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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


Merope Mills on her daughter Martha, Rugby World Cup preview

Merope Mills’ 13-year-old daughter Martha died in hospital in August 2021. She had sustained a rare pancreatic trauma after falling off a bike on a family holiday, and spent weeks in a specialist unit where she developed sepsis. An inquest concluded that her death had been preventable, and the hospital has apologised. Merope, who is Editor of the Guardian’s Saturday magazine, says her daughter would be alive today if doctors had not kept information from them about her condition, because as...

Nicola Rollock, Sexsomnia, Liz Truss, Anonymity prior to charge, Nadine Shah

Nicola Rollock, Professor of Social Policy and Race at King's College London and an expert on racial justice, has a book out, The Racial Code: Tales of Resistance and Survival. in which she explores the hidden rules of race and racism, how they maintain the status quo, the pain and cost of navigating everyday racism and how to truly achieve racial justice. The Crown Prosecution Service has apologised unreservedly to a woman whose rape case was dropped after defence lawyers claimed she had an...

Alex Scott, Senator Jeanne Shaheen, Molly Russell inquest

Alex Scott is one of the most high profile names in women’s sport. The former Lioness started playing football for Arsenal when she was just eight years old, later, as a semi-professional player for the club she washed the men's team kit to earn extra money on the side. Alex went on to play for England 140 times and now presents on the BBC and Sky Sports. She has recently released her memoir entitled ‘How (Not) to Be Strong’ and joins Emma in the studio. Last Friday after two weeks of the...


Gentle parenting, Truss and leadership, Indicator offences

What is a gentle parent? Does it really mean never saying ‘no’ to your child? And how did #gentleparenting attract more than 2.6 billion views on TikTok? Emma Barnett talks to TikTok content creator Kelly Medina Enos and psychologist Dr Penelope Leach about the rising popularity of this parenting approach. Only yesterday the Prime Minister Liz Truss said her government would be sticking to the measures announced in the mini budget ten days ago. But this morning the Chancellor of the...


Weekend Woman's Hour: Hilary Mantel’s writings on endometriosis, women in politics, nursing, family whatsapp, the orgasm gap

Record numbers of nurses are quitting the NHS in England, according to new data analysis by the Nuffield Trust for the BBC. More than 40,000 have left the health service in the past year. Another report published this week from NHS Providers said the squeeze on pay amid rising inflation is forcing nurses and other staff to stop contributions to their pension, skip meals and take on second jobs. Anita Rani speaks to Molly Case, a clinical specialist nurse, working in the community in South...


Mel Shilling, Meera Narandan, Ella Saltmarshe, Lina Prestwood, Chi-chi Nwanoku, Nadia Gilani

A woman posted a thread on Mumsnet about wanting to take time off work while going through a break up with father or her child, the responses she got were mixed. We want to know whether you would ever consider this but also would you be open about taking time off to help deal with a break up? We speak to relationship expert Mel Schilling and blogger Meera Narandan. We talk to Chi-chi Nwanoku from Chineke! Orchestra – Europe’s first professional majority Black and ethnically diverse orchestra...


Oloni, Women in Politics, Forever Friends?

'Ladies shall we have some fun?' Some of you may recognise this catchphrase and be thinking of the sex and relationship expert Oloni, who built an online community by speaking openly about sex and relationships. Her new book – The Big O – is out and goes into detail about how we can close what she calls ‘the orgasm gap’. Oloni joins Emma. The Bank of England’s intervention yesterday to calm financial markets after the government’s mini-budget came hot on the heels of the International...


Women and Labour, Zarifa Ghafari, Leicester women united

Sir Keir Starmer delivered his speech to the Labour Party conference yesterday. It comes as YouGov polling shows women would be more likely than men to vote Labour if an election were held now. What's behind this? Former Tony Blair aide for over 10 years Baroness Sally Morgan joins Emma Barnett alongside Anoosh Chakelin Britain Editor at the New Statesman. Actor Gwyneth Paltrow decided to pose naked, mostly covered in gold body powder, and then posted her photos on social media saying she...


Author Kamila Shamsie. People smugglers. Family WhatsApp Group.

In her new novel "Best Of Friends" the award winning writer Kamila Shamasie explores the personal and political in Karachi in 1988 and London now. Fourteen year old Maryam and Zahra have been friends for 40 years but can they ever really know each other? Tonight's File on 4 will highlight the shortcomings of the Police and the National Referral Mechanism – the government pathway set up to provide financial, emotional and legal support as well as access to safe accommodation to victims of...



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


Women gambling, Male friendships, Anna Fedorova, Catherine Mayer, Sheep shearing and Beige flags

The number of women gambling is expected to rise as the cost of living crisis continues. Hear Jo’s story of what happened when she became addicted to gambling, and advice on the warning signs and how to get help from the chief executive of GambleAware Zoe Osmond. When Max Dickins needed to find himself a best man, he realised that he had no male friends. When he discovered that this is something lots of men go through, he decided to write a book with hints and tips for men, as well as what...


