Episodes

  • Artist Tracey Emin shares why she wants an artwork she donated to the government’s art collection to be removed from display in Number 10 Downing Street.

    Last Wednesday afternoon, 23-year-old school teacher Ashling Murphy was killed while jogging along the banks of the Grand Canal in Tullamore, Ireland. The case has shocked the nation and revived concerns about women’s safety in public spaces in Ireland and the UK. We speak to Irish Times reporter Jade Wilson and veteran women's rights activist Ailbhe Smyth.

    In 1969 Muriel McKay was kidnapped after being mistaken for Rupert Murdoch’s wife. The story dominated front pages for weeks, and hundreds of police worked the case. After 40 days Arthur and Nizamodeen Hosein were arrested, and later jailed, but Muriel was never found. We hear about the re-opening of the case from Muriel's daughter, Dianne McKay.

    Woman to Woman is the all-star group founded in 2018 and features musical artists Beverley Craven, Julia Fordham and Judie Tzuke. They now have a new album and a new collaborator, singer-songwriter Rumer. We catch up with member Julia Fordham.

    Nearly seven million adults in the UK have very poor literacy skills – many of whom are too ashamed or embarrassed to ask for help. What impact can struggling to read and write have on a woman’s life long-term? Ginny Williams-Ellis is the CEO of Ready Easy UK and Sarah Todd used Read Easy back in 2015.

    Plus do you practice self-love? Thirty Things I Love About Myself is a new comedic novel by Radhika Sanghani. It's been inspired by her own journey to loving herself – culminating in not one but two nude portraits of herself.

    Presenter: Anita Rani
    Producer: Lucy Wai
    Editor: Sarah Crawley

  • We discuss the life of Mary Ward the 17th century Catholic nun who actively championed education for girls - and even spent time in prison for her cause. Now, almost four hundred years after her death, Mary Ward's legacy lives on via a network of almost 200 Mary Ward schools worldwide – including St Mary's School in Cambridge. She is considered the first sister of feminism and a pioneer of female missionary work. Sister Jane Livesey and Charlotte Avery headmistress at St Mary’s school for girls tell us about her life and legacy.

    We hear from Jo Richards from British Wheelchair Basketball about the start of the British Wheelchair Basketball Women's Premier League which begins on Saturday live on the BBC. The league is the first of its kind worldwide, and the UK's first women's professional Para-sport league.

    What do you remember about ‘ladette culture’? It was a term first coined in 1994 to describe young women who behaved boisterously, assertively and loved a drink. Some considered it a feminist movement – allowing girls to act ‘just like men’. Comedian Shappi Khorsandi – who grew up in the 90’s – explores ladette culture in her new comedy stand up tour. Professor Angela Smith teaches Language and Culture at the University of Sunderland. Shappi and Angela both join Anita to discuss the significance of this time, and how our attitudes have changed.

    On 17th November 2019, Grey Atticus Fox was born, nine weeks early to author Georgina Lucas and her partner Mike. Weighing just three and a half pounds, he was taken to the hospital's neonatal intensive care unit and put on a ventilator. But less than two weeks later, a devastating prognosis left Georgina and Mike with an agonising decision of whether to withdraw Grey's life support. Georgina writes movingly about this experience and its aftermath in her memoir If Not For You.

    Woman to Woman is the all-star group founded back in 2018 and features musical artists Beverley Craven, Julia Fordham and Judie Tzuke. Now the trio are back with a new album, new tour and a new collaborator- singer-songwriter Rumer. Anita will speak to member Julia Fordham about their reunion, working with Rumer and their latest singles.

    Presenter: Anita Rani
    Producer: Rabeka Nurmahomed

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  • Scientists from the University of Edinburgh are preparing to begin testing a new IVF treatment which could allow women to freeze their eggs at a much younger age and increase the likelihood of successful pregnancies in older women. Professor Evelyn Telfer, chair of reproductive biology at the University discusses how this research could change fertility treatment in the future.

    We hear from artist Tracey Emin about why she she wants an artwork she donated to the government’s art collection removed from display in Number 10 Downing Street. and following Christian Wakeford's defection to the the Labour Party Anna Soubry, who left the Conservative Party to sit as part of a group of independent MPs which later went on to become Change UK ,shares what it's like to defect and whether it works out politically.

