Woman's Hour


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.




Emily Atack, Baroness Catherine Ashton, Sophie Duker

Actor and comedian, Emily Atack has decided to stand up against the men who cyber-flash her daily. Having received unsolicited, unwanted, abusive messages, dick pics and crude images for years she has made a documentary “Emily Atack: Asking for it?” for BBC 2. Emily joins Nuala to discuss why men do this and why she's chosen to speak about it publicly and call for change. Baroness Catherine Ashton is a Labour peer who served as Europe’s most powerful diplomat between 2009-2014, a turbulent...


Hilary Grime on her daugher Phoebe, Catherine Lee on Section 28, Tidying up v mess

Hilary Grime’s daughter Phoebe, a student at Newcastle university, took her own life in June 2021. Hilary has since come together with other bereaved families to form the Learn Network with the aim of preventing future deaths of students by suicide. One of their first targets is to ask the government to legislate for a statutory duty of care for students in Higher Education. Hilary joins Nuala to talk about her daughter Phoebe and why she thinks it's so essential to get a statutory duty of...


Triathlete and screenwriter Lesley Paterson; Zara Aleena's murder & probation service failings; the Woman's Hour Power List 2023

Lesley Paterson is a five times world champion triathlete. She’s also a successful screenwriter, who has just been nominated for an Oscar and a BAFTA for Best Adapted Screenplay for the film All Quiet on the Western Front. It’s taken her sixteen years to get the film made. A woman no stranger to endurance, she explains how she used her prize money from her sporting career to help fund the film. An independent review into Zara Aleena's murder found a catalogue of errors by the probation...


Holocaust Survivors, Mary Nighy, Dementia and Menopause

During World War Two, a house in Tynemouth was used as a sanctuary for more than 20 Jewish girls fleeing Nazi persecution. They had come to the UK on the Kindertransport. After a BBC investigation, a blue plaque will be unveiled there today, Holocaust Memorial Day, celebrating the house's forgotten past and those that found sanctuary there. Two of the Girls who lived in the house were Ruth David and Elfi Jonas. Anita speaks to their daughters - Margaret Finch and Helen Strange about their...


Launch of the Woman's Hour Power List 2023, Triathlete and screenwriter Lesley Paterson; Chores post Covid

The Woman's Hour Power List for 2023 is here! Last year was a game-changer for the visibility and perception of women in sport in this country and we want to showcase inspirational women – both on and off the field – who are spearheading and building on this momentum to elevate women’s sport. We need your suggestions! The chair of judges Jessica Creighton joins Anita Rani to launch the Power List and explains how you can make your suggestion. Lesley Paterson is a five times world champion...


Bridget Phillipson MP, Catherine Newman, Chanel Contos, Rachel Thompson, Karen Krizanovich, Baroness Altmann

The conservatives and Labour party appear to be agreed on one issue on the political agenda – that is childcare. Both parties realise it will be a key battleground in the general election with polling suggesting it is of particular concern in some of the red wall seat which the conservatives need to hold onto if they are to stay in government. The UK’s childcare system is one of the most expensive in the world and ranked one of the least effective according to a recent report by UNICEF....


The cost of being single, Zara Aleena's murder & probation service failings, menopause and the workplace

An independent review into Zara Aleena's murder found a catalogue of errors by the probation service. HM Chief Inspector of Probation Justin Russell who conducted the review joins Nuala McGovern along with Zara Aleena's aunt Farah Naz. According to new research being single comes at a price. Single people pay, on average, £860 a month more than people living in couples. So why does it cost an extra £10k per year to live as a single person? And is the independence and freedom that some single...


The Brit Awards. Targeted adverts online. The ages of motherhood. Welsh Rugby.

The Brits scrapped their best male and best female awards last year in favour of gender-neutral prizes. This year no women are on the shortlist for best artist - won by Adele last year - though are nominated in other categories. Social media has been awash with fans of musicians like Charlie XCX, Florence Welch, Mabel and Ella Henderson asking why they'd been overlooked. We hear from journalist Laura Snapes the Guardian's music editor and Vick Bain who's worked in the music industry for 25...


Weekend Woman's Hour: Michelle Williams, Elizabeth McGovern, former New Zealand PM Helen Clark on Jacinda Ardern

The award-winning actor Michelle Williams discusses her new role in Steven Spielberg's semi-autobiographical film, The Fabelmans. She plays Mitzi, a concert pianist who’s put her artistic ambition aside to raise a family, and is struggling to play a supporting role to her computer genius husband. Michelle explains why she was attracted to the role, and how her work in Dawson's Creek as a teenager set her up for Hollywood success. On Thursday, the New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern...


Michelle Williams, Long Covid and 25 years of Goodness Gracious Me

The Hollywood actor Michelle Williams began her career aged 16 on the TV drama Dawson’s Creek. Now, at 42, she’s starring in Steven Spielberg’s new film The Fabelmans, based on his own family. She plays Mitzi, a concert pianist who’s put her artistic ambition aside to raise a family, and is struggling to play a supporting role to her computer genius husband. But the crucial relationship portrayed in the movie is the one between Mitzi and her son, Sammy. Michelle joins Anita to explain why...


