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Women's Hour

Weekend Woman’s Hour: Siobhan McSweeney, Anne-Marie Duff, Mel C

Do you know much about nuns? Many people don’t, but some nuns in the US are turning to social media to bring religion into the 21st century. Sister Monica Clare from the Community of St John the Baptist went viral on Tik Tok after followers wanted to know her skin routine - now she answers people’s questions about being a nun. She joins Krupa as does Siobhan McSweeney, who plays fictional Sister Michael in Derry Girls to talk all about nuns. Actor Anne-Marie Duff talks to Emma about her new role as Constance, a working class matriarch from the Midlands in a new play that spans five decades of the lives, and deaths, of the Webster family. ‘The House of Shades’ by Beth Steel is on at London’s Almeida Theater until 18th June. Are you happiest when you’re in the office or do you prefer to work from home? Are you contemplating leaving a role because it’s no longer flexible? Dr Jane Parry, Associate Professor of work and employment at Southampton Business school and Guardian columnist Gaby Hinsliff speak to Emma about recent work from home data. After Little Mix said goodbye to their fans with their final show on Saturday before going on hiatus, it seems that for the first time in decades, Britain is without a major girl band. Emma is joined by Melanie Chisholm from the Spice Girls and music journalist, Jacqueline Springer. Women attending abortion clinics in the UK can face “regular harassment” according to a report from BBC Newsnight. Anti-abortion groups who gather outside services say they’re holding “prayer vigils” and offering help but some patients say they have been so distressed they’ve had panic attacks or even felt suicidal. Now charities are calling for protected areas outside all services which activists cannot legally enter. BBC Newsnight Correspondent Anna Collinson speaks to Krupa about it. A new exhibition exploring female spiritual beings in world belief and mythological traditions around the globe opens at the British Museum this week. Feminine power: the divine to the demonic is the first exh

US singer/songwriter Beth Nielsen Chapman, Laura Bates, Menstrual leave/abortion reform in Spain, Feminine power & goddesses

It’s been ten years since the writer and activist Laura Bates founded the Everyday Sexism project, giving a platform to thousands of women to document their everyday experiences of sexism, harassment and assault. In her new book, ‘Fix the System Not the Women’ she argues we have wasted decades telling women and girls how to fix things, how to fix themselves, how to stay safe, it hasn’t worked because women were never the problem in the first place. She is calling for systematic reform of our key institutions and societal systems that she says are failing to protect women. Spanish women with severe Menstrual symptoms could be entitled to three days of leave a month - extended to five in some circumstances - if a draft bill going through the Spanish parliament is approved. It would make it the first legal entitlement of its kind in Europe. The bill is part of a package of reforms that could also overturn laws passed by the previous government, including 16 and 17 year old girls no longer needing parental consent to have an abortion. Maria Ramirez is a journalist and Deputy Managing Editor from ElDiario an online investigative and political news service based in Madrid. A new exhibition exploring female spiritual beings in world belief and mythological traditions around the globe opens at the British Museum this week. Feminine power: the divine to the demonic is the first exhibition of its kind to bring together ancient sculpture, sacred artifacts and contemporary art from six continents. It will look at how femininity has been perceived across the world, and how feminine power has been used in deities, goddesses, demons, saints and other spiritual beings. Belinda Crerar is Exhibition Curator at the British Museum and Dr Janina Ramirez is a British Art Historian and author of Goddess a book for children written to accompany this exhibition Two-time Grammy nominee Beth Nielsen Chapman has had a career spanning 40 years. Inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 2016, Nashville-based Beth, has released