    The world-renowned ballet dancer and artistic director of English National Ballet, Tamara Rojo, joins us following her decision to step down from her role after ten years to become the artistic director of San Francisco Ballet,

    Today the High Court hears the judicial review brought by Reclaim These Streets. They are challenging the Metropolitan Police’s handling of a vigil - in memory of Sarah Everard, and in opposition to violence against women. Reclaim These Streets co-founder Anna Birley tells us why they're seeking the review. .

    Plus do you practice self-love? If so how, do you do it? ‘Thirty Things I Love About Myself’ is a new comedic novel by Radhika Sanghani. It's inspired her own journey to loving herself – culminating in not one but two nude portraits of herself front and centre in her home.

    Presenter Emma Barnett
    Producer Beverley Purcell

  • The Raise the Roof project in Perth in Scotland, is gathering the lesser-known histories of a number of influential and fearless women to feature in the new Perth City Hall Museum when it opens in early 2024. A list of over 50 women who have lived in Perth over the centuries – from a witch to a pioneering photographer and the first female MP has been drawn up. But it is down to a number of different community groups to decide which women will be celebrated. They will work with an artist to help tell their stories and a wire statue of each of those women will be displayed around the city. Chloe Tilley is joined by Anna Day the Cultural Public Programme Manager at Perth & Kinross Council and the artist Vanessa Lawrence.

    The Children's Commissioner for England, Dame Rachel de Souza, has warned that thousands of children have "fallen off the radar" of schools. She is launching an inquiry to find young people who are not attending school in the wake of lockdown.

    In 1969 Muriel McKay was kidnapped after being mistaken for Rupert Murdoch’s wife. The story dominated front pages for weeks, and hundreds of police worked the case. After 40 days Arthur and Nizamodeen Hosein were arrested, and later jailed, but Muriel was never found. The brothers never confessed to their crimes, or revealed the whereabouts of Mrs McKay’s body. Until now. Dianne McKay is Muriel’s daughter and joins Chloe.

    With inflation at a 10 year high, energy bills on the increase, and average pay rises failing to keep up with the rise of the cost of living, and not forgetting an increase in national insurance coming this way, millions of people will find themselves worse off in 2022. The number of households spending at least 10 per cent of their family budgets on energy bills – is set to treble overnight to 6.3 million households when the new energy price cap comes into effect on April, that’s according to research by the Resolution Foundation, who’ve dubbed 2022 the year of the squeeze. And new analysis by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation says that low income families could spend on average 18 percent of their income after housing costs on energy bills.

    How would you respond to starting a relationship and being told by your new partner he was looking for a committed partnership—just one that did not include exclusivity? Author and journalist, Rachel Krantz had to address just this and embrace it with her ex partner Adam. She was nervous, yet intrigued and so Rachel decided to give it a go. Seeing whether she could cope with, and enjoy, both of them dating other people. In her debut memoir, ‘Open, An Uncensored Memoir of Love, Liberation & Non-Monogamy’ Rachel candidly shares with the reader her experiences of exploring Brooklyn sex parties and being part of the swinger community.


    Presenter: Chloe Tilley
    Producer: Kirsty Starkey

    Interviewed Guest: Dame Rachel de Souza
    Interviewed Guest: Dianne McKay
    Interviewed Guest: Helen Barnard
    Interviewed Guest: Victoria Benson
    Interviewed Guest: Anna Day
    Interviewed Guest: Vanessa Lawrence
    Interviewed Guest: Rachel Krantz

