Episódios

  • With the government announcement that low risk, pregnant women prisoners, and those in mother and baby units are to be released we hear from Dr Kate Paradine, Chief Executive of Women in Prison and Natasha Walter, Director of Women for Refugee Women. They discuss their concerns and reveal the fears of women in Yarl’s Wood Immigration Removal Centre, where a COVID 19 case has already been confirmed.

    Coronavirus has finally reached the Outer Hebrides. So for our second instalment of the Woman’s Hour Corona Diaries, Jenni speaks to Angela Crawford from the Isle of Lewis. How is this news affecting island life? What does social distancing look like in one of the more remote parts of the UK? And how do people feel about supplies and medical care away from the mainland?

    Kayleigh Llewyellyn is the writer and creator of a new BBC comedy drama series In My Skin. Based on her own story of her childhood years in Wales, it follows 16 year Bethan as she negotiates her school life, sexuality, and hiding her mother’s mental illness from her friends and teachers. She’s also one of the writers on the fourth series of Killing Eve. She joins Jenni to discuss.

    Regula Ysewijn’s new book ‘Oats in the North, Wheat from the South’ is a love letter in recipes to the history and heritage of British baking culture. Each of the recipes are accompanied by stories of landscape, legends and traditions of Great Britain. Regula joins Jenni to talk about how the diverse climate of the British Isles influenced the growth of cereal crops and the development of a rich regional baking identity.

    Presenter - Jenni Murray
    Producer – Sarah Crawley
    Guest - Dr Kate Paradine
    Guest - Natasha Walter
    Guest - Angela Crawford
    Guest - Kayleigh Llewyellyn
    Guest - Regula Ysewijn

  • All professional and grassroots football matches across the country have been suspended due to the COVID-19 outbreak. As the men’s teams are forced from the pitch and income falls away what will happen to the women’s teams they supported? Jen O'Neill, editor of shekicks.net and Kerys Harrop, Captain of Birmingham City Ladies, discuss the issues.

    The Children’s Commissioner for England, Anne Longfield, told Woman’s Hour at the start of the year that the system of support for the most vulnerable children was under strain. The Covid 19 crisis has put additional pressures on that system, with many vulnerable children now out of school and many of their services closed. She says that she’s especially concerned about one million children who were at risk -living in households which are not stable, where there might be domestic violence, drug or alcohol addiction, financial hardship and severe mental health issues. She explains what these children need now.

    The Lives of Houses – a collection of essays which asks what a house can tell us about the person who lived there. Hermione Lee describes why we are so fascinated by the homes of the famous and often long dead.

    And, as the word home takes on a new significance in this lockdown – how hard is isolation if you live alone and how can you avoid suffering from loneliness? Jenni speaks to Kate Shurety the executive Director of the Campaign to End Loneliness and Rosie Weatherley from the mental health charity Mind.

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  • We're being told to work from home if we can, so how's it going? What if you're sharing your home with someone else #WFH? Do you have enough space? As well as the paid work you're doing, how are the chores getting divided up? And what about looking after children in the middle of it all?

    Victims of violence in the home are being reassured that there's still help available for them despite what's happening. Sarah Green from End Violence Against Women describes how dangerous the lock-down is for victims of domestic abuse.

    We hear from Kate Elisabeth Russell, author of My Dark Vanessa. It's about an American teenager who's been groomed and raped by a teacher. At the time that it's happening the character thinks it's love, but realises when she's older that is was abuse.

    And how we're using tech to stay in touch. Lara Lewington from BBC Click gives us some tips on Zoom, Whatsapp and Houseparty.

  • The Royal College of Midwives says that coronavirus may mean its staff have to work elsewhere in the NHS, rather than looking after pregnant women. Dr Mary Ross Davie explains the RCM's concerns.

    Social workers are trying to keep working safely and effectively despite restrictions around Covid-19. However, a survey by the British Associations of Social Workers says many haven't been given solid advice or the right personal protection equipment. Dr Ruth Allen, Chief Executive of the BASW, describes the challenges that social workers face right now.

    We hear from two healthcare workers who've cared for SARS patients and Ebola patients. How did they cope during those pandemics and what can we learn from them now?

