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The Women's Podcast

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A new podcast from The Irish Times. By women, for everyone.

A new podcast from The Irish Times. By women, for everyone.
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A new podcast from The Irish Times. By women, for everyone.




Ep 193 "Dye the hair blond" Kerry County Cllr Aoife Thornton

This week a Fine Gael Co Councillor was told she should "dye the hair blond" if she wanted to be noticed in order to get speaking time at Kerry County Council. The incident made national headlines and you can see why we wanted Cllr Aoife Thornton, a solicitor and one of only five women out of 33 members of Kerry Co Council, on the Women's Podcast. Thornton spoke to Roisin Ingle about wearing a yellow jacket in chamber to stand out and about her frustration about the "joke" by her FG...


Ep 192 Girl Unfiltered: Helena Grace Donald on Beating Bulimia

As someone who struggled with bulimia throughout her childhood, British actor Helena Grace Donald knows only too well the pressure that many people feel to have the perfect body and how it impacts on their mental health. Helena has written a book aimed at promoting body positivity in young girls, Learning to Love the Girl in the Mirror, and she also founded the online support forum for teenagers struggling with body issues, She speaks to the Women's Podcast...


Ep 191 SJP, Kim Cattrall & Toxic Friendships

An ongoing public feud between the stars of Sex and the City grew deeper this week, with Kim Cattrall accusing Sarah Jessica Parker of exploiting the death of her brother. While their fall-out might not be extraordinary – friendships end all the time – but the way we still pit women against one another is. Society is obsessed with the idea of the cat fight and the inability of strong women to work together peacefully. To discuss this and the trouble with toxic friendships, Kathy Sheridan...


Ep 190 Love in a Time of Tinder: What is Modern Romance?

Is it time to re-purpose romance? Tanya Sweeney thinks so. In today's episode, the journalist talks to Kathy Sheridan about Valentine's Day, modern dating and why we need to be more generous with our romance, spreading it to all of our loved ones: friends, family and partners. In the second half of the show, Mills & Boon Harlequin author Karin Baine, who is still holding hands with her husband nearly a quarter of a century later, talks to Kathy about writing those kind of romance novels...


Ep 189 A Century of Votes for Women

At 5am on 13th June 1912, Hanna Sheehy Skeffington set out on her own for Dublin Castle, the seat of British Government rule. Armed with a stick, her aim was to break windows near the Ship Street entrance to the castle as an act of rebellion by the suffrage movement in response to votes for women being excluded from the Home Rule Bill for Ireland that year. Less than six years later, the Representation of People Act 1918 was passed, allowing some women over the age of 30 and all men over...


Ep 188 Protecting Children Online & Dolly Alderton

Two weeks ago we heard about the conviction of Dublin man Matthew Horan who used Skype, Snapchat, Instagram and Kik, an anonymous instant messaging application, to send and receive images from six children in Ireland and nine others around the world. Tomorrow (Tuesday) is Safer Internet Day and to discuss this, as well as how best to protect children online, Kathy Sheridan is joined by Cliona Curley, Programme Director with CyberSafe Ireland. In the second part of today’s show, our...


Ep 187 Songs That Hate Women

A book with the very provocative title of, Under My Thumb: The Songs that Hate Women and the Women Who Love Them, came across our desk here at the Women’s Podcast recently. It is a study of misogyny in music through the eyes of women and it is full of insightful and thought-provoking essays by female writers and music fans, speaking about the musicians or songs that they have loved, despite the problematic messaging in their lyrics. Our co-producer Jennifer Ryan spoke to the editors of the...


Ep 186 Cervical Screening: "Just go and have your smear test"

Each year, over 260 women in Ireland are diagnosed with cervical cancer and up to 70 lives are lost. Along with the HPV vaccine, regular cervical screening is the most effective way to reduce the risk of cancer developing. Today marks the start of the Pearls of Wisdom campaign, raising awareness of the regular free cervical screening available to women in Ireland aged 25 to 60, through CervicalCheck. To discuss why cervical screening is so important and nothing to be embarrassed or nervous...


Ep 185 The Dorchester, Germaine Greer, RTÉ Women & Tone Police

The sexist antics detailed in the Financial Times exposé on the men-only gala organised by British charity The President’s Club at the Dorchester Hotel in London last week, shocked us here at the Women's Podcast. We asked Irish Examiner columnist Alison O'Connor and comedian Tara Flynn to pop into studio to discuss this and some of the other stories making us cringe or cheer this week. A night at the Dorchester: women groped and harassed at ‘most un-PC event of the year' -...


Ep 184 Grace Dyas on The Gate, activism & feeling the fear

Activist, theatre director, writer and producer Grace Dyas talks to Kathy Sheridan about why she feels constantly afraid, but has learned how to turn that fear into courage. Dyas's theatre tackles the thorniest of subjects. Her first piece, Heroin, debuted in the Dublin Fringe Festival in 2010, while her next show about the Magdalene laundries, We Don’t Know What’s Buried Here, will premiere at the Civic Theatre in Tallaght next month. Last year, Grace initiated a storm in the theatre...


Ep 183 Remembering Aisling McDermott

Former Irish Times beauty writer, author and blogger Aisling McDermott died last week, having battled Multiple Sclerosis for over 20 years. Two years ago she joined author Marian Keyes and Irish Times beauty writer Laura Kennedy on the Women’s Podcast, for a conversation ostensibly about make-up, but which ran much deeper than that. Today’s podcast revisits that conversation, in honour of her memory.


Ep 182 Bibi Baskin

Bibi Baskin, who, back in the 1980s, was the first woman to host her own television chat show on RTÉ, has been told her voice is like "vocal viagra". During her career at RTÉ she was seen as the natural successor to Gay Byrne, but she left Montrose and headed to New York and England for various jobs in the early 1990s. She went back to RTÉ later in the decade, but then what was meant to be a three week holiday in India turned into 15 years and saw Bibi become a hotelier. She spoke to Kathy...


Ep 181 Women at Work

Did you know that up to the age of about 30, women keep pace with men in the workforce but after that a hefty gap opens up? A World Economic Forum report from 2015 found that a large number of countries – Ireland included – “have failed to reap the returns on a pool of highly educated and skilled women”. To discuss why that is and how returning to work can be made better for women, Kathy Sheridan was joined by Karin Lanigan, the Manager of Career Development and Recruitment Services for...


Ep 180 Everyday Stories: Talking About Abortion

Have you ever wanted to talk to someone about abortion, but didn't know how to go about it? The Everyday Stories project is about facilitating those conversations through workshops in towns and villages all across the country ahead of a referendum on the Eighth Amendment in the coming months. The project is gathering the personal accounts of women who have experienced abortion and allowing them to be used to aid group discussions on the topic, organised in association with the campaign....


Ep 179 2017 is over. What will 2018 be like for women?

Has the world changed after a year that brought us the Harvey Weinstein revelations, continued bafflement at Trump and the rise of #MeToo? With gender equality in the public consciousness more than ever and a referendum on the Eighth Amendment on the near horizon, we invited Irish Times Social Affairs Correspondent Kitty Holland and journalist Alison O’Connor in to studio to take a look back at the year that was and to cast an eye towards 2018 for women.


Ep 178 What's making you happy?

Last year we decided to buck the trend of New Year’s resolution hell and take some time to think about what it is we like about ourselves. This year, we asked loads of women and girls to tell us what it is that makes them happy. Sit back and let Marian Keyes, Samantha Power, Rebecca Traister, Kathy Sheridan and many more wonderful women tell us what brings them joy.


Ep 176 Tara Flynn's Christmas Day Wish

In an essay written especially for the Women's Podcast, actor and comedian Tara Flynn describes her ideal, peaceful, meat-free Christmas Day. She also chats to Róisín Ingle about her 2017, online abuse, the highs and lows of campaigning and what's in store next year.


Ep 175 The Girls of the St Patrick's Cathedral Choir School

Just a few weeks ago, for the first time in 600 years, the girls of the St Patrick's Cathedral Choir School in Dublin sang Matins at the cathedral. We met the girls to find out what that meant to them and what they love about being in the choir. The girls also brought us into the cathedral where they sang three beautiful Christmassy songs, accompanied by their teacher Stuart Nicholson, Organist and Master of the Choristers, on piano.


Ep 173 Understanding the Domestic Violence Bill 2017

Psychological abuse and controlling behaviour within a relationship is to become a crime punishable by up to five years in prison. The offence of “coercive control” is being included in the Domestic Violence Bill 2017, due to the hard work of campaigners, charities and politicians. Senator Collette Kelleher, programme & communications manager with SAFE Ireland Caitríona Gleeson and Labour Senator Ivana Bacik have worked tireless to get this groundbreaking Bill and amendments through. In...


Ep 172 Marian Keyes & Laura Kennedy's Christmas Gift Ideas

Are you looking for some divine inspiration as to what to buy for the woman or women in your life this Christmas? Well, look no further. Irish Times beauty writer Laura Kennedy has come up with an exhaustive list of gorgeous products, board games and trinkets to choose from. But first, the inimitable Marian Keyes is here to tell us about her approach to Christmas and what’s provoking her Sudden Wild Enthusiasm this festive season.


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