  • Yesterday on Woman's Hour we talked about the outpouring of grief in Ireland and beyond about the murder of Ashling Murphy. Today we are looking at solutions to ending violence against women. Sarah Benson, CEO Women's Aid Ireland joins Chloe.
    Universities are being called on to end the use of Non-Disclosure Agreements to silence complainants in sexual harassment cases by signing up to a new pledge today. Higher Education Minister Michelle Donelan MP joins Chloe to discuss her concerns that some establishments are also using the legally-binding contracts to deal with other problems such as abuse, and other forms of misconduct which stops the victims from speaking out and protects the reputations of perpetrators.
    Nearly seven million adults in the UK have very poor literacy skills – many of whom are too ashamed or embarrassed to ask for help. What impact can struggling to read and write have on a women’s life long-term? Ginny Williams-Ellis is the CEO of Ready Easy UK, a charity offering free one-to-one reading coaching. Sarah Todd used Read Easy back in 2015.
    Has sharing the realities of parenting gone too far? Journalist Rose Stokes is pregnant and has been getting loads of horror stories of birth and parenting from friends, family and strangers. We talk to her, and psychotherapist Anna Mathur.
    Former England Netball captain Ama Agbeze on the Vitality Roses defence of their Commonwealth title later this year. Tonight they take on World number one's Australia in London in the annual Quad series. We'll look how that win in 2018 developed the elite game in England.

    Presenter: Chloe Tilley
    Producer: Lucinda Montefiore
    Picture credit: Steven Paston/PA Wire

  • The Winter Olympics begin on 4th February in Beijing and Team GB will be sending around 50 athletes with the hopes of bringing back a clutch of medals. The run up to the Games has been challenging – Covid has made competition extremely difficult for athletes and there have been diplomatic rows over China’s human rights records - but who are our medal prospects? Chloe Tilley speaks to Georgina Harland, Britain’s first ever female Chef de Mission and Lizzy Yarnold, Britain’s most successful Winter Olympian.

    On Wednesday afternoon, 23-year-old school teacher Ashling Murphy was murdered while jogging along the banks of the Grand Canal in Tullamore, Ireland. It is believed that she was assaulted and killed by a man acting alone. The case has shocked the nation and revived concerns about women’s safety in public spaces in Ireland and the UK. We speak to Irish Times reporter Jade Wilson and veteran activist Ailbhe Smyth, who spoke at a vigil for Ashling outside Irish parliament.

    Women diagnosed with cervical cell changes following cervical screening can be unprepared for the experience - they can feel ashamed, isolated and frightened, that's according to new research by Jo's Cervical Cancer Trust. Kate Sanger is head of policy, from the Trust.

    In a recent interview on Woman’s Hour one guest talked about the limits having a child has placed on her and said she’d “make a better father than mother”. We explore what motherhood and fatherhood mean and the gender roles parents take on in society today. Lawyer Lucy McGrath is the biological mother of a six year old. She’s also her family’s main bread winner and known as mum. Her wife is mummy and the full time care giver. Do same sex relationships model alternative parenting styles or simply replicate the same power dynamics in a different guise? Lucy joins Emma Barnett to discuss the issues with the academic Dr Charlotte Faircloth.

    £29.4 billion was invested into UK tech companies in 2021. A record amount. Yet female founded companies only saw 1.1% of it. Down from 2.4% in 2020. Why are female run businesses finding it so hard to get investment funding? Debbie Wasskow OBE, entrepreneur and founder of Allbright, and Samira Ann Qassim, founder of Pink Salt Ventures, explain some of the problems women founders face when starting-up businesses - including finding funding.


    Presenter: Chloe Tilley
    Producer: Kirsty Starkey

    Interviewed Guest: Jade Wilson
    Interviewed Guest: Ailbhe Smyth
    Interviewed Guest: Georgina Harland
    Interviewed Guest: Lizzy Yarnold
    Interviewed Guest: Kate Sanger
    Interviewed Guest: Lucy McGrath
    Interviewed Guest: Dr Charlotte Faircloth
    Interviewed Guest: Debbie Wasskow
    Interviewed Guest: Samira Ann Qassim

  • A midwife from a maternity unit tells us why she and over thirty of her colleagues are refusing to have the Covid jab. We hear from the Royal College of Nursing who want the Government to pause the vaccine mandate for NHS staff immediately because of the threat to an already understaffed NHS. And we speak to Professor Ian Jones, a Virologist at the University of Reading about the science of infection and transmission.