Joanna Wolfarth, Jacqui Oatley, Shaista Aziz, Dr Stacey Pope, Róisín Lanigan, Catherine Hallissey. Lara Greaves, Helen Clark

When art historian Joanna Wolfarth was pregnant with her first child, she assumed she would breastfeed, as her mother had fed her. This didn’t go according to plan. In a bid to understand her own feelings and attitudes about feeding her baby, she has just published a new book called Milk: An Intimate History of Breastfeeding . We discuss the shock resignation of New Zealander Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern with BBC Diplomatic Correspondent James Lansdale, former Prime Minister Helen Clark and...


Searching for Rosemary Kennedy, 40 years of Madonna, Wendy Warrington - nurse/midwife, Nicola Brookes, Rhiannon Lucy Cosslett

(Photo Amy Ní Fhearraigh by Kip Carroll) Rosemary Kennedy has often been referred to as the "missing Kennedy". She was the sister of former US President John F. Kennedy and despite been part of one of the most famous families in American politics, very little was known about Rosemary. Until recently. Her story has been brought to life by the Irish National Opera in Least Like the Other – Searching for Rosemary Kennedy at the Royal Opera House. Director Netia Jones and soprano Amy Ní...


Elizabeth McGovern, Pat Cullen, David Carrick, The Wife of Bath

Elizabeth McGovern was Oscar nominated for her portrayal of Evelyn Nesbit in Ragtime and, by the age of 21, had played leading roles in Once Upon A Time In America followed by The Handmaid’s Tale and The Wings of the Dove. She is probably best known though for playing Cora Crawley, Countess of Grantham in Downton Abbey. She is now on stage starring in Edward Albee’s Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? The actress and musician joins Jessica to discuss her varied career so far and what drew her to...


Actor Patricia Hodge, Online Safety Bill, Returning to work

Patricia Hodge has been gracing the stage and screen for over five decades. Well known for her iconic performances in 80s TV series Rumpole of the Bailey and The Life and Loves of the She-Devil. She is currently starring in a revival of the 1941 Lillian Hellmann play Watch on the Rhine at the Donmar Warehouse and plays Fanny. Patricia joins Krupa to discuss the role and how opportunities for women in the film, TV and theatre industry have evolved throughout her career. The much discussed...


Weekend Woman's Hour: saris, speaking to kids on Andrew Tate, breast cancer history, donor conceived children, Eleanor Williams

We speak to listeners on how best to talk about Andrew Tate and other social media influencers who are spreading misogynistic messages online. We talk to Dr Emily Setty, Senior Lecturer at the University of Surrey who does research in schools with young people about sex and relationships & Michael Conroy, founder of Men at Work, an organisation that trains professionals how to have constructive dialogue with boys. Listener Hayley got in touch to share her own story, not only of being a donor...


Female conductors, Talking to children about Andrew Tate, Jenny Beavan, FGM and Pub birth.

Women conductors are in the limelight this week with a film called “Tar”, which opens in cinemas today, starring Cate Blanchett depicting the life of Lydia Tár - a fictional world-renowned composer-conductor of the Berlin Philharmonic. The American conductor Marin Alsop famously observed that women are more likely to lead a G7 country or become four-star generals in the US Army than they are to be the principal conductor of a big orchestra. Anita Rani speaks to one our listener Emma Warren...


Natasha Kaplinsky, Misogynist influencers, Professor Joanna Bourke, Dr Rebecca Gomperts

Natasha Kaplinsky has become the first female president of the British Board of Film Classification, which is responsible for setting age guidelines for films, videos and DVDs, as well as content on some streaming services. The journalist, presenter and former newsreader for the BBC, Sky and Channel 5 joins Anita for her first broadcast interview about the role since her appointment in November. She'll discuss what drew her to the job, which topics concern parents the most and how she'll...


The Offbeat Sari exhibition, Iran latest, coldwater swimming and is AI pushing the boundaries of art?

The Offbeat Sari exhibition will include 90 examples of innovative saris – including the first ever sari worn at the Met Gala and a foil jersey sari worn by Lady Gaga. Krupa Padhy talks to the exhibition's curator Priya Khanchandani. BBC Journalist Faranak Amidi brings us the latest from Iran and we look at LOAB, the internet character created by artificial intelligence. Described as having the 'eerie face of a middle-aged woman with dead eyes, a vacant stare and a disturbing grimace', she's...


The Letters of Edith Thompson, Women in Westminister, Donor-conceived Children, Lucy Rout on Dragons' Den

One hundred years ago Edith Thompson and her lover Frederick Bywaters were hanged for the murder of her husband Percy, even though there was no evidence that she was involved with the killing. What condemned Edith were the letters that she had written to Freddy, which were interpreted by the law as incitement to murder. Laura Thompson has brought the letter together in a book Au Revoir Now Darlint. She joins Nuala to discuss the story and why the case still resonates a century later. A...


Impact of Eleanor Williams case, miracle baby, women in early animation, teachers' strike

Last week we reported how 22-year-old Eleanor Williams who claimed she had been trafficked and raped by an Asian grooming gang was convicted of perverting the course of justice. She will be sentenced in March but we consider the possible impact her conviction could have on how rape is reported, how it’s handled by the police and whether women are believed. We hear from the former chief prosecutor for the north west Nazir Ali and Maggie Oliver, the former senior police officer who became a...