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.




Weekend Woman’s Hour: Helena Bonham Carter on ‘Nolly’, Sophie Duker, Happy Valley & kinship care, Emily Atack’

Helena Bonham Carter tells us about playing Noele Gordon, "the Queen of the midlands", in new ITV drama 'Nolly' written by Russell T Davies. The actress starred in the hugely popular TV soap Crossroads for 18 years until she was sacked very suddenly in 1981. The TV drama Happy Valley has captured the public’s imagination with the final episode of the final series airing this Sunday. We hear from one listener who contacted Woman’s Hour about how as a kinship carer she has felt “heard” by the...


Happy Valley & kinship care; Conditions at Eastwood Park women's prison, Declining birthrates in China & Japan, Beyonce

A new report by HM Inspectorate of Prisons on conditions at Eastwood Park women’s prison has been released today. We speak to Sandra Fieldhouse, lead for women’s prisons at HMI Prisons about the findings. The TV drama Happy Valley has captured the public’s imagination with the final episode of the final series airing this Sunday. Catherine Cawood played by Sarah Lancashire is the policewoman who we see bringing up her grandson Ryan after her daughter took her own life. We hear from one...


Alex Kingston plays Prospero at the RSC; Captain Preet Chandi; Alcohol, sexual assault & recall; Folic acid; All good friends?

Women are able to recall details of sexual assault and rape with accuracy, even if they have drunk – moderate amounts of alcohol .A study conducted at the University of Birmingham demonstrated that women who had drunk alcohol up to the legal limit for driving were able to recall details of an assault in a hypothetical scenario, including details of activities to which they had, and had not, consented. Heather Flowe, Professor of Psychology led the study. A year ago, British Army officer and...


Helena Bonham Carter, Power List judges Baroness Tanni Grey-Thompson and Ebony Rainford-Brent, Update on Ian Paterson

Helena Bonham Carter is one of our best known actors – she’s played everyone from Princess Margaret in The Crown and Elizabeth the Queen Mother in The King's Speech, to Bellatrix Lestrange in the Harry Potter films, and more recently Enola Holmes’ formidable mother in the Netflix films with Milly Bobby Brown. Helena is now taking on a very different role, that of the Queen of the Midlands Noele Gordon, or Nolly as she was known to her friends; the actress who starred in the hugely popular TV...


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...