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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


Dame Eileen Atkins; Equal pay; Harassment in Parliament; Composer Charlotte Bray

In our final discussion to mark our 75th anniversary we look at the issue of equal pay. This was identified as the area women most want to see change in their daily lives and 70% of those asked said they had experienced inequality in this area. Emma Barnett talks to Baroness Kishwer Falkner who’s head of the Equality and Human Rights Commission which regulates the Equality Act and also to Emma Satyamurti a lawyer leading a group action for equal pay by female staff working in Morrisons. Dame...


Women pig farmers and mental health. Modern slavery. The cave woman rebuilding her business after Covid.

According to a new survey on mental wellbeing in agriculture, 58% of women in farming experience anxiety compared to 44% of men. What's the reason behind it? How much impact has Brexit and the pandemic had on the problem? We discuss with Alicia Chivers, Chief Executive of the Royal Agricultural Benevolent Institution, and East Yorkshire pig farmer Kate Moore. Conservative MP Sir David Ames, who was killed on Friday had been in Parliament since 1983 . Issues raised by the people he...


Cush Jumbo, Predatory marriage, Equality in 2021, Tall women and dating, Sexual assault, consent and 'grey areas'

Cush Jumbo, star of The Good Wife and The Good Fight on her latest role playing Hamlet. Predatory marriage involves a vulnerable adult being led into a marriage, which financially benefits their new spouse. We hear from Daphne Franks, who believes that her mother was a victim of a predatory marriage. Your responses to our poll on equality in 2021. What's it like for tall women when it comes to dating? Comedian Andrea Hubert, and Sarah Ivens, author of Get Real discuss. In her new book Rough,...


Tall women and dating, Vicky Featherstone on Maryland, Blackfishing, Equality in housework, Keisha the Sket

The average height of a female in the UK is 5ft 3in. What is life like for women at the other end of the spectrum, especially when it comes to dating? Jessica Creighton is joined by the author of Get Real, Sarah Ivens, who at 6ft would be introduced to dates as 'Queen Kong' or 'Miss Stretchy', and married at 6 ft 3 in in a pair of diamanté heels; and Andrea Hubert, 6ft 1in whose creative comebacks about her height paved the way to her becoming a comedian. Normally it would take a playwright...


Singer, Sophie Ellis-Bextor; Breast reconstruction delays; Urban hermits; Predatory marriage;

Sophie Ellis-Bextor has seven albums, five children, a podcast and her Live Kitchen Discos during lockdown were a means of virtual escapism for many, and became weekly moments of united sequined catharsis. She joins Emma to discuss her memoir Spinning Plates: Music, Men, Motherhood and Me. Claudia Webbe, a former Labour MP for Leicester East, who now sits as an independent, was found yesterday guilty of one charge of harassment and is awaiting sentencing. She has vowed to remain an MP while...


Lucy Mangan, Girls & Education in Afghanistan, Sexual Assault, Consent & 'Grey Areas'

Who does what in your home? Sourcing school shoes? Calling the plumber? Sorting the threadworms? In her debut novel 'Are We Having Fun Yet?' author and columnist Lucy Mangan reveals the comic diary of Liz who is 'outwardly mute, inwardly mutinous' as she does her best to keep the domestic show on the road. In her new book Rough, Rachel Thompson looks at how violence has found its way into the bedroom. A study released this summer set out to gauge the extent of violence against women. One...


Cush Jumbo on playing Hamlet; Reaction to our equality poll; Day of the Scientist

Radio DJ Emma Wilson believes that the policeman Wayne Couzens who kidnapped, raped and murdered Sarah Everard exposed himself to her in an alleyway some 13 years ago. Emma reported it to the police at the time – no action was taken, but she has decided to speak out now because when she did report it she was not happy with the response. One of the key findings of our equality poll to mark our 75th anniversary has been the extent to which women don’t feel equal when it comes to issues of...


As we mark our 75th anniversary, how do you feel about equality in 2021? Your chance to have your say

To mark our 75th anniversary last week we commissioned a poll to explore how you feel about equality in 2021 and how much progress you believe women have made since the first episode of Woman’s Hour was broadcast in 1949 Over two thirds of the women we spoke to said it was down to experiences of sexual exploitation and abuse while three while three quarters put it down to inequality within their homes because of the unfair division of housework.. What your reality? At the heart of our Poll...


Weekend Woman's Hour: 75th Birthday, Mina Smallman, Celibacy, Professor Anita Hill

Baroness Brenda Hale is a former judge who served as the first female president of the Supreme Court. She has written a book, Spider Woman, that spans her life and work. We hear from Professor Anita Hill who thirty years ago faced an all-male, all-white Senate Judiciary Committee—led by the then, Senator Joe Biden—to testify that her boss, Supreme Court Justice nominee Clarence Thomas, had sexually harassed her. It was a landmark moment for these issues and inspired countless women to come...


Musician & singer, Abi Sampa; Celibacy; Chinaza Onyechi; Femicide

Over the last few years, the figures around celibacy have generally been on the rise - particular amongst young women. What’s to be gained from making this life choice? And what should one know before deciding to become celibate? Anita speaks to sex therapist Danielle Bennett, and two women who have experience with celibacy. Laura Kennedy is in her 30’s and was celibate for six years. Shirley Yanez is in her 60s and became celibate as part of a conscious change in lifestyle. Chinaza Onyechi...