Actor Anne Marie Duff, Chinese feminism, the story of Henrietta Howard

Actor Anne Marie Duff talks to Emma Barnett playing a working class matriarch in a new play that spans five decades of the lives, and deaths, of the Webster family. Last September 19, 2021, Sophia Huang Xueqin, the Chinese journalist who kick-started China’s #MeToo movement, disappeared. We find out what has happened to her from BBC Eye journalist Jessie Lau who's been investigating her disappearance,. Plus writer and journalist Lijia Zhang explains what it's like to be a feminist in China. Plus Anna Eavis the Curatorial director at English Heritage tells us the the story of Henrietta Howard, Countess of Suffolk, and mistress of King George II, as Marble Hill, a Palladian villa built in the 1720s for her, prepares to open to the public following its restoration Presenter Emma Barnett Producer Beverley Purcell Photo credit; Helen Murray

Helen Fitzgerald, Abortion Clinic Harassment, Nuns and Juliet Stevenson on Acting Your Age

Helen Fitzgerald grew up in rural Australia as one of 13 siblings. Her new novel Keep Her Sweet looks at what happens when 'normal' sibling rivalry turns into something else. She joins Krupa to explain why she's so fascinated by the dark corners of family life. When was the last time you saw a nun? It feels like a very old-fashioned vocation – and there are less and less in the public eye now. But some nuns in the US are turning to Tik Tok to bring religion into the 21st century through social media. The Daughters of St Paul are known as the ‘media nuns’ on Tik Tok, they do skits and dances, and have millions of followers worldwide. Then Sister Monica Clare from the Community of St John the Baptist went viral because she was on Tik Tok and everyone wanted to know her skin routine…now she answers people’s questions about being a nun. And, of course, we’ve got everyone’s favourite - less PC nun – Sister Michael from Derry Girls, played by Siobhan McSweeney. Women attending abortion clinics in the UK can face “regular harassment” according to a report from BBC Newsnight. Anti-abortion groups who gather outside services say they’re holding “prayer vigils” and offering help but some patients say they have been so distressed they’ve had panic attacks or even felt suicidal. Now charities are calling for protected areas outside all services which activists cannot legally enter. More than 100,000 women in the UK attended abortion services targeted by activists in 2019, according to latest data from the British Pregnancy Advisory Service, which is a leading provider of abortions. Anna Collinson is the Newsnight Correspondent who compiled the report. It’s four years since journalist and actor Nicky Clark founded the Acting Your Age Campaign. Incensed by the lack of middle-aged women on stage, television and in film, and rarely seeing stories of women like herself portrayed, she has attracted a lot of support from women such as Meera Syal, Tracy-Ann Obermann and MP Jess Phillips. Actor and fellow-supporter, Juliet Ste

Kate Rusby, Gay Women and Sport, Motor Racing

Kate Rusby is one of the UK’s leading folk singers. She joins Andrea Catherwood to talk about her latest album 30: Happy Returns. She's collaborated with musicians such as Ladysmith Black Mambazo, K. T. Tunstall and Richard Hawley to sing new versions of her old songs and to celebrate thirty years of making music. The footballer Jake Daniels has come out as gay. He's the first current male professional footballer to do so, which shows you how unusual it is. So, is it harder to be yourself in the men's game compared to the women's? With us on Woman's Hour is the footballer Lianne Sanderson who's won 50 international caps for England and was the first professional female player to come out 12 years ago, and Dr Rachael Bullingham, who's a senior lecturer at the University of Gloucestershire and specialises in homophobia in women's sport. We speak to the BBC's Sarah Rainsford who's covering the war in Ukraine about the Wives of Azov. Their husbands are part of the Azov Regiment who are seen as heroes in Ukraine because they've been defending Mariupol, but they've been trapped for more than two months in a steel works. Overnight some of them managed to get out of there. Paula McGowan's autistic son died when because he was given anti-psychotic drugs, despite warnings from him and his family. His death was described as ‘avoidable’. Paula is now on the brink of achieving her goal which is that all health and social care staff must, by law, undergo mandatory training in autism and learning disability awareness. We speak to Paula, as well as Alexis Quinn, who's been involved in piloting the training.