    And Calamity Jane: you're probably thinking of Doris Day right now but Calamity Jane really did exist in real-life. Professor Karen R. Jones from the University of Kent tells us how an American called Martha Jane Canary was the real Calamity Jane.

  • For women of colour, planting is becoming a popular way to establish ownership and celebrate cultural heritage. Aimée Grant Cumberbatch, founder of Grown, a gardening club for women of colour, and Flo Headlam, professional gardener and BBC Two’s Gardeners’ World’s first black presenter discuss.

    Ten organisations across the UK including Rape Crisis and End Violence Against Women have issued a joint statement about the impact Covid-19 could have on the lives of women and children. Women's Aid, Lucy Hadley on what action they would like to see taken.

    Dr Camilla Pang was diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder at the age of eight. Now aged 26, and with a PhD in biochemistry, she has used her specialist scientific knowledge to identify what it really means to be human in her new book, 'Explaining Humans'.

    Why do we choose the clothes we do? In her new book, ‘Dress Your Best Life’, the American fashion psychologist Dawnn Karen explains how our clothing is the ‘connective tissue’ between the physical and emotional.

    How can parents help their children navigate the constant stream of information about Covid-19 online? Sonia Livingstone, professor of social psychology at the London School of Economics and an expert in digital literacy in children, and GP Dr Radha Modgil discuss.

    How is Covid-19 affecting regular Woman's Hour listeners? We hear from Mercy Haruna.

    Exercising when you're isolated at home. Fitness instructor Rosemary Mallace of Over Fifty Fitness and Professor Janet Lord, an expert in muscle health and immunity from the University of Birmingham, about why keeping moving is particularly important as you get older, and what you can do to exercise at home.

    Presenter: Jenni Murray
    Producer: Dianne McGregor

  • Keeping up fitness when you're isolated at home. Jenni talks to fitness instructor Rosemary Mallace of Over Fifty Fitness and Professor Janet Lord, an expert in muscle health and immunity from the University of Birmingham, about why keeping moving is particularly important as you get older and what you can do to exercise at home.

    Earlier this week the Government published advice that women could be prescribed both abortion pills for a medical abortion, which they would be able to take at home, without attending a hospital or clinic. It has since said that this was published in error. With women trying to observe instructions to stay at home – some self-isolating – trying to reduce the spread of Coronavirus the British Pregnancy Advisory Service says that 500 women a day must make unnecessary journeys, with services and clinic closures forcing them to travel greater distances. So, how can those women who need an abortion access one safely and legally? Jenni speaks to Professor Lesley Regan, Past President RCOG and Co-Chair National Women’s Health Task Force and to Stella Creasy, Labour MP for Walthamstow.

    Hampstead Theatre in London is currently streaming on Instagram, ‘I and You’ a play they produced in 2018 starring Maisie Williams in her first stage role. It looks at the struggle a teenager finding herself restricted to her home. The playwright, Lauren Gunderson, currently the most produced living playwright in the US, tells us about her play and what it says about the struggles of youth confined across the globe.

    Keeper by Jessica Moor is a novel set in a women’s refuge. Katie, an employee there, has died. As the women in the refuge insist Katie didn’t take her own life the police are forced to investigate. Jenni talks to debut novelist Jessica Moor and to Natasha Saunders who has experience of domestic abuse and of life in a refuge. What can fiction do to shed light on domestic abuse?

    Presented by Jenni Murray
    Produced by Jane Thurlow

    Interviewed guest: Stella Creasy
    Interviewed guest: Lesley Regan
    Interviewed guest: Lauren Gunderson
    Interviewed guest: Jessica Moor
    Interviewed guest: Natasha Saunders
    Interviewed guest: Rosemary Mallace
    Interviewed guest: Janet Lord

  • Dr Jenny Harries, the Deputy Chief Medical Officer for England has become a familiar face and reassuring voice at the regular press conferences from Number 10 over the last couple of weeks. Today she joins Jenni to talk about the latest advice and information about the coronavirus pandemic and answers questions posed by our listeners.

    We've been hearing a lot from medical experts, politicians and commentators recently. But how is Covid-19 affecting regular Woman's Hour listeners? Over the coming weeks, we're going to be following a range of families and individuals and asking them for their take on the unprecedented situation we currently find ourselves in. Then - once it's all over - we'll have a unique social record of the coronavirus crisis from the perspective of women. To kick it all off, Jenni speaks to mum of two, Mercy Haruna.