World record sheep shearer, Cuts to part-time work benefits,Seoul Femicide, Actors:Hayley Mills & Rula Lenska, Author Ira Mathur

Sheep farmer Marie Prebble speaks to Woman’s Hour about how she sheared 370 sheep in eight hours to set a new world record in female sheep shearing. She’ll be giving us an insight into what it takes to prepare for such an event and telling us a bit more about being one of the few female sheep farmers in the UK. More than 100,000 people in part-time work could face a benefit cut if they fail to properly look to do more hours, Kwasi Kwarteng is set to announce in his mini-budget today...


Anna Fedorova, Women and Gambling, Iran Demonstrations, The End of Covid, Japan's Under-35s Rejecting Marriage

What role does music play in providing hope and solidarity when facing the horrors of war? The concert pianist Anna Fedorova is a member of the Ukrainian Freedom Orchestra which performed in concerts around the world over the summer. Ahead of a documentary on BBC 2 this Saturday called Ukraine's Musical Freedom Fighters, she joins Emma to talk about the experience, how she is continuing to support musicians from the Ukraine and why she feels it is imperative she continues to play the work of...


Beige Flags, Prince Andrew, The Waste Land poem

We're all aware of red flags, the indicators that a potential partner may exhibit a lack of respect, or interest in your relationship. But a new flag has emerged on dating apps - the beige flag. These are indicators on dating app profiles which suggest a person has nothing of interest to say, and may well be boring. Emma Barnett is joined by Caitlin MacPhail, who coined the phrase, and comedian Helen Thorn. The period of national mourning following the death of the Queen has ended but will...


The Queen's funeral, Male friendships, PM Liz Truss as diplomat, Death of Mahsa Amini in Iran

183 key workers and community volunteers were amongst royals, politicians and world leaders in Westminster Abbey for the Queen’s state funeral on Monday. One woman who was asked to be an eyewitness to this historic day was Lynn McManus, from North Shields, in Tyne and Wear. She's the founder of The Tim Lamb's Children's Centre and Pathways4All, a parent-led charity providing play and leisure for disabled children. She was recognised in the Queen's last Birthday Honours List in June 2022 with...


Weekend Woman’s Hour: Julia Gillard, Ophelia Lovibond, Medusa

Julia Gillard, former Australian Prime Minister – and the only woman to have held that role – reflects on the death of Queen Elizabeth II and her status as a global female leader. What will it mean for Australia where King Charles automatically became Head of State last week? Ophelia Lovibond, best known for playing Izzy Gould in the BBC mockumentary series W1A, discusses her new TV series Minx and playing Carrie Johnson. In a bid to close stubborn gender pay gaps, several states in the USA...


Pregnant women in Pakistan, Salary transparency, Writer Lottie Mills, Clothes and grief

More than 33 million people have been affected by the flooding in Pakistan. How has the flooding impacted the thousannds of pregnant women. who require maternal health services to ensure a safe pregnancy and childbirth? We hear from midwife Neha Mankani and founder of the Mama Baby Fund. In a bid to close stubborn gender pay gaps, several states in the USA have passed laws requiring salary ranges to be clearly stated on all job ads. To discuss the growing trend and whether it is workable in...


Julia Gillard, Dame Sheila Hancock, Tree Climbing Champion and Abortion in Hungary

Dame Sheila Hancock tells us about her memories of the Queen. Just short of 90, she has lived her life in parallel. Earlier this year she said: "throughout my life, I have been grateful for the Queen's reassuring presence." Julia Gillard, former Australian Prime Minister – and the only woman to have held that role – speaks to Emma about the death of Queen Elizabeth II, and her status as a global female leader. What will it mean for Australia, where King Charles automatically became Head of...


The role of Princess Anne, Fracking, Medusa

A heartfelt statement was released from from the Princess Royal, who accompanied her mother’s coffin on its long journey from Balmoral to Buckingham Palace. The Royal Editor of the Times Newspaper Roya Nikkhah joined Krupa to discuss the role Princess Anne has played in the Queen's life. Queen Elizabeth II was the head of state in 15 of the 56 Commonwealth countries. Professor Chandrika Kaul joins Krupa Padhy to discuss the way the Queen led the Commonwealth countries and the challenges King...

The role of Queen Consort; Samantha Cameron, Ophelia Lovibond, Women's Institute

King Charles the Third is our new monarch. At his accession to the throne, his wife Camilla became Queen Consort, and his daughter-in-law Kate is now the Duchess of Cambridge and Cornwall. Royal Editor at the Daily Mail Rebecca English and historian and author Dr Estelle Paranque join Emma Barnett to talk about what this means for the female royals. Emma also speaks to Diana Parkes about her experience of working with the former Duchess of Cornwall on domestic abuse issues - a cause she has...