Woman's Hour turns 75 today

Our specially commissioned poll to celebrate Woman’s Hour at 75 looks at women and equality in the UK today. It finds the place that women feel the most unequal is in the home, at work in terms of pay and benefits and in terms of safety due to their experience of sexual exploitation and abuse. Emma Barnett talks about the issues raised with our panel including the author Jeanette Winterson, the commentator Inaya Floarin Iman and the founder of the Everyday Sexism Project Laura Bates. Joan...


Mina Smallman, Pauline Campbell, FASD

Mina Smallman, the mother of Nicole Smallman and Bibaa Henry, the sisters who were murdered in a North London park last year, speaks to us about her grief and women's safety. She also talks about wanting to reach out to Sarah Everard’s mother because of the particular type of grief they share. She also reminds us of the type of people her daughters were. We get the latest from the Conservative Party Conference in Manchester with the BBC's Political Correspondent, Chris Mason. We hear from...


Anita Hill on her book Believing: Our Thirty-Year Journey to End Gender Violence.

We hear from Professor Anita Hill who thirty years ago faced an all-male, all-white Senate Judiciary Committee—led by the then, Senator Joe Biden—to testify that her boss, Supreme Court Justice nominee Clarence Thomas, had sexually harassed her. It was a landmark moment for these issues and inspired countless women to come forward with their stories, to file complaints, and even to run for office; creating an unintentional trail blazer. Now an advocate, educator and author she talks to Emma...


Institutional Misogyny, Bullying in Parliament, Women Magicians

Is the Police institutionally misogynistic? It's the question that's been raised now that a police WhatsApp group has come to light which Wayne Couzens was part of. It contained offensive messages. We also know that another police officer called PC David Carrick has been charged with rape. Plus there have been reports of 26 Metropolitan police officers committing sex crimes since 2016. Janet Hills, who's just retired as the Chair of the Metropolitan Black Police Association joins us to...


Sarah Everard; Intergenerational friendships, 007 Lashana Lynch; 'Late life lesbians'. Married to an anti-vaxxer

Zoe Billingham, one of the top inspectors at Her Majesty’s of Constabulary, and Dame Vera Baird, the Victims' Commissioner for England and Wales on the reaction to further details about Sarah Everard's murder and the subsequent life prison sentence handed down to the former Met Police officer Wayne Couzens. Intergenational friendships, how is it different from being friends with someone your own age? Best friends 60 year old Sue and 33 year old Emily discuss. The actor Lashana Lynch on...


Intergenerational friendships; Victims' Commissioner Vera Baird; Nikita Gill and Gnarly; Liz Fraser

Are you in an intergenerational friendship? Anita speaks to Emily who’s 33 and her best friend Sue who’s 60 about the unique benefits of friendships across the ages. The Metropolitan Police Commissioner Cressida Dick has admitted that trust in the police force has been "shaken" by the murder of Sarah Everard. So where do we go from here? And what support is there for the bereaved families who have lost loved ones to male violence? Anita speaks to Dame Vera, the Victims' Commissioner for...


Sarah Everard; Zoë Billingham, Her Majesty’s Inspector of Constabulary; Pepsi & Shirlie; The ethics and laws around surrogacy

Sarah Everard's killer Wayne Couzens was sentenced today. The court heard that Sarah Everard was handcuffed by her murderer - a Metropolitan Police officer - as he pretended to arrest her for breaching Covid guidelines, as she walked home from a friend's house in Clapham on 3 March. Couzens showed his warrant card before restraining her and putting her in his hire car and driving away. Emma gets reaction from listener and journalist Kat Brown, and reads from Sarah's mother Susan Everard's...


'Typical Girls' - a new play by Morgan Lloyd Malcolm, set in a women's prison; Coming out at 44; Student counselling.

As if one new play opening wasn’t enough pressure Olivier award-winning playwright, Morgan Lloyd Malcolm, has two this month. ‘Typical Girls’, set in a women’s prison, opened this week at the Crucible Theatre in Sheffield, and tomorrow ‘Mum’ begins previewing at the Theatre Royal Plymouth. A psychological thriller, ‘Mum’ explores the pressures and complex emotions many women experience when they have a baby. She joins Emma. As the Labour party leader, Sir Keir Starmer gears up for his first...


Former CEO of PepsiCo, Indra Nooyi; The R Kelly verdict; Barrister Robin Moira White; FIFA 2022 game soundtrack

The former CEO of PepsiCo, Indra Nooyi was one of the only women, and women of colour, leading a Fortune 500 company. She discusses the challenges facing female leaders and whether women can "have it all". The American singer R Kelly is facing a life sentence after being found guilty of multiple offences related to the sexual abuse of women and children. We hear from Jacqueline Springer, a black music journalist and university lecturer about the case that’s being called a landmark moment for...


Lashana Lynch, Labour Conference & women, Being married to an anti-vaxxer, Universal credit uplift

No Time To Die - the new James bond film that comes out this Thursday, sees actor Daniel Craig grace our screens as the famous British spy for the last time. The first "Blonde Bond" is stepping away from the role after five films and 15 years. But that's not the only change going on. London-born actor Lashana Lynch has made history - she is the first black female 007. Emma speaks to her about her character, Nomi, taking on those three special numbers and taking part in the famous franchise....