Butchart, fashion historian and Victoria Moss, senior fashion editor at The Telegraph.

    The writer and broadcaster Sali Hughes has been talking to women about objects in their lives that are important to them. Today it is the turn of Elen Jones, and the glasses that belonged to her grandmother.

    The September issues of fashion magazines are the most important of the year. Vogue, ELLE, Porter, Marie Claire and a number of other prominent fashion magazines all feature high-profile women of colour on the front covers. And a few weeks ago Gal-dem, a platform created by women and non-binary people of colour, guest edited the Guardian Weekend magazine. Liv Little, founder of Gal-dem and Kenya Hunt, deputy editor of ELLE UK join Jane to talk about how they are changing the media landscape.

    Presenter: Jane Garvey.

  • Migraines affect afflict one in five women and half of all chronic migraines sufferers worry about losing their job. We hear about the impact they have on women's lives and the latest medical advances. "Suffragettes in trousers", we discuss the men who backed votes for women; Aviva Dautch reads her poetry, reflecting on love, loss and her late mother. And following the death of Rachael Bland, host of the podcast You, me and the Big C, we discuss how you can try to prepare your children for your own death.

  • What are your teenagers doing up there in their bedrooms on their phones? How much are you up to date with the devices and content that your children are looking at? Jenni is joined by the Loose Women presenter and mother of two Kaye Adams and security expert Will Geddes who have written the book 'Parent Alert! How To Keep Your Kids Safe Online,' along with Nadia Sawalha, to discuss parents’ worst fears and the latest advice.

  • According to a report, The Future of Retirement commissioned by HSBC more than half of working-age women in the UK fear that they won't be able to afford food and heating when they retire. It also says that women aren't as financially prepared as men for when they get older. So why do some women still find it hard to pay into a pension and what do we need to know in order to take control of our finances when we give up work? Jenni speaks to Michelle Cracknell Chief Executive at TPAS, the Government's pension's advisory service and Rebecca a mature Psychology student and single mum.

    Sunday night television is grabbing headlines with the way that men are portrayed on screen. The latest example has been around the bare bottom in the BBC1 drama, Bodyguard. But is this objectifying men in the same way that women have been objectified in the past, and are women being hypocritical if they enjoy watching naked or half-naked men on screen?

    You'll know the image of Medusa from Greek mythology: a woman with a head full of snakes. She's inspired a new dance work by Jasmin Vardimon which opens next week and is touring the country. From Caravaggio to Clash of the Titans, via Sigmund Freud, John Paul Sartre, Helene Cixious and Sylvia Plath, Medusa has attracted the attentions of philosophers, politicians and artists. So what's the fascination? Choreographer, Jasmin Vardimon and Edith Hall, Professor of Classics at King's College London join Jenni to discuss

    Teenagers and their phones: What are they doing up there in their bedrooms, tapping away? How up-to-date are you with what your children are looking at online? Jenni is joined by the Loose Women panellist and mother of two Kaye Adams and security expert Will Geddes to discuss all parents' worst fears and the latest advice.

  • Gina Miller, an investment manager and philanthropist became a leading figure in the anti-Brexit movement after she successfully challenged the UK government's authority to trigger Article 50 without parliamentary approval. She joins Jane to talk about why she did what she did, her belief in how one person really can make a difference and the impact her actions have had on her.

    As the new school year starts and children return to school how do parents manage jobs, school and childcare?

    The gender pay gap, everyday sexism and harassment, discrimination at work - women have a number of reasons to be angry. So why is female rage something that makes so many people uncomfortable?

    And the writer and broadcaster Sali Hughes has been talking to women about objects in their lives that are important to them. Today author Nadia Shireen talks about one very special teddy bear.

    Presenter Jane Garvey
    Producer Beverley Purcell.