    Why do we choose the clothes we do? In her new book, ‘Dress Your Best Life’, the American fashion psychologist Dawnn Karen explains how our clothing is the ‘connective tissue’ between the physical and emotional. She joins Jenni to discuss how our clothes do the talking.

    A lot of people suddenly have extra time on their hands, either from the lack of a commute because they're now working from home, the loss of a social life or from not being able to work at all. So once you've cast a critical eye over your bookshelf and binged on box-sets, why not take up that hobby you've always meant to start - or indeed return to. Jenni asks nature writer Emma Mitchell, journalist Almara Abgarian and Woman’s Hour listener Rhiannon Jenkins for their top picks of activities that can be easily accessed - from learning a language, to mastering macrame and drawing a leaf.

    Presenter - Jenni Murray
    Producer - Anna Lacey
    Guest - Dr Jenny Harries
    Guest - Mercy Haruna
    Guest - Dawnn Karen
    Guest - Emma Mitchell
    Guest - Almara Abgarian
    Guest - Rhiannon Jenkins

  • More money has been made available across the UK to help rough sleepers during the Covid-19 pandemic. But is enough being done to help the thousands of women and children who are in temporary accommodation? What’s being done to protect the thousands of “hidden homeless” who find themselves in B&B’s. Jenni speaks to Tina who is “sofa-surfing” with her 5 year old daughter, and to Polly Neate, CEO of Shelter and Lindsay Cordery-Bruce, CEO of The Wallich, a homelessness charity in Wales about the particular difficulties women find themselves in.Set in 1950s London, Louise Hare talks about her debut novel, This Lovely City about the Windrush generation.How can parents help their children navigate the constant stream of information about Covid-19 online? And how can children learn to spot useful fact from dangerous fiction? Sonia Livingstone is a professor of social psychology at the London School of Economics and an expert in digital literacy in children, and Dr Radha Modgil is a GP who discusses how to reduce anxiety and keep trust alive in an era of non-expert influencers and fake news. Presenter; Jenni MurrayProducer: Dianne McGregor

  • It’s the beginning of spring, and in more recent years, gardening is being seen as a therapeutic form of self-care. But for women of colour, planting is becoming a popular way to establish ownership and celebrate cultural heritage. Aimée Grant Cumberbatch is the founder of Grown, a gardening club for women of colour. Flo Headlam has been gardening professionally since 2012, and in 2017 she became BBC Two’s Gardeners’ World’s first black presenter.

    Five years ago chef, Nicole Pisani gave up cheffing in a top London restaurant to make school dinners. Now working in Hackney she joins Jane with executive headteacher, Louise Nichols, who runs three schools in the borough. They tell Jane why have they set up a Free School Dinners campaign and their hopes to see it expand whilst schools are closed.

    “Stay at home, save lives”, but is the message getting through and are other messages people are getting confusing it? The Chief Medical Officer for Scotland and the Deputy Chief Medical Officer for England have been widely praised for keeping it clear, concise and comprehensible. Is there anything that men can learn from women about crisis communications?

    Dr Camilla Pang was diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder at the age of eight. She struggled to understand the world around her. Now aged 26, and with a PhD in biochemistry, Camilla has used her specialist scientific knowledge to examine society’s obscure customs, the strangeness of social norms and identify what it really means to be human in her new book, 'Explaining Humans' .

    Presenter: Jane Garvey
    Producer: Kirsty Starkey

    Interviewed Guest: Louise Nichols
    Interviewed Guest: Nicole Pisani
    Interviewed Guest: Anne McElvoy
    Interviewed Guest: Helen Lewis
    Interviewed Guest: Dr Camilla Pang
    Interviewed Guest: Aimée Grant Cumberbatch
    Interviewed Guest: Flo Headlam

  • After school closures across the UK many parents will be at home trying to support their children do some school work whilst also working from home and 'social distancing' themselves. Are there lessons to be learned from those who already home educate?

    Ten organisations across the UK including Rape Crisis and Ending Violence Against Women have issued a joint statement about the impact of Covid 19could have on the lives on women and children. Recent reports from China and Italy show an increase in domestic violence since the pandemic began. One Chinese province said reporting had increased threefold. Jane talks to Lucy Hadley Campaigns and Policy Manager for Women’s Aid about what action they would like to see taken.