Girl Bands, Period Tracking Apps, Couples Therapy

After Little Mix said goodbye to their fans with their final show on Saturday before going on hiatus, it seems that for the first time in decades, Britain is without a major girl band. Emma is joined by Melanie Chisholm from the Spice Girls and music journalist, Jacqueline Springer. We discuss recent work from home data with Dr Jane Parry, Associate Professor of work and employment at Southampton Business school and Guardian columnist Gaby Hinsliff. In the wake of the tragic killings of toddlers Star Hobson and Arthur Labinjo Hughes, a government report is expected to be published shortly looking into what went wrong. Social workers had failed to act on warnings from relatives, which meant the children were not removed from their abusive homes. But a BBC One Panorama explores a different perspective - what about when children’s services intervene too far, too fast – and when they act unethically, even unlawfully towards children and their parents, causing lifelong trauma in the process? One local authority in Herefordshire has been severely and repeatedly criticised by a high court judge for breaching children’s human rights through what the judge called “appalling” social work practice. Woman’s Hour talks to Panorama Reporter Louise Tickle about her investigation. Women in the US have been raising concerns about period and pregnancy tracking apps on phones. BBC Technology reporter Shiona McCallum and Jillian York from the American digital rights group, the Electronic Frontier Foundation, join Emma to discuss. Relationships for many of us are just downright fascinating. Susanna Abse is a psychoanalytic psychotherapist and joins Emma to discuss her new book. Presenter: Emma Barnett Producer: Emma Pearce

Weekend Woman's Hour: Emeli Sandé, Abi Morgan, Sophie Willan

Emeli Sandé is one of Britain’s most successful songwriters - with 19 million singles sold; including three number one singles, six million albums and four BRIT awards. Emeli joins Emma to discuss her music and career. How are disabled children being affected by the war in Ukraine? There are claims that thousands have been forgotten and abandoned in institutions unable to look after them. The human rights organisation, Disability Rights International, has carried out an investigation. Their Ukraine Office Director, Halyna Kurylo joins Emma. ‘Alice’s Book’ by Karina Urbach tells the story of Karina's grandmother Alice Urbach. Before the Second World War Alice wrote a cookbook called Cooking the Viennese Way! - but when books by Jewish authors couldn't be distributed, Alice was taken off it. Karina talks about her family history, intellectual theft by the Nazis and her mission to restore Alice Urbach’s name to her cookbook. Abi Morgan is a BAFTA and Emmy-award winning playwright and screenwriter whose credits include The Iron Lady, Suffragette and The Hour. She has now written her first book - This Is Not A Pity Memoir - about an extraordinarily tumultuous period in her and her family's life. Last weekend the Baftas saw Sophie Willan, the actress and creator of Alma’s Not Normal, take home an award for best female performance in comedy. The sitcom is based on Sophie’s own experience of growing up in care, and focuses on her relationship with the women in her family. Sophie dedicated her win to her grandmother, Denise Willan, who sadly passed away half-way through filming the show. Watching Eurovision tonight? Two hundred million people are expected to watch it, live from Turin. Representing the UK this year is Sam Ryder. He's doing well at the moment and is second favourite to win behind Ukraine. The UK really hasn’t done very well over recent years, but twenty-five years ago we won it with Katrina and The Waves and Love Shine a Light. Katrina joins Anita.

