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Women's Hour

27/07/2021

Women's voices and women's lives - topical conversations to inform, challenge and inspire.

Support for black and minoritised women facing domestic violence; South Asian women in sport; Midwives under pressure

The government’s new violence against women and girls strategy was published last Wednesday. Many organisations welcomed the commitments it made but many had criticisms for areas not addressed, not least the specific needs of Black and minoritized women when facing domestic violence. Ngozi Fulani is the founder and director of Sistah Space, a small charity that offers specialist support for African & Caribbean heritage women affected by abuse. Professor Aisha K. Gill is an expert criminologist at University of Roehampton, working on violence against women/girls in Black and minoritised communities for over 20 years. They discuss the needs of these women and how big a problem this is in Black and minoritized communities. Why there is a lack of visibility of South Asian Women in sport? Mara Hafezi is a women's health coach and personal trainer, working predominantly with South Asian women. An endurance sport enthusiast, she is the Sports Co-Lead for South Asian Heritage Month. Shaheen Kasmani is a senior project manager for Maslaha, an organisation that seeks to change and challenge the conditions that create inequalities for Muslim communities. Shaheen also helps run Muslim Girls Fence - set up to encourage young Muslim women into fencing. Maternity services in the UK have in recent years faced a series of scandals, reports and investigations - all of which highlight the failings in midwifery. But what do the midwives themselves think of it all? Jessica speaks to two midwives about their experience of working on the front line and what they think needs to happen to turn things around. What does home mean to you? A place, a physical structure, a deep emotional bond or an absence of any of these? The visual artist Harriet Hill has just completed a month-long walk from her home in South-East London to her childhood home in Mid Wales. She was wearing a costume of the word ‘HOME’, made from yellow canvas over a bamboo and fibreglass frame mounted on a pair of 20” bike wheels. Inside the word was everything sh

Amy Winehouse remembered; Canadian residential schools; Women at the Tokyo Olympics; Typewriters; Casual workwear

It is 10 years since the tragic death of the singer Amy Winehouse from alcohol poisoning at the age of just 27. A new documentary film, Reclaiming Amy on the BBC on features Amy's closest friends and family and seeks to tell the story of the real Amy. We hear from her mother, Janis and close friend Catriona Gourlay. For the first time in 125 years, Team GB are taking more women athletes to the Tokyo Olympics than men. So could this be the best ever Games for women? Dame Katherine Grainger, Britain's joint most decorated female Olympian and Chair of UK Sport; double Olympic boxing champion Nicola Adams and Anna Kessel, Women's Sport Editor at The Telegraph discuss. More than 1000 bodies of indigenous children have been found in unmarked graves outside of former residential schools in several parts of Canada over the last few months. Assistant Professor in the History & Classics Department from the University of Alberta tells us about the history of these schools - and the impact they had on the indigenous communities in Canada. And President of the Native Women’s Association of Canada, Lorraine Whitman talks about the aftermath of these discoveries - and the fight for justice for the many missing and murdered indigenous women across the country. We also hear from artistic swimmers Kate Shortman and Izzy Thorpe who are representing Great Britain at the Tokyo Olympics. The pair have spoken out about receiving trolling and bullying for their professional synchronised swimmer physiques, describing themselves as having "big shoulders, small boobs and small bums". The fashion historian Lucy Adlington & Style Coach Loulou Storey discuss workwear trends. In the digital age, the humble typewriter seems rather quaint. But according to a new exhibition at the National Museum of Scotland, the typewriter is a technology with a key role in the story of female emancipation. We hear from the exhibition's principal curator, Alison Taubman. Presenter: Anita Rani Producer: Dianne McGregor

Kate Shortman & Izzy Thorpe, Dame Katherine Grainger, Nicola Adams, Anna Kessel, Frankie Miren, Laura Middleton-Hughes.

The Opening Ceremony of the Tokyo Olympics starts today and Team GB are taking more women athletes than men for the first time in 125 years. Of the 376 athletes selected, 201 are female. So could this be the best ever Games for women? We talk to Dame Katherine Grainger, Britain's joint most decorated female Olympian and Chair of UK Sport; double Olympic boxing champion Nicola Adams and Anna Kessel, Women's Sport Editor at The Telegraph. Staying with the games, we’ll hear from artistic swimmers Kate Shortman and Izzy Thorpe who are representing Great Britain at Tokyo 2020. The pair have spoken out about receiving trolling and bullying for their professional synchronised swimmer physiques, describing themselves as having "big shoulders, small boobs and small bums". We talk to the writer and activist Frankie Miren’s about her novel "The Service" in which she draws on her personal experience to look at the vulnerabilities and dangers of life as a sex worker. One listener has contacted us about a new support group they've set up based on her own experiences of abuse within a religious organisation. She tells us about “Escape-escapee” which she says will help people who want to leave what she calls "high control groups". She was abused by a member of the Jehovah's Witnesses and her case went to the High Court six years ago. Another listener Laura Middleton-Hughes got in touch about her nipple tattoos. She tells Anita why she chose to have 3D areoles tattooed on her breasts after reconstructive surgery, Presenter: Anita Rani Producer: Lisa Jenkinson Studio Engineer: John Boland