    We hear the story of Goli, an Afghan born refugee who used to live in Iran but is now settled in Denmark with her younger daughter Baran, now featured in Girl Taken, a Radio 4 series and podcast. In this Woman's Hour interview Goli talks about how her older daughter Bru came to be separated from her and the extraordinary lengths she has taken to see her again.

    And with people reporting low stocks of nappies, sanitary products and other regular household items on supermarket shelves, we take a look at what reusable alternatives are available. Is this the time for cloth nappies to make a comeback? What about reusable sanitary protection? And what can vinegar, bicarb and beeswax do for you in the kitchen?
    Presenter: Jane Garvey
    Producer: Beverley Purcell

  • Glenda Jackson tells us about her latest work playing the poet, writer and critic Edith Sitwell and what books she would recommend during a period of isolation.

    The Former Home Secretary Amber Rudd discusses why women need to be more involved in Covid 19 decision making with Caroline Criado Perez author of Invisible Women and Simone Schnall from Jesus College Cambridge.

    The curator, writer and lecturer Bolanle Tajudeen tells us how black feminism has influenced the work of black female fine artists.

    Last week’s budget saw a series of big public spending and investment projects announced, focusing on physical infrastructure. But what about social infrastructure? Diane Elson of the Women’s Budget Group and Caroline Abrahams of Age UK discuss.

    The Scottish Government is currently consulting on a Bill to reform the Gender Recognition act – should transgender people be allowed to self-declare their gender or should it be a medicalised process? Rhona Hotchkiss a former governor of Cornton Vale prison in Stirling and James Morten of the Scottish Trans Alliance discuss

    Why do some children have such ferocious tantrums and how should you as a parent deal with it? We hear from Emily Jones a Professor of infant neurodevelopment and autism at the Birkbeck Babylab.

    Presented by: Jane Garvey
    Producer: Rabeka Nurmahomed
    Editor: Lucinda Montefiore

  • Tantrums are an inevitable part of living with a toddler. But with the prospect of weeks or even months of families cooped up together ahead of us, how can parents keep meltdowns (by toddlers and themselves!) to a minimum? Emily Jones is a professor of infant neurodevelopment and autism at the Birkbeck Babylab and she tells Jane what’s happening when a child has a tantrum, when and how to intervene, and gives top tips for parents trying to cope.

    Earlier this week, the former cabinet minister Amber Rudd tweeted “During Gov briefings am I the only one thinking ‘where are all the women?’ Why are there no senior women in the “war cabinet” or used to convey those critical messages? Equality means better decisions. Don’t pack the women away during a crisis.” Many were quick to reply that this was no time for quotas and that ability matters more than equality. But what are the problems with not including the different perspectives and lived experiences of women in decision making? We hear from former Conservative cabinet minister, Amber Rudd, Caroline Criado-Perez, the author of ‘Invisible Women: Exposing Data Bias in a World Designed for Men’ and Simone Schnall, Reader in Experimental Social Psychology and Director of Studies in Psychological and Behavioural Sciences at Jesus College, Cambridge.

    To mark the Spring Equinox, Radio 4 is broadcasting readings of seasonal poetry. Today we have poetry from the award-winning Welsh poet and playwright, Menna Elfyn.

    Mothers' Day can be a difficult time for some people, Robyn Donaldson and Emma Hopkinson tell us why they started Others' Day.

    Presenter: Jane Garvey
    Producer: Kirsty Starkey

    Interviewed Guest: Amber Rudd
    Interviewed Guest: Caroline Criado-Perez
    Interviewed Guest: Simone Schnall
    Interviewed Guest: Professor Emily Jones
    Interviewed Guest: Menna Elfyn
    Interviewed Guest: Emma Hopkinson
    Interviewed Guest: Robyn Donaldson

  • The Secretary of State for Education Gavin Williamson has confirmed that all schools will close in England and Wales and there’ll be no GCSE or A Level exams this summer. How are schools and pupils proposing to cope? Ruby is a 17-year old pupil in Somerset, due to take her A levels shortly. Charlie is 25 and is doing an access course to be a paramedic. It involves cramming 2 years of A-levels into 1 year. Carolyn Roberts is the Head Teacher at Thomas Tallis School in South London.

