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Woman's Hour


The programme that offers a female perspective on the world

The programme that offers a female perspective on the world


United States


The programme that offers a female perspective on the world




Race issues in the nursing profession. Oceanographer Dr Helen Czerski. Desert Island Discs Day.

Carol Cooper was awarded Nursing’s Diversity and Inclusion Champion of the Year award in 2019, she is a Regional NHS Head of equality, diversity and human rights and is the a Royal College of Nursing expert lead for BME Suicide Awareness, Equality, Diversity and Human Rights. She is also a Registered Nurse. She talks to Jenni Murray about race issues in the nursing profession and the way it's being responded to as a risk factor, as the NHS tackles Covid-19. More in our series celebrating the...


Disabled women in lockdown, Rape in Nigeria, and Troupers

As we move to ease lockdown restrictions in this country, and look ahead to the “new normal”, there are a large number of people who are still very much in lockdown. Many people with medical conditions that make them “extremely clinically vulnerable” to COVID-19 are “shielding” for a minimum of 12 weeks. Shielding means staying in your home and not leaving for any reason, not even for exercise or to get food. How are disabled women finding this experience, and are they getting the support...


Drummer Meg Learmonth, Direct selling and women, Anorexia in lockdown, The Other One

While the world has gone into lockdown and economies have crashed, one type of business has been seeing double-digit growth – direct selling. Independent consultants for big names such as Body Shop at Home, Forever Living, Avon, Usborne Books at Home and Arbonne have been reporting huge increases in sales and recruitment in response to regular shops closing their doors. But while proponents of ‘multi-level marketing’ or ‘direct to consumer’ selling say it provides an opportunity for women to...


Talking to kids about the US protests; Trouper Sandy Collver; Dating after lockdown

The US has been convulsed by nationwide protests over the death of an African-American man in police custody. George Floyd, 46, died after being arrested by police outside a shop in Minneapolis, Minnesota. But what are black parents here saying to their youngsters about some of the images coming from America, such as the arrest footage itself, then the violent demonstrations and the angry confrontations between protesters and the police? And how does what happens there relate to how things...


Troupers: the founders of the Profanity Embroidery Group. Tackling debt. Midwives on the benefits of colostrum

More from our series that celebrates the women who get things done – the Troupers. They're very bad at blowing their own trumpets so we're doing it for them. Today we hear from Annie Taylor and Wendy Robinson the founders of the Profanity Embroidery Group in Whitstable. After building up credit card debt of £25,000 Clare Seal decided she had to do something drastic to deal with it. She set up an Instagram account to make herself accountable. Posting anonymously she shared her story and...


Women, alcohol and lockdown, The Equal Pay Act at 50, Public toilets, Giving birth in lockdown

An editorial in the British Medical Journal reported that one in five harmful and dependent drinkers got the help they needed, and now the proportion will be lower. How do you cope with an alcohol problem under lockdown? We hear the experience of a listener, the journalist Catherine Renton who has been sober for over 3 years, and from Julia Sinclair, professor of Addiction Psychiatry, University of Southampton and consultant in alcohol addiction. She’s also chair of the Royal College of...


The Equal Pay Act at 50, Rachael Hearson Health Visitor, Public Toilets

It’s fifty years since the Equal Pay Act became law, though employers were given a couple of years to prepare for the change to take effect. The legislation followed the strike of a group of women machinists at the Ford factory in Dagenham who wanted to be paid just as a man would for doing skilled work. It set out that an individual can claim equal pay for work of equal value. However, it’s proved tricky over the years for women to find out what their male comparators were earning. It’s...


Women, alcohol & lockdown; Jenny Colgan; Michele Roberts

Last week an editorial in the BMJ reported that before Covid-19 only one in five harmful and dependent drinkers got the help they needed, and now the proportion will be lower. There is concern for those struggling with dependence and those on the brink of dependence. How do you cope with an alcohol problem under lockdown? And what support is out there? We hear the experience of a listener, the journalist Catherine Renton who has been sober for over 3 years and from Julia Sinclair, professor...


Office Cleaners, Cassa Pancho, Jackie Kay

The UK cleaning sector is worth almost £50bn a year to the country’s economy. It employs more than 900,000 people, mostly women. Right now, many are vulnerable. Some feel they won't be able to stop working if they fall ill or have to self- isolate because they can't afford it. Jenni speaks to Katy, a cleaner. Also Maria Gonzalez who's an employment barrister and Janet Macleod who's a Unite representative Cassa Pancho set up Ballet Black twenty years ago. It's a professional ballet company...


Troopers, Billionaires, Postnatal Support

TROOPERS is a new series of ours starting today. It's about the women in our communities who get things done, and many of them are volunteers. We begin with Margaret Johnson who works as a volunteer at Chester Storyhouse which is a cinema, theatre and library. She runs the Chatter and Natter group. We've got more on the Dominic Cummings situation and his trip to Durham. Katy Balls from the Spectator and Helen Lewis from the Atlantic discuss things said in last night's press conference which...


