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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


Meghan and Harry Documentary, Carolynne Hunter, Christmas Family

Today sees the release of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s much anticipated Netflix series. To discuss Krupa is joined by Catherine Mayer, author of Charles: The Heart of a King and co-founder of the Women’s Equality Party, and the former Royal photographer Jayne Fincher who was the only woman in the press pack with Princess Diana. Yesterday on the programme, we spoke to actor Kate Winslet about her new drama I am Ruth on Channel 4. During that interview, Kate told Emma about a donation she...


Kate Winslet, Professor Sue Black, Chloe Smith, Beryl Cook

Oscar winning actor Kate Winslet stars alongside her real life daughter Mia Threapleton in Channel 4’s female led drama series ‘I am..’. The feature length episode tells the story of Ruth, a mother, who becomes concerned for her teenage daughter’s welfare, after she witnesses her retreating more and more into herself. Freya has become consumed by the pressures of social media and is suffering a mental health crisis. The story was developed and co-authored by Kate and Dominic Savage. Kate...


The Silent Twins, the science behind 'mummy brain', Rosie Pearson, Lorien Haynes

The story is that of June and Jennifer Gibbons who grew up in Wales in the 1970s. For years, the two would only speak to each other earning them the name ‘the silent twins’. At 19, they were institutionalised at Broadmoor Psychiatric Hospital indefinitely. They remained there for 11 years. In 1993, they were moved to a less restrictive clinic in Wales. However Jennifer died during transit. The cause of her death has never been fully determined but has been suggested it was part of their pact...


Hadley Freeman, Toni Crews, Christmas appeal

We talk to the journalist Hadley Freeman about why she resigned as a columnist at The Guardian newspaper after 22 years in the job. She has accused the publication of “censoring” discussion about gender identity and says she was discouraged from writing about antisemitism. Emma Barnett speaks to Hadley about her concerns and plans for the future. We speak to the parents of Toni Crews, a young mother who died from a rare form of eye cancer back in 2020. Her parents Jo and Jason Crews talk to...


Weekend Woman's Hour: Rachael Watts, Dr Rosemary Coogan, Part-time Work, Failing the 11 Plus

Rachael Watts was seven years old when Russell Bishop abducted, attacked and sexually assaulted her in 1990. It is a crime that should never have happened, as back in 1987, Russell Bishop had been charged with the murders of two nine-year-olds, Nicola Fellows and Karen Hadaway. But police were unable to secure a conviction when a series of prosecution blunders meant evidence and testimonies failed to stand up in court. Bishop was able to walk free and three years later he abducted and...


Anoushka Shankar, UTIs, Sad Beige Children

Anoushka Shankar is a respected sitarist and composer who has just received two Grammy nominations for her new live album Between Us. She joins Anita to talk about the her new song, In Her Name, in memory of the young girl from Delhi, referred to as Nirbhaya, who 10 years ago was gang raped on a bus and was subjected to an attack so badly that she died from her injuries. The incident sent shockwaves across the world and led to the introduction of new anti-rape laws in India. An estimated...


Rachael Watts, Danielle De Niese, Royal race row

Rachael Watts has spent her life hiding a secret. Now 40, she was seven years old when Russell Bishop - known as the Babes in the Wood murderer - abducted, attacked and sexually assaulted her in 1990. It is a crime that should never have happened, as back in 1987, Russell Bishop had been charged with the murders of two nine-year-olds, Nicola Fellows and Karen Hadaway. But police were unable to secure a conviction when a series of prosecution blunders meant evidence and testimonies failed to...


Dr Rosemary Coogan, Contraceptive Pill, Failing the 11+

Dr Rosemary Coogan has been selected as a career astronaut by the European Space Agency (ESA), becoming the first British woman to join their astronaut corps. She joins Emma in her first in-depth BBC interview to discuss the tough selection process, upcoming training and hopes for her first mission. On Monday’s Woman’s Hour, we heard from the American TV show host Ricki Lake who has produced a new documentary The Business of Birth Control. The programme looks at the side effects of the...


Part-time work, sexual violence in conflict, graphic novel No Surrender

Today is day two of an international conference held here in the UK to prevent sexual violence in conflict and Emma Barnett will be talking to Lord Ahmad, who’s the Prime Minister’s special Envoy on this issue. It’s ten years since the conference began and Woman’s Hour will be looking at what progress has been made to date as well as hearing the testimony of Lejla Damon who was born after her mother was raped in the Bosnian conflict of the 1990s. Adopted by a British couple, she is now a...


Ricki Lake talks about latest project. Sexual abuse in the navy. China protests. Camilla's Squad.

Ricki Lake is widely known for her American talk show in the '90s and early 2000s. She's an actor and a producer as well as an independent filmmaker. Emma talks to her about her role as Executive Producer, on a new documentary "The Business of Birth Control" which looks at the complex relationship between hormonal birth control and women's health and liberation. The head of the Royal Navy has defended the way the service handles allegations of rape and sexual abuse. Admiral Sir Ben Key says...