    A legal challenge over alleged changes to Crown Prosecution Service policy on bringing charges in rape cases was dismissed by the high court this week. The Centre for Women’s Justice brought the case on behalf of the End Violence Against Women Coalition following concerns over steep falls in rape charges and convictions in recent years - at a time when an increasing number of women have been making rape complaints to police. Human rights lawyer, Harriet Wistrich, clarifies why the case was brought and someone we are calling Olivia explains why she wanted her case to be one of the 21 cases included as evidence.

    The writer 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. The TV presenter and chef Andi Oliver talks about a one-of-a-kind blanket knitted by her mother.

    And in today’s family secret is that of a woman we are calling ‘H’ whose whole life has been shaped by the sense that there was something she wasn’t being told. Finding out the truth at the age of 17 at a family party and the realisation that everyone else in the family knew all along made her ill. H tells Jo Morris her story.

  • In the latest in our series of Family Secrets a listener called Helen got in touch to tell us about the discovery she made after the death of her mother and the suicide pact she kept quiet about for nearly forty years.

    Last week’s budget saw a series of big public spending and investment projects announced. These focused on physical infrastructure. But what of social infrastructure – the investment in people who staff social care and the support for women in and out of work as the country faces the enormous challenge of Covid 19. Jenni speaks to Professor Diane Elson of the Women’s Budget Group and Caroline Abrahams, Charity Director of Age UK.

    Curator, writer and lecturer Bolanle Tajudeen is the founder of Black Blossoms, a platform dedicated to spotlighting black women and black non-binary visual artists. Jenni met Bolanle recently at the Women of the World 10th anniversary festival. How has black feminism influenced the work of black female fine art artists and why do they struggle to get a platform for their work.

    Diana Nammi grew up in the Kurdish region of Iran in the 1960s and 1970s, playing her own part in the revolution of 1979. At the age of 17, under the new Islamic regime, she became a Pershmerga, Kurdish fighter. Twelve years on the frontline, she discusses her book ‘Girl with a Gun’.

    Presenter: Jenni Murray
    Producer: Kirsty Starkey

    Interviewed Guest: Carolyn Abrahams
    Interviewed Guest: Diane Elson
    Interviewed Guest: Bolanle Tajudeen
    Reporter: Jo Morris
    Interviewed Guest: Diana Nammi

  • We consider the latest advice for pregnant women when it comes to coronavirus. Jane speaks to Jess Brammer, editor in chief HuffPost UK, who is currently on maternity leave and Dr Mary Ross-Davie - Director for Scotland, Royal College of Midwives. And in other coronavirus news: many offices, shops, bars, restaurants, schools, are likely to close. Many workers and businesses will see their income collapse, almost overnight. So what if you are laid off? What if you are self-employed? What financial decisions should you be making? What support could you be entitled to?

    Glenda Jackson plays the poet, writer and critic Edith Sitwell in Radio 4 drama Edith Sitwell in Scarborough. She joins Jane to discuss Edith, as well as being on grandma duty and what books she would recommend during a period of isolation.

    The Scottish Government is currently consulting on a Bill to reform the Gender Recognition Act. Jane talks to Rhona Hotchkiss, former governor of Cornton Vale prison in Stirling and signatory of SNP women’s pledge and James Morton, Manager of the Scottish Trans Alliance about concerns for protecting trans rights and women’s rights and how any Scottish legislation will sit with the UK Equality Act 2010.
    Presenter: Jane Garvey
    Interviewed guest: Dr Mary Ross-Davie
    Interviewed guest: Jess Brammer
    Interviewed guest: Jasmine Birtles
    Interviewed guest: Glenda Jackson
    Interviewed guest: Rhona Hotchkiss
    Interviewed guest: James Morton
    Producer: Lucinda Montefiore

  • Jane Garvey takes your calls on Covid-19. Joined by Psychologist Laverne Antrobus and Sarah Stewart Brown Professor of Public Health at Warwick University .

    What measures are you putting in place? How will you manage with young as well as older children, do you face particular problems with those that have special needs. What about work ? If you are someone who can work at home do you have the tech to support that.

