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Woman's Hour


Women's voices and women's lives - topical conversations to inform, challenge and inspire.

Women's voices and women's lives - topical conversations to inform, challenge and inspire.


London, United Kingdom






Women's voices and women's lives - topical conversations to inform, challenge and inspire.




Woman's Hour BBC Radio 4 Broadcasting House London W1A 1AA U.K


Britney Spears, Jackie Collins. Young Engineers

Britney Spears spoke publicly in a LA court yesterday about the conservatorship that she sees as controlling her life. Her father was granted control over her affairs after she went to hospital because of mental health concerns. Now she says her father controls her "100,000%" and told the judge she was traumatised and cried every day. "I just want my life back," she said. We talk to BBC Newsbeat reporter Lindsay Brown and the writer Pandora Sykes who presents a soon to be released,...


DIY dancing at home; Transgender athletes; Ugandan women; Eco novels

Nightclubs are shut, dancing at weddings is not allowed and gigs and festivals are still uncertain. If you want to dance you have to do it at home. Woman's Hour shares your DIY dancing stories and gets tips from Guilty Pleasures DJ, Sean Rowley and Strictly dancer, Amy Dowden. Laurel Hubbard is going to be the first transgender athlete to compete at the Olympics which starts next month. It's controversial, and she'll make history. She'll be part of the New Zealand women's weightlifting team...


Female wildlife rangers; Miscarriage cards; Life after prison in Iran; Boric acid; Nude photos online

Wednesday will be the first ever World Female Ranger Day, celebrating the work of female rangers around the world who do an important but ultimately dangerous job protecting wildlife from poachers. The emphasis this year is on the work of female rangers in Africa where there are approximately 3,500 female rangers in teams in 18 countries all over the continent working to protect endangered wildlife. One of those women is Collet Ngobeni of the all-female team The Black Mambas in South Africa....


Chief Inspector of Schools Amanda Spielman, Divya Chadha Manek, Dr Jen Gunter, Hira Ali & Gary Ford.

The Chief Inspector of Schools Amanda Spielman, talks to Emma Barnett about the problem of sexual abuse in schools and colleges and reflects on what needs to be done to bring about change. Divya Chadha Manek who has just been awarded an OBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List tells us about her work with the Vaccine Taskforce, and Dr Jen Gunter, an American gynaecologist, obstetrician and author of 'The Vagina Bible' explains how Boric Acid Pessaries are being used to treat bacterial...


Weekend Woman's Hour: The award-winning composer Shirley J Thompson, Domestic Violence Prevention & Managing our data

Composer Shirley J. Thompson is the first woman in Europe to have composed and conducted a symphony within the last 40 years. She tells us about her new work Emanation, which she’s written for the disabled-led ensemble BSO. Dame Darcey Bussell Former Principal of The Royal Ballet & Strictly Judge, President of the RAD & creator of Diversity Dance Mix, Dame Darcey Bussell tells us about her mission to rescue Britain’s ballet dancers and raise spirits and money for struggling dance companies...


Dame Darcey Bussell; Single Fatherhood; Rape Review with Max Hill QC

Dame Darcey Bussell is the former Principal of The Royal Ballet & Strictly Judge, President of the RAD & creator of Diversity Dance Mix. She joins Anita to talk about her passion for dance and her mission to rescue Britain’s ballet dancers, and raise spirits and money for struggling dance companies, by creating the British Ballet Charity Gala. The event was performed at the Royal Albert Hall in London bringing together eight ballet companies in one evening of dance. It will be pay per view...


Shirley J. Thompson; Female rabbis; Underwear in Pakistan

Composer Shirley J. Thompson is the first woman in Europe to have composed and conducted a symphony within the last 40 years - New Nation Rising, A 21st Century Symphony, which was originally commissioned for the Queen’s Golden Jubilee in 2002, and then used for the 2012 Olympics Opening Ceremony. She’s now composed a new work, Emanation, which she’s written for the disabled-led ensemble BSO Resound. The ensemble is giving a live-streamed performance of the world premiere from Lighthouse,...


Jessie Ware; girls disappearing from care services; women's football and sponsorship

The singer-songwriter Jessie Ware was nominated for Female Solo Artist and Album of the Year at this Year’s BRIT Awards. She was also included in Barack Obama’s favourite music playlist of 2020. Jessie has been busy in lockdown recording new songs for the deluxe Platinum Pleasure edition of her hit album What's Your Pleasure? In tandem with her music career, her family’s passion for food led to her weekly podcast Table Manners with her mother Lennie, and she has just released her second book...


Summer hair trends; Police & sexual misconduct - Woman's Hour/Newsnight reveal 1,400 accused

Summer’s here and despite the restrictions still in place on social gathering we’re still managing to meet up with friends and enjoy the odd night out. One aspect of that is of course looking your best and a big part of that is your hair, which has had to take a backseat in terms of grooming and maintenance over the last eighteen months of lockdowns. But, we are returning to salons and apparently trying lots of new and old styles, as well as getting more creative with colour. Hair stylist...


Domestic violence prevention. Managing how our data’s used. Veteran journalist Hella Pick. "Freedom Day" postponed.