Alice Urbach, Your children's friends, Katrina and The Waves

‘Alice’s Book’ by Karina Urbach tells the story of Karina's grandmother Alice Urbach. Before the Second World War Alice wrote a cookbook called Cooking the Viennese Way! but when books by Jewish authors couldn't be distributed, Alice was taken off it. Karina talks about her family history, intellectual theft by the Nazis and her mission to restore Alice Urbach’s name to her cookbook. The Taliban have ruled that Afghan women will have to wear the full face veil for the first time in decades. It comes soon after the Taliban reversed their decision to allow girls to go to secondary schools. We catch up with Hasina Safi, who used to be the women’s minister in Afghanistan and is now a refugee in the UK, still living in an hotel. She joins Anita to discuss her reaction to this latest news and her hopes for the future of women in Afghanistan. Babies as young as six months recognise differences like skin colour according to research. So what’s the best way to talk to young children about race? Does it matter how diverse a child social circle is? And what about their parents' friendship groups? Tineka Smith is the author of Mixed Up: Confessions of an Interracial Couple and has a young son, and Uju Asika is an author, parenting blogger and has two teenage boys. Watching Eurovision tomorrow? Two hundred million people are expected to watch it, live from Turin. Representing the UK this year is Sam Ryder. He's doing well at the moment and is second favourite to win behind Ukraine. The UK really hasn’t done very well over recent years, but twenty-five years ago we won it with Katrina and The Waves and Love Shine a Light. Katrina joins us.

Michelle Kholos Brooks, Monica McWilliams, Mandy Garner, Cecilia Floren, Sophie Willan

H*tler’s Tasters is a dark comedy about the young women who have the “honour” of being Adolf Hitler’s food tasters. The play explores the way girls navigate sexuality, friendship, patriotism, and poison during the Third Reich. Emma Barnett talks to its award winning playwright, Michelle Kholos Brooks After a record number of women are elected to Stormont we talk to Monica McWilliams an academic, peace activist, human rights defender and former politician who co-founded the Women’s Coalition political party in 1996 and was a signatory to the 1998 Good Friday Agreement. A new survey by Working Wise has flagged that many working women are concerned about the gaps in work they've taken and what impact those gaps will have on their pension. The author of the research Mandy Garner tells us about her findings and we hear from Cecilia Floren who is worried about her pension. On Sunday, the Baftas saw Sophie Willan, the actress and creator of Alma’s Not Normal, take home an award for best female performance in comedy. The sitcom is based on Sophie’s own experience of growing up in care, and focuses on her relationship with the women in her family. Sophie dedicated her win to her grandmother, Denise Willan, who sadly passed away half-way through filming the show. She joins Emma to talk about their relationship and the importance of grandparents. Presenter: Emma Barnett Producer: Lisa Jenkinson Studio Manager: Giles Aspen Photo Credit: Hunter Canning

Jules Montague on diagnosis, Abortion in the US, A scratch and sniff T-shirt, Disabled children in Ukraine

In former consultant neurologist Jules Montague's new book, The Imaginary Patient, she looks at how they can be influenced by many external factors. Who gets to choose which conditions are "real" or not, and is that a helpful question to ask? And what implications does that have for women? She joins Emma. Michael Gove, The Levelling Up Secretary, confirmed that there will be no emergency budget to help with the cost of living, even though the Queens Speech yesterday said that the Government would help. New research says that an estimated 1 and a half million households in the UK will struggle to pay food and energy bills over the next year. Sarah Pennells is a Consumer Finance Specialist at the Pensions Provider Royal London and has been gathering data on this. How are disabled children being affected by the war in Ukraine? There are claims that thousands have been forgotten and abandoned in institutions unable to look after them. The human rights organisation, Disability Rights International, has carried out an investigation. Their Ukraine Office Director, Halyna Kurylo joins Emma. It’s been just over a week since the the publication of a leaked draft document from the Supreme Court, which suggests Justices are set to overturn the landmark Roe v Wade, ruling, which gave women in American an absolute right to an abortion. To discuss what this means for women in America Emma is joined by Associate Professor Emma Long and State Senate candidate Leslie Danks Burke. There'll be no emergency budget to help with the cost of living, even though the Queens Speech yesterday said that the Government would help. That's been confirmed by Michael Gove, The Levelling Up Secretary, this morning. We've been celebrating the emotional power of old clothes in our series Threads. Zoe, who was known as 'strawberry girl' on her small university campus in Liverpool tells us about her 'scratch-and-sniff' t-shirt.

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