    Almost 300 years after the Witchcraft Acts were repealed, a bill has been bought forward in the Scottish parliament to pardon those convicted. This comes after a two-year campaign to clear the names of nearly 4,000 people accused of witchcraft. We are joined by Zoe Venditozzi, co-founder of the campaign, and Marion Gibson, Professor of Renaissance and Magical Literatures at the University of Essex.

    Helen Pankhurst, the great-granddaughter of Suffragette leader Emmeline Pankhurst, talks about the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill which the House of Lords will debate on Monday. Reflecting on historical and global parallels, she talks about the role of protest in the fight for equality.

    Skin issues in adolescence can shape lives. We speak to Dr Tess McPherson, the current president of the British Society of Paediatric and Adolescent Dermatology, and Maia Grey, an acne positivity blogger who has lived with acne since her early teens.

    We are joined by British actor Adjoa Andoh and the award-winning British composer Julie Cooper, who have collaborated on the title track of a new album called Continuum. Julie wrote the music and Adjoa responded with a poem called "Hold out the Heart", capturing the emotions of the pandemic.

  • A midwife from a maternity unit tells us why she and over thirty of her colleagues are refusing to have the Covid jab. They will all lose their jobs when the Government’s vaccine mandate for NHS staff comes into force on April 1st, putting the unit at risk, and leaving pregnant women wondering what it means for them and their babies. We also hear from the Royal College of Nursing who want the Government to pause the vaccine mandate for NHS staff immediately because of the threat to an already understaffed NHS. And we speak to Professor Ian Jones, a Virologist at the University of Reading about the science of infection and transmission, and the impact on the NHS workforce and their patients.

    Diet and fitness expert Rosemary Conley CBE celebrates fifty years of keeping Leicestershire - and the rest of the country - fit. Rosemary was 25-years-old when she held her first class in a local village hall in 1972. Since then, she's written 36 books, presented dozens of fitness videos and continues to run classes in the county. She joins Anita to talk about the changes she's seen when it comes to women's diet and fitness and what we all can do to keep ourselves healthy.

    This week doyenne of the slam poetry and performance scene Joelle Taylor won the TS Eliot Poetry Prize. Fellow poet and slam champion Kat Francois explains why it matters and why women should give slam a try.

    The House of Commons' Home Affairs Committee is exploring the scale of the problem of spiking in nightclubs, pubs. festivals and house parties. Zara Owen, a student at Nottingham University who believes she was spiked with a needle last October while on a night out with friends, and Dawn Dines, the founder of Stamp Out Spiking UK both gave evidence to the committee this week.

    Presenter: Anita Rani
    Producer: Dianne McGregor

  • How can we have a healthier relationship with tech, the internet and social media? In her new book Disconnected, podcaster Emma Gannon looks at how we can take back control, set boundaries, and unlearn bad habits from doomscrolling to having opinions for opinion’s sake. She also reflects on whether a constructive call-out culture is more beneficial than cancel culture online.

    Helen Pankhurst, the granddaughter and the great-granddaughter of Suffragettes, Sylvia and Emmeline Pankhurst talks about the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill which the House of Lords will debate on Monday. Helen argues our right to protest which is a fundamental part of democracy, is under threat. Reflecting on historical and global parallels, she argues that protest is both a safety valve and catalyst for change in the fight for equality, including women’s rights, race, disability, social inequality and climate.

    Plus can theatre be used as a health and wellbeing tool to support women’s understanding of their relationship with sex? A Play About Sex partners academic research with creative practice to find out. Independent theatre producer, Hannah Farley-Hills explains how.


    Prince Andrew is to face a civil case in the US over allegations he sexually assaulted a woman when she was 17, after his legal bid to have it thrown out failed.
    To help us understand the detail of why it was unsuccessful we hear from Dominic Casciani our Home and Legal Affairs Correspondent. Plus Georgina Calvert-Lee, an employment and equality lawyer at McAlister Olivarius, an expert on NDAs and settlements looks at what justice might look like from Virginia Giuffre's position

    Presenter Emma Barnett
    Producer Beverley Purcell

  • Adjoa Andoh is British actor who has graced stage and screen and is perhaps best known as Bridgerton's Lady Danbury - but you may not be aware that in addition to being a director and producer she is also a writer. She has collaborated with the award-winning British composer Julie Cooper on the title track of a new album called Continuum. Julie wrote the music and Adjoa responded with a poem called "Hold out the Heart" capturing the emotions of the pandemic and timed to the ebb and flow of the music. Adjoa and Julie join Emma to talk about composing the album and their musical journey during lock down.