Off the Rails Film, Bella Mackie, Long Covid, #MeToo around the world

Jules Williamson has directed her first feature film in her fifties. The premier is tonight. Off the Rails is a celebration of women. It centres round four friends who went Inter-railing when they were 19, who when one of them dies, revisit the same journey later in life taking her daughter this time. It’s a comedy drama with a great female cast - starring Sally Phillips, the late Kelly Preston (in her final role), Dame Judi Dench and Jenny Seagrove. Jules and Sally Phillips join Chloe Tilley to explain how long it took to bring this story to the screen, the messages of friendship and ‘anything is possible’, and why it has an iconic Blondie soundtrack. The number of young people hospitalised with eating disorders in England has risen during the pandemic, a BBC investigation has found. Data from NHS Digital showed the number of under-20s admitted over the past year was more than 3,200 - nearly 50% higher than in 2019-20. Hospitals are warning they are running out of beds to care for these patients, and waits for community treatment have lengthened as the number of referrals has increased. BEAT estimate 1.25million people in the UK have an eating disorder. The condition can affect anyone at any time, but girls and young women aged 12-20 are most at risk. To discuss the issues Chloe is joined by Professor Sandeep Ranote, Consultant Paediatric Psychiatrist in Eating Disorders. What has the impact of the ~MeToo movement had around the world? A new book ‘Awakening’: #MeToo and the Global Fight for Women’s Rights contains stories of women around the world who, inspired by the #MeToo movement have worked fearlessly in promoting the rights of women in their countries, sometimes at the risk of their own safety and potential imprisonment. We hear from Fakhrriyyah Hashim who pioneered the conversation on sexual violence in Northern Nigeria and from the book’s co-author, and former president of the Malala Fund, Meighan Stone. How To Kill Your Family is the darkly comic first novel by Bella Mackie. Grace has calmly mur

Amy Winehouse remembered; Women's cricket; Botox and fillers; Violence against women strategy

This Friday marks 10 years since the tragic death of the singer Amy Winehouse from alcohol poisoning at the age of just 27. A new documentary film, Reclaiming Amy on BBC 2 on Friday at 9pm features Amy's closest friends and family and seeks to tell the story of the real Amy. We hear from her mother, Janis and close friend Catriona Gourlay. A brand-new cricket competition, the Hundred is launching today. It's the first time a major team sport competition, which features both male and female teams, has opened with a women’s match. Despite a push for equality, the women playing in this tournament are set to earn thousands of pounds less than the men. Can this competition change things further for women in cricket? Head of the Women's Hundred and Female Engagement at the ECB, Beth Barrett-Wild and English international cricketer, Kate Cross join Chloe to discuss. After a year long inquiry the all party parliamentary group on aesthetics beauty and wellbeing has called for much tougher regulation of Botox and fillers. MPs say the lack of proper regulation is putting women at risk. But their report stops short of recommending that only healthcare practitioners should be allowed to inject. We hear about the background and some of the horror stories from our reporter Melanie Abbott, and then from David Sines, who chairs the body registering practitioners and overseeing training providers, the Joint Council of Cosmetic Practitioners and Leslie Blair from the British Association of Beauty therapy and Cosmetology, which represents therapists. Plans to tackle violence against women and girls following the mass protests when the marketing executive Sarah Everard was murdered on her way home from a friend's house, have been unveiled by the government. This strategy also comes amid concern about low rape conviction rates and a culture of sexual harassment at schools. Chloe is joined by Andrea Simon, Director of End Violence Against Women Coalition and BBC special correspondent, Lucy Manning.

Typewriters; Canadian residential schools; Isy Suttie; Stealthing

In the digital age, the humble typewriter seems rather quaint. But according to a new exhibition at the National Museum of Scotland, the typewriter is a technology with a key role in the story of female emancipation. The exhibition's principal curator, Alison Taubman, talks to Chloe Tilley about how typewriters provided a key opening into the world of work, propelled women into the public sphere, and played a major role in the fight for women's suffrage. More than 1000 bodies of indigenous children have been found in unmarked graves outside of former residential schools in several parts of Canada over the last few months. Assistant Professor in the History & Classics Department from the University of Alberta tells us about the history of these schools - and the impact they had on the indigenous communities in Canada. And President of the Native Women’s Association of Canada, Lorraine Whitman joins us to talk about the aftermath of these discoveries - and the fight for justice for the many missing and murdered indigenous women across the country. 'Jane is Trying' is the first novel by comedian, writer and actor Isy Suttie. Jane is trying in three senses. She is trying to get pregnant (or she was before her life fell apart and she had to run home to mum and dad), she is trying to deal with her anxiety and she is trying in the sense of being a bit irritating and needy. Isy joins Chloe Tilley to talk about writing a relatable character and how the concept of 'home' shapes the novel. Journalist and the author of Millennial Love, Olivia Petter wrote about being stealth raped, a term used to describe the act of removing a condom without a partner’s consent. Following the article, she was contacted by women telling her they’d also been stealth raped and detailing the impact and trauma they had experienced. Olivia explains why it’s important for women to share their experiences and is joined by lawyer Harriet Johnson.

Maria Callas, Loulou Storey & Lucy Adlington on casual workwear, International Aid legal challenge & slavery reparations

Maria Callas is one of the most famous opera singers. She was brought up in New York and Greece by an emotionally abusive mother who forced her to sing. Despite being admired by Hollywood stars and royalty, she fought