We hear many stories of domestic abuse but rarely from those who have been the perpetrators. John, who's just completed a 20 week domestic violence prevention programme at the Hampton Trust, speaks out to encourage other men to seek help. He's joined by Vicky Gilroy who's a facilitator on the prevention programmes at the Hampton Trust . In today’s online digital world everything we do now on our phones or our computers—everything we look at, click on or say online, becomes “data”. Companies...


Paloma Faith, Heath Minister Nadine Dorries, Sexual harassment in the workplace, No-fault divorce

Paloma Faith on combining motherhood with her music as well as her reaction to the OFSTED survey that sexual harassment of schoolchildren has become normalised in schools. Her new single Monster is about her relationship with her career. What's the best way to stamp out sexual harassment in the workplace? We discuss with Stella Chandler, Director of Development at Focal Point Training which runs in person workplace behavioural courses that includes sexual harassment, and Deeba Syed, a lawyer...


Nannie, the figurehead for the Cutty Sark; The power of giving away power; No fault divorce;

The G7 kicks off in Cornwall today. Boris Johnson and leaders from Japan, Canada, Italy and France who make up the Group of Seven will be joined by US President Joe Biden and the German Chancellor Angela Merkel . On the agenda the biggest issues affecting our world - everything from climate change to the economic recovery post Covid. But how should they change their approach? How much better could things be if leaders, instead of lording their power over us and operating a top-down approach,...


Paloma Faith, Nursing, Maya Forstater Verdict

We talk to Paloma Faith about her music, her films, being a mother of two daughters, and harassment towards women and girls. She's got a new single out called Monster which is about her relationship with her career. We hear from two nurses who tell us how the past year and a half has been for them. In the light of a report published earlier this week by the Health Select Committee we discuss burn-out and how health staff are so tired because of the pandemic that many are quitting and morale...


Women's Health Special - Nadine Dorries, Unwell Women, Mesh removal centres, Autoimmunity

Women's health has long been the poor relation when it comes to medical understanding, funding and research. The government says it wants that to change - and earlier this year announced the establishment of England's first Women's Health Strategy, which will look at women's health across our lifespans. The priorities of that strategy will be shaped, they say, by the results of a public call for evidence which closes this Sunday. But after centuries of - as the Health Secretary Matt Hancock...


Abortion in America, Stamping out sexual harassment in the workplace, Talking to young people about drugs

Last month the US Supreme Court agreed to consider a major challenge to reproductive rights, saying it will look at the state of Mississippi’s bid to enforce a ban on almost all abortions after the 15th week of pregnancy. Two days later the Republican governor of Texas, Greg Abbott, signed into law a six-week abortion ban. Why are attempts to reduce women’s access to these services being made? Last week one young Texan woman decided to use her platform at her high school graduation to give a...


Dido Harding, Friendship between gay men and straight women, Foreign aid cuts

It’s just over a year since the businesswoman and conservative peer Dido Harding was brought in to set up a test and trace system to help stop the Covid-19 pandemic. The system was going to be “world beating” and help get the UK out of lockdown according to the Prime minister but the incredible costs involved – around £37 billion – have been criticised for failing to make an impact. The system has improved but what will its legacy be? Dido Harding talks to Emma Barnett on Woman’s Hour today...


Weekend Woman's Hour: Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Arooj Aftab, Reclaiming sexist language

How possible is it to actually earn a living from sport? The latest BBC Elite British Sportswomen’s Survey found that four out of five elite British sportswomen feel they are not paid enough compared to their male counterparts and more than 60% of UK’s top female athletes make less than £10,000 a year. On the other hand revenue generated by women's sport in the UK is set to grow to £1bn a year by 2030 – up from £350m a year currently – making it one of the fastest growing sectors in the...


Arooj Aftab, PIP implants, Race, trauma & culture, Reclaiming sexist language

Arooj Aftab is a Pakistani composer, based in Brooklyn. She joins Anita to talk about her music and influences from jazz and Qawwali to Jeff Buckley and Abidi Parveen. She explains how grief has shifted the tone of her music to ‘heavy metal harp’, and discusses her latest album, Vulture Prince, which honours and reimagines centuries-old ghazals, a form of South Asian poetry and music that she grew up listening to with her family. Now the dust has settled on the recent court ruling on...


Author, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie is the author of novels including 'Purple Hibiscus', 'Half of a Yellow Sun', which won the Orange Prize (now called the Women’s Prize for Fiction), and 'Americanah', which won the US National Book Critics Circle Award. Chimamanda has also delivered two landmark TED Talks: The Danger of A Single Story, and We Should All Be Feminists, which started a worldwide conversation about feminism and was published as a book in 2014. She has now written a more personal book. On...


The Politics of Motherhood, Big Night Out Reading, Women and environmental art.

You may have visited Kew Gardens and seen the incredible gallery of botanical art created by Marianne North - she is one of several female artists being featured at the Herbert Art Gallery and Museum as part of Coventry's UK City of Culture Celebrations. The exhibition, called UnNatural History, explores not only the historical role of artists in the science of natural history - but also contemporary artists addressing the current climate crisis. But with so much focus on the environment how...