    This week the US Mint began circulating quarters honouring the writer, poet, performer and activist Maya Angelou. She is the first black woman to ever feature on a US coin. But four other women have also been commemorated by the American Women Quarters Program So why have they been chosen and what is the history of women appearing on coins? Ema Sikic is World Coins Specialist for Baldwins.

    Prime Minister, Boris Johnson is under pressure to state whether he broke his own Covid rules at PMQs with some of his own MPs venting their frustration to their consituents, the media and online. The Prime Minister has so far declined to say whether he attended a drinks party at Downing Street during lockdown in May 2020. But the journalist Claire Cohen has written about the wave of fury felt by some women about the fact that Sarah Everard was lured into a car by former Metropolitan police officer Wayne Couzens on the pretext that she had broken lockdown rules. A new app to protect women that has the backing of the Home Office has been criticised, Rhiannon Lucy Cosslett is a journalist who says it wouldn't have stopped her attacker.

    The BBC’s latest hard-hitting true crime drama, Four Lives, recounts how police failings led families to fight for justice after the so-called 'Grindr killer' Stephen Port murdered four young men. Emma is joined by Sarah Sak, the mother of the serial killer’s first known victim Anthony Walgate and who is played by Sheridan Smith in the three-part series.

    Skin issues in adolescence can shape lives. Dr Tess McPherson is the current president of the British Society of Paediatric and Adolescent Dermatology (BSPAD) and an NHS dermatologist working in Oxford. She has developed a specialist service for adolescents to support their skin and the psychological impact of their conditions, which has been running for 10 years. Maia Grey is an acne positivity blogger who is now 27 but has lived with acne since her early teens.

  • Who is Sue Gray, the civil servant tasked with investigating the Downing Street parties and has she been put in an impossible position? Caroline Slocock former private secretary to Margaret Thatcher and John Major and political journalist Jane Merrick discuss.
    Rhian Graham along with three other defendants were cleared of criminal damage by Bristol Crown Court after toppling the statue of the 17th century slave trader Edward Colston. Rhian joins Emma.
    Nearly 5000 messages have been left on a free phone number set up to allow people to give messages of thanks for NHS staff. Hopeline19 was founded by psychotherapist Claire Goodwin-Fee. She argues that NHS workers are not receiving enough mental health support. Hopeline19 grew out of Frontline19, a service offering mental health support to NHS workers that Claire established in March 2020.
    We all know how complicated relationships can be – especially when it comes to our parents. What is the best way to cope when we find ourselves stuck in the middle of our parents’ relationship? How can we learn to step back from being the family relationship therapist? We hear about two women’s experiences – listener Shely and life coach Diana Higgins.
    The pandemic put the brakes on everyone’s lives. For freelance journalist Lucy Holden, it has been a time for reflection. At the age of 30 she was forced to move back home with her parents and take stock of a wild decade lived in the fast-lane - a mechanism to avoid the pain and trauma of her past. She joins Emma to talk about her upcoming memoir: Lucid: A memoir of an extreme decade in an extreme generation.
    Presenter: Emma Barnett
    Producer: Lucinda Montefiore

  • Three years ago, BBC radio broadcaster Helena Merriman received a shock diagnosis related to hearing loss after giving birth to her son. This prompted her to explore how people handle life-changing news about their health in a new radio series called Room 5 that airs on Radio 4 this week. Helena joins Emma to discuss the power of resilience.

    One of the first female bus drivers in the UK says she is fighting to keep her job after a new bus design left her unable to reach the pedals. Emma speaks to Tracey Scholes from Manchester who says that because of her height - five feet - she can no longer drive the new buses safely. The bus company involved say other staff of a similar height to Tracey are able to drive the vehicles safely.