Having a baby in lockdown

We hear from you about what it’s like to be pregnant, give birth and look after a new baby in the Covid-19 lockdown. Antenatal, labour and post-natal care has had to transform in the last two months, in order to combat the virus. Pregnant women are considered a vulnerable group to Covid and are recommended to self-isolate for their third trimester. Routine face-to-face appointments have been reduced and more is being done by phone. The way you give birth may have had to change, and partners...


Laura Wright, Extended Maternity Leave, Baroness Doreen Lawrence

The soprano Laura Wright tells us about her new single released with The Choir of Royal Holloway, University of London to mark Mental Health Awareness week. Baroness Doreen Lawrence discusses why the Labour Party are conducting its own enquiry into why people from black, Asian and minority ethnic communities are more than four times more likely to die as a result of Covid-19 than their white counterparts. Two twenty-somethingsJackie Adedeji and Erin Bradshaw tell us how life has changed for...


Singer Laura Wright, Covid-19 and Oestrogen, Professor Heather Viles and Covid-19 and Fashion.

The soprano Laura Wright first came to prominence when she won the BBC Radio 2 Young Chorister of the Year in 2005 aged just 15. A lover of sport, she’s well known for her performances at huge sporting events from the FA Cup Final, British Grand Prix, Invictus Games and being England Rugby team’s first ever official anthem singer. She tells Jenni how during lockdown she has been using her voice by working with organisations and charities to address the challenges of isolation. To mark Mental...


Baroness Doreen Lawrence. Author Glennon Doyle. Covid-19 and the impact on women's jobs

Baroness Doreen Lawrence, Labour’s race relations adviser. What will be the long term impact of Covid-19 on women in the workforce? Plus as just over 400 prisoners and more than 500 prison staff in England and Wales have tested positive for the virus, how's the pandemic affected the way prison and probation officers carry out their work. We hear from Anita, who’s a prison officer at a male young offenders institute and Ellen who’s a probation officer in Leicester. And Jenni talks to the best...


Supporting young mental health

As part of Mental Health Awareness Week, we look at why it’s important to discuss mental health and trauma with young people. The Mental Health Foundation reports that 70% of children and young people who experience a mental health problem have not had appropriate interventions at a sufficiently early age. Why does this matter and what impact can it have on a child’s progression and adulthood? Ebinehita Iyere is a youth practitioner and works with young people who have experienced trauma or...


Should maternity leave be extended for corona-era parents?

The parents of a six month old have set up a petition asking the government to extend maternity leave by an extra three months. They believe that the lockdown has meant parents have missed out on the usual things you’d do on maternity, putting them at a disadvantage. There’s already been a parliamentary Q&A about this, and the signatures are still coming in. It’s not know yet whether it’ll be debated in the House of Commons but there will be another Q&A session on Thursday this week. Jane...


Repeat Attenders, Lockdown in your 20s, Kindness

What makes someone want to go to see the same show at the theatre time and time again? We talk to documentary maker Mark Dooley about his film, Repeat Attenders – which follows some of musical theatre’s super-fans – and to Gudrun Mangel who features in the film and has found the confidence to be herself as a huge fan of Starlight Express. Most young people are at low risk of catching or falling seriously ill because of COVID-19 but it’s still having a serious impact. From future job...


Woman and boundaries, Ida B Wells, Cycling, Dementia

How do you manage to create boundaries between work and home during lockdown? Dr Yasin Rofcanin, of the University of Bath’s School of Management discusses his new research exploring how COVID-19 is impacting our understanding of boundaries. We also hear from Chloë Davies, head of PR and Partnerships at myGwork, and Melanie Eusebe, management consultant and chair of the Black British Business Awards. Ida B. Wells was an journalist and campaigner. She's just been honoured with a special...


Relationships between the generations during lockdown

At the end of the week when government advice started to ease the lockdown we take stock and look at how relationships between the generations have been affected by social distancing measures and shielding. Woman’s Hour listeners tell us how the government advice for over-70s has affected them. We hear how families have responded and how adult children and parents are negotiating their changed roles. And we discuss how best to communicate when you see risk differently. With Gabrielle...


Cycling in lockdown; Breast cancer; Expert online masterclasses; Shelley Klein

Cycling is seeing a huge increase in popularity thanks to people avoiding public transport and wanting to get some exercise. In today’s Woman’s Hour Corona Diaries, Krysia Williams talks about the beauty of cycling in lockdown, and how the Bristol Bike Project – where she works – has been supporting key workers in moving around the city. Every year, 55,000 women are diagnosed with breast cancer - and 18,000 of those come from screening. Since lockdown there’s been a 70% drop in GP referrals,...