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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


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The programme that offers a female perspective on the world




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,...


Ida B Wells, Dementia, Midwives

Ida B. Wells was an journalist and campaigner. She's just been honoured with a special Pulitzer Price for her courageous reporting of the violence inflicted on African Americans during the lynching era. Professor Paula J. Giddings, who's written a biography of her, tells us about Ida and all that she achieved. We're talking about dementia during lockdown and how challenging it can be for carers. Research carried out by the University of Exeter shows that many people living with dementia, as...


Women and boundaries; Anneliese Dodds; Delia Owens

It’s been seven weeks since the UK went into lockdown, and for many women, the lines between work and home life have become blurred on a day-to-day basis. What’s the best way to create boundaries in order to protect your own mental well-being and a sense of routine? Dr Yasin Rofcanin, of the University of Bath’s School of Management, has worked on new research exploring how COVID-19 is impacting our understanding of boundaries. Chloë Davies is the head of PR and Partnerships at myGwork – a...


Nursing, Children's Mental Health, Coronation Street, Anna Jones

Tomorrow marks the 200th anniversary of the birth of Florence Nightingale. The day's also become International Day of the Nurse. We speak to nurse and poet Molly Case and to Ruth May, Chief Nursing Officer in England. Childline has new figures about the number of under 11s wanting help because of the coronavirus lockdown. Jane talks to Laverne Antrobus a Child Psychologist at the Tavistock Clinic and to NSPCC campaigns manager, Helen Westerman. Coronation Street is dealing with the issue of...


Anna Lapwood, Women leaders, Getting children back to school

The conductor and organist Anna Lapwood tells us how she’s trying to get more girls to take up the organ. Have women leaders handled the global health crisis of Covid-19 better than the men? And, what might explain why? Rosie Campbell, Director of the Global Institute for Women’s Leadership and Professor of Politics at King’s College London, and Clare Wenham, Assistant Professor in Global Health Policy at the London School of Economics and Political Science discuss. If lockdown measures are...


75th Anniversary of VE Day, DIY during lockdown, golden age of Irish writing, rape trials in military courts.

Today marks 75 years since VE day and we remember the end of war in Europe. We speak to Shirley Mann about how her mother’s own war experience inspired her to track down more women’s stories from this time. She shares the stories she discovered of the women who were pilots, wireless operators, and even “plotters” in the Battle of Britain bunker – and what they did next. Three women from the Armed Forces are taking legal action against the MOD claiming they are victims of sexual assault and...


Women leaders and Covid-19, Lionel Shriver, Florence Nightingale’s bicentenary

The leaders of the USA, Brazil, Russia, Spain, Italy and the UK have come in for some criticism over their handling of the Coronavirus pandemic. They all have one thing in common, and it has been widely remarked on – they’re men. From Jacinda Ardern to Angela Merkel, women leaders across the world seem to be coping with Covid-19 better. But is it true? And, what might explain why? Jenni talks to Rosie Campbell, Director of the Global Institute for Women’s Leadership and Professor of Politics...


Anna Lapwood, Femicide research, June Almeida

Anna Lapwood is one of the UK’s few female concert organists. She was the first woman to be awarded an Organ Scholarship at Magdalen College, Oxford, in its 560-year history. She was then appointed the youngest ever Director of Music at Pembroke College at Cambridge University aged just 21. She has used this position to spearhead a number of initiatives including a choir for 11-18 year old girls and the Cambridge Organ Experience for Girls which encourages girls to take up the organ. We hear...


How do you feel about sending the kids back to school?

Many parents have been longing for the the day the kids can go back to school following the lockdown. How are you feeling about sending your children back into the classroom? Over the last week, a number of old and offensive posts on Twitter have resurfaced. Many of them were written by influencers, artists and presenters. The majority of them contain abusive language towards dark skinned black women. Now the "court of public opinion" is calling for these individuals to be "cancelled"....