    New figures from the Office of National Statistics show that an estimated 1.3 million people in the UK have "long Covid" – defined as symptoms lasting more than four weeks. We know that women are more likely to be affected by long Covid, and that it can also occur in children. Dr Nisreen Alwan is Associate Professor in Public Health at the University of Southampton.

    In Sudan, thousands of people have again taken to the streets of the capital, Khartoum, to protest against military rule, following the resignation of Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok. Reports from medics on the ground say more than 50 people have lost their lives since a military coup took place in October last year. For several years, there has been continued unrest in the country, and headlines around the world have shown women at the forefront of the revolution and pro-democracy movement - but is that the full story? And how are things for women there now? Raga Makawi, a Sudanese democracy activist and editor at African Arguments and Will Ross, the BBC's Africa Editor join Emma.

    Almost 300 years after the Witchcraft Acts were repealed, a bill has been bought forward in the Scottish parliament to pardon those convicted. This comes after a two-year campaign to clear the names of nearly 4,000 people accused of witchcraft, of whom well over half were executed. Zoe Venditozzi co-founded the campaign and co-hosts the Witches of Scotland podcast. Marion Gibson is Professor of Renaissance and Magical Literatures at the University of Essex and author of Witchcraft: the basics.

  • We explore why so many of us want to put our lives on the page. Can writing stand in for therapy? What are the ethical and moral considerations of such sharing. Julia Samuel is a psychotherapist and the author of Grief Works.

    Dr Lin Berwick MBE has cerebral palsy quadriplegia and became totally blind at the age of 15. She also has partial hearing loss and is a permanent wheelchair user. Now in her seventies, she has been a fierce advocate and ambassador for people with disabilities and their carers, and has written a new book On A Count of Three all about what it's like having a carer - and what she thinks carers should know.

    Military mums rally in protest at the decision to award former Prime Minister Tony Blair a knighthood. Hazel Hunt, whose son Richard died in Afghanistan, is considering sending back the Elizabeth Cross that her family had received as a mark of protest.

    Many of us will be thinking about making a change for the better now that we're in a new year. Poorna Bell, author and journalist, gives us some inspiration and talks about getting stronger, both emotionally and physically. Poorna took it literally and started weight lifting after illness and bereavement.

    'Collector culture' - the swapping, collating and posting of nude images of women without their consent - is on the rise. To understand why Anita is joined by Professor of Law at Durham University, Clare McGlynn and Zara Ward, senior practitioner at the Revenge Porn Helpline.

    Southall Black Sisters was founded in 1979 to address the needs of Asian, African-Caribbean and minority women and to empower them to escape violence. Pragna Patel was one of the founders of Southall Black Sisters and Wednesday was her last day as Director. We talk to Pragna about her 30 years in activism.

  • British Army officer and physiotherapist Preet Chandi has made history as the first woman of colour to complete a solo expedition in Antarctica. 'Polar Preet' trekked 700 miles in 40 days, facing temperatures of -50C, poor visibility and fatigue along the way. She used skis, and dragged a 90kg pulk (a sled) for between 10-12 hours a day. Preet catches up with us from the Union Glacier camp in Antarctica.

    'Collector culture' - the swapping, collating and posting of nude images of women without their consent - is on the rise. But unlike revenge porn, it is not a crime. Now survivors are demanding a change in the law. To understand why Anita is joined by Professor of Law at Durham University, Clare McGlynn and Zara Ward, senior practitioner at the Revenge Porn Helpline.

    Cecil Sharp is known as the godfather of English folk music. In a bid to preserve the English folk song at the turn of the twentieth century, when many in the musical world didn't believe England had a musical tradition of its own, he collected and memorialised thousands of traditional English folk songs from rural communities in England. However, less is known about the people he collected these songs from. FOLK is a new play at Hampstead Theatre in London written by Nell Leyshon, the British dramatist and novelist born in Glastonbury, Somerset. She tells us the true story of Louie Hooper and Lucy White, two half-sisters from Somerset who Cecil Sharp collected hundreds of songs from.