    Have you thought about setting up a local neighbourhood support network? What provisions are you putting in place for older relatives?

    How do you think you will cope with being socially isolated ? If you’re in cramped accommodation or shared housing, how do you see that working out.

    What about the financial implications - if you’re on low income or a zero hours contract and perhaps rely on things like free school meals

    We'd love to hear your thoughts. Lines open at 8am on Monday morning 03700 100 444. You can email via the website or tweet your comments @bbcwomanshour now.


    Presenter Jane Garvey
    Producer Beverley Purcell

    Guest; Prof Sarah Stewart Brown
    Guest; Lavern Antrobus

  • We hear from the singer turned interviewer Jessie Ware and her mum Lennie about their hit podcast Table Manners, where they cook dinner for a different celebrity every week. They’ve turned their favourite recipes into a cook book.

    Black Women and sexual violence. What are the cultural barriers making it difficult for black women to discuss and disclose sexual violence? And what is cultural betrayal theory?

    Chief Foreign correspondent Christina Lamb tells us about her new book ‘Our Bodies Their Battlefield'. And we talk about the signficance of Women’s History Month with Professor Selina Todd and Professor Krista Cowman.

    Presenter Jane Garvey.
    Producer Siobhann Tighe

    Interviewed guests:
    Jessie Ware
    Lennie Ware
    Christina Lamb
    Leanne Levers
    Jennifer Gómez
    Selina Todd
    Krista Cowman

  • Over the past few years we have seen a number of high profile men being publically accused of sexual abuse and assault. It’s become a pinnacle aspect of the #MeToo movement. So why is the act of speaking out still met with so much resentment? Why is it so difficult to criticise male celebrities who have large followings? And how much more complex does this issue become when it intersects with race? Jacqueline Springer is a contemporary black music and culture journalist and lecturer. Leanne Levers has a PhD in politics and international studies, focusing on sexual violence and justice reform in minority communities. Jennifer M. Gómez is an Assistant Professor for the Department of Psychology at Wayne State University in Michigan.


    How do you prepare your family in the event of a coronavirus lockdown? What plans should you make to keep your children entertained if the schools shut and they are stuck at home, how can you make home working work for you and how can you stop petty arguments with your partner or loved ones if you’re stuck in each other’s company for an indefinite period of time? Beverly Ramsey is living in Parma in Italy and tells us about the realities of coping with three children in a city in lockdown and Laverne Antrobus a Consultant Child and Educational Psychologist offers advice on we can best deal with this unusual situation.


    On Sunday it was International Women’s Day and one of the events to mark the occasion took place at the Roundhouse in North London. It was part of the BBC Radio 6 Music Festival and featured an all female line up including Jehenny Beth on going solo and her relationship with PJ Harvey.

    Presenter: Jane Garvey
    Interviewed guest: Jacqueline Springer
    Interviewed guest: Leanne Levers
    Interviewed guest: Jennifer M. Gomez
    Interviewed guest: Beverly Ramsey
    Interviewed guest: Laverne Antrobus
    Interviewed guest: Jehenny Beth
    Producer: Rabeka Nurmahomed

  • BBC Young Reporter Competition is in its second year. More than 2000 young people suggested an original story idea that they wanted the BBC to report on and it was Kay from Bristol who won gold this year. She's 19 now but when she was 12 she was sectioned under the Mental Health Act. She's now volunteering at a hospital and it's been life-changing. Our reporter Ena Miller met Kay and her mum, Eileen, at home in Bristol.

    March is a big month for women. We have International Women’s Day and Women’s History Month, but that gets less attention. Why? Jenni talks to two historians, Professor Selina Todd and Professor Krista Cowman, about it's importance and significance.

    Leftover Women is an unflattering term used in China to describe women who aren't married. China has 30 million more men than women, leaving single women under pressure to marry quickly or risk being rejected by society. Jenni hears from Shosh Shlam, writer and co-director of the film Leftover Women, and Qui Hua Mei who's a lawyer.

    Lost is a tale of two siblings living in extreme poverty. It's told through the eyes of Lola. She's a resourceful, brave and loyal teenager who’s desperately trying to find her way home. Jenni talks to the author, Ele Fountain, about what inspired her to write the book and why she hopes it’ll start a conversation about friendship, family and finding a sense of belonging.