Weekend Woman’s Hour: stalking, long-term relationships and why they fail, women boxers, the clitoris, Andrea Riseborough

To mark ten years since stalking became a specific crime in England and Wales, we speak to crime reporter and presenter Isla Traquair. In her day job Isla is used to confronting murderers and travelling to dangerous places but it was in a quiet village in Wiltshire where her stalking ordeal took place. In August this year Isla's neighbour, Jonathan Barrett, was found guilty of stalking. This followed what Isla calls a 7 month period of terror from March to September 2021. 99% of all boxers...


Women Boxers, Naming Sexual Predators, Fathers & Daughters, Sexual Health over 65

The comedian Katherine Ryan has been in the news this week after she spoke out on a recent documentary with Louis Theroux about confronting an alleged sexual predator while making a tv show. She says this ‘star’ has sexually assaulted women she knows and despite it being an ‘open secret’ in the industry no one has managed to nail him down because he has ‘very good lawyers’. In the documentary she refuses to name the alleged sexual predator and then was called out on this on social media. But...


Lady Glenconner, Ukraine, Clever girls, The Clitoris

Lady Glenconner, Anne Tennant, the eldest child of the fifth Earl of Leicester, was lady-in-waiting to Princess Margaret for three decades. She says her mother brought her up to cope with a fundamental truth of her class and time: women must put up and shut up, and so had been taught to smile through life in high society despite the brutality of a husband who left her deaf in one ear. After the success of her first memoir three years ago a second has just been published. Joining Emma live in...


Long-term relationships and why they fail, football and politics, Brain of Britain, Susan Seidelman

Some may say that football and politics don't go together but anyone watching yesterday's matches might think otherwise. The Iranian team declined to sing their anthem & Wales fans showed their support for LGBTQ+ rights last night by wearing rainbow bucket hats. So how useful are these shows of solidarity? Laura McAllister, the ex-Wales footballer & Beth Fisher, freelance sports reporter & ambassador for the LGBTQ+ charity Stonewall discuss. Why is it that we so often struggle or fail in...


Andrea Riseborough, Egg Freezing, Women in Qatar

The actor Andrea Riseborough has taken on roles ranging from Margaret Thatcher to Stalin’s daughter. But now she’s playing someone quite different: Mrs Wormwood in the new Matilda the Musical film, which will be released in cinemas on Friday 25th November. The film is an adaptation of Tim Minchin’s hit West End musical of the same name, and stars Emma Thompson as Mrs Trunchbull and Stephen Graham as Mr Wormwood. Andrea joins Emma Barnett to discuss what it’s like capturing the camp, comedy,...


Ten Years of Stalking Laws: 'Changing attitudes is harder than changing the law'

To mark ten years since stalking became a specific crime in England and Wales Woman's Hour has a special programme looking at what’s changed in that time. We have exclusive data on how this is being dealt with by police. The BBC's Gemma Dunstan joins Emma Barnett in the studio to go through the findings. One question we wanted to answer is what efforts have been made to get to the crux of the problem; to stop stalkers from stalking. Woman's Hour were granted extremely rare access to one of...


Weekend Woman's Hour: BBC 100, Auntie Beeb with Mel Giedroyc, Incels, Women in Space

Monday marked 100 years since the BBC began broadcasting on radio. To celebrate that centenary, we commissioned a poem by Kim Moore and created a soundscape to show how much women’s lives, and the noises that surround them, have changed - using BBC archive from the 1920s right through to the present day. Why did the BBC get its nickname ‘Auntie’? And what kind of aunt would she be? We discuss with television presenter and comedian Mel Giedroyc and historian of the BBC, Professor Jean Seaton....


Jill Goldston, Internet Watch Foundation report, Getaway Girls in Leeds, Cash for Babies Scandal

The Internet Watch Foundation has been tracking the increasing trend of perpetrators grooming children online and coercing them into sexually abusing themselves on camera. The foundation has recognised a lot of what they are seeing as Category A, the most severe kind of sexual abuse, due to it including penetration with an object. Some of the child victims of this online sexual abuse are as young as 7 years old. For the first time, a snapshot study out today looks into the objects being...


The Big Swing’s Georgina Jackson and Emma Smith. Bronwyn Curtis, Vicky Pryce, Dr Kaitlyn Regehr and Ben Zand

The Big Swing is the world’s first double female-fronted big band. It is led by jazz musicians Georgina Jackson and Emma Smith. On Friday 18th November they will be performing at EFG London Jazz Festival and Cadogan Hall, where they will present their own unique interpretations of the old-school big band jazz tradition, adding their own brand of style and charisma. They join Emma to discuss why they felt the need to elevate female visibility in the big band world and to perform live. Of an...


Poet Joelle Taylor, Fantasy Football and Yusra Mardini and Sally El Hosaini

Poet Joelle Taylor won the Polari Prize last night and the TS Eliot Prize in January this year. Over a long career as a writer for the page and the stage she has explored butch lesbian counterculture and told the stories of the women in underground communities fighting for the right to be themselves. She joins Emma Barnett to explain how joining the literary establishment fits with a lifetime of protest. As Deputy Prime Minister and Justice Minister Dominic Raab stands in for Prime...