    A UK tech company is pitching to provide security for women out alone at night who fear for their safety. Drone Defence is hoping to secure government funding to deliver AI drones fitted with spotlights and a thermal camera which would be summoned on an app by an individual who are concerned a predator may be near by. Could this be a solution to a recent survey which showed one in five women fear going out at night alone or does it present a serious privacy risk without tackling the underlying issue of violence against women? We talk to Richard Gill the founder of Drone Defence and to Silkie Carlo the Director of Big Brother Watch.

    Born in Bristol and raised in Lagos, Nikki May is Nigerian-British. At 20, she dropped out of medical school, moved to London, and began a successful career in advertising. Now aged 56, her debut novel Wahala has just been released and is already being made into a six part drama series for the BBC. It is the story of three thirty-something friends living in London - Ronke, Simi and Boo. Their bond is tested and their lives start to unravel when glamorous high flying Isabel explodes into their friendship group.


    Presenter: Anita Rani
    Producer: Kirsty Starkey

    Interviewed Guest: Preet Chandi
    Interviewed Guest: Professor Clare McGlynn
    Interviewed Guest: Zara Ward
    Interviewed Guest: Nell Leyshon
    Interviewed Guest: Richard Gill
    Interviewed Guest: Silkie Carlo
    Interviewed Guest: Nikki May

  • Jamie-Lee O’Donnell is best known for playing the wise cracking Michelle in Channel 4’s Derry Girls, the comedy series about a group of teenagers growing up in 1990's Northern Ireland. Jamie-Lee has swapped the school uniform for a prison uniform for new drama Screw on Channel 4, about working in a men’s prison.

    This time last year shocking footage coming from Washington DC, as supporters of Donald Trump stormed the Capitol building, captured the world's attention. Two women, who were part of that riot, were among the people who died. The event in America is now simply known as January the Sixth. Helen Lewis, writer for the Atlantic Magazine joins Emma to discuss the the significance of the event a year on.

    The Pope has come under fire by some and been supported by others for comments during his weekly general audience at the Vatican in which he lamented that some married couples opt to remain childless and instead transfer their love to cats, dogs and other animals. We get your views and those of Cathy Adams, a maternal ambivalence blogger.

    Dr Lin Berwick MBE has cerebral palsy quadriplegia and became totally blind at the age of 15. She also has partial hearing loss and is a permanent wheelchair user. She wasn't expected to live past her teens and has needed care 24/7 all her life. Now in her seventies, she has been a fierce advocate and ambassador for people with disabilities and their carers, and has written a new book On A Count of Three all about what it's like having a carer - and what she thinks carers should know.

    Today sees the unveiling of the 1921 census records. Details of the census are always kept secret for 100 years, apart from broad statistics. This census for the first time includes details of divorce and also where people worked. Melanie Abbott reports and Emma speaks to Dr Michala Hulme, a social historian and genealogist from the University of Birmingham.

  • How widely is the Scottish Government consulting on its plans to allow people to legally change sex without a medical diagnosis? Emma Barnett speaks to Lisa Mackenzie from MurrayBlackburnMackenzie, an Edinburgh-based policy analysis collective who say the SNP is breaking a manifesto promise, by only meeting with groups representing trans rights since last May’s Holyrood election.

    Military mums rally in protest at the decision to award former Prime Minister Tony Blair a knighthood. Hazel Hunt, whose son Richard died in Afghanistan, is considering sending back the Elizabeth Cross that her family had received as a mark of protest.

    Southall Black Sisters was founded in 1979 to address the needs of Asian, African-Caribbean and minority women and to empower them to escape violence. Pragna Patel was one of the founders of Southall Black Sisters and today is her last day as Director. We talk to her about the chages she’s witnessed and the role she’s held for over 30 years.

    It's ten years since the popular fiction writer Maeve Binchy died and forty years since her first best seller Light a Penny Candle was published. What has been her legacy for the generation of Irish women writers that followed and what is the role of editors in creating best-sellers? We talk to Rosie de Courcy Senior Editor at Head of Zeus publishers and Maeve's long-time editor, and Irish author and journalist Megan Nolan.

    Taking photos or video recordings of breastfeeding mothers in public without their consent is to be made a crime in England and Wales, punishable by up to two years in prison. We catch up with the woman who started the campaign Julia Cooper.


    Presenter: Emma Barnett
    Producer: Lisa Jenkinson
    Studio Manager: Donald McDonald

  • Many of us will be thinking about making a change for the better now that we're in a new year. Poorna Bell, author and journalist, gives us some inspiration and talks about getting stronger, both emotionally and physically. Poorna took it literally and started weight lifting after illness and bereavement.

    We hear from Dr Ann Olivarius a lawyer who specialises in sexual abuse, harassment and discrimination. She explains the technicalities of the civil claim against Prince Andrew, the Duke of York.

    We speak to Detective Inspector Lucy Thomson and Jackie Sebire about the murder of 12 week old Teddie Mitchell. The investigation is covered in a new two-part special of Channel 4's 24 Hours in Police Custody.

    We have episode 4 in our series about scars.

    And Adele Parks’ latest novel called Both of You is a 'missing persons story' with a twist. We find out that the female protagonist is leading a double life as a bigamist. The book looks at what leads someone to have two marriages on the go, and the complexities around it.

  • Today, Emma and guests explore why so many of us want to put our lives on the page. What stops us, what gets in the way and is it always a good idea? Is getting published the answer or are there are other ways to tell your stories. How different is writing personal essays or a memoir to creating a fictional world? Can writing stand in for therapy? What are the ethical and moral considerations of such sharing? To discuss these and many other questions Emma is joined by prize-winning author Ann Patchett, Sunday Times bestseller Cathy Rentzenbrink, psychotherapist and writer, Julia Samuel and journalist and author Arifa Akbar.

    Presenter: Emma Barnett
    Producer: Lucinda Montefiore

  • British woman Sarah Ransome says she wanted to be at Ghislaine Maxwell trial when it started: not to testify but to see justice take its course. Like the four women who gave evidence, she says she's also a victim of Epstein's and Maxwell's. She tells us more about her story and Harriet Wistrich, founder of Centre for Women's Justice discusses the wider impact this case could have.

    Sheila Watt-Cloutier, is a world renowned human rights and climate change activist, who has made it her life's work to protect her Inuit culture and the Arctic regions where Inuit live, in Greenland, Canada and Alaska. She was born in Arctic Canada and launched the first legal petition linking climate change to human rights.

    We discuss the word 'spinster' and what it really means with Australian author Donna Ward. Her new book She I Dare Not Name: A Spinster's Meditations on Life., explores the meaning and purpose she has fought to find in a life lived entirely accidentally without a partner or children.

    BBC History is launching a 100 objects collection to mark 100 years of the BBC in 2022. Head of History Robert Seatter gives us a sneak peak into a few objects which represent the history of women at the BBC including a 1930s job advert looking to recruit the first women TV announcers, a cookbook by Madhur Jaffrey and a 1920s scrapbook from Evelyn Dove, the first black female singer to perform on BBC.

    British women weren't allowed to visit the Antarctic until 1983 but now scores of women are making major contributions to polar science. Morgan Seag who has just submitted her PhD in gendered institutional change in 20th century Antarctic science to the University of Cambridge and Jo Johnson who has visited Antarctica seven times tell us more.

  • Today Andrea Catherwood talks to Sarah Ransome. She wanted to be at Ghislaine Maxwell trial when it started: not to testify but to see justice take its course. Like the four women who gave evidence, she says she's also a victim of Epstein's and Maxwell's. She says Ghislaine Maxwell, "starved and berated and swindled me while demanding I be raped daily".

    This week we've been talking to women about their scars. Today we hear from Emily on the self-harm scars she no longer needs to hide.

    We speak to Fiona Chesterton who discovered family secrets to do with illegitimacy. It started with a letter on her doorstep which revealed she was due a surprise inheritance. The tale is told in her new book Secrets Never To Be Told.

    And it's the time of year that we should be putting on our sequins but covid may well put a stop to that. Never mind: we're still discovering when and how they became such a big part of celebrating. Now though there's an environment aspect to consider and some brands are rejecting them because they're made of plastic. Dress historian, author and broadcaster Amber Butchart joins Andrea Catherwood to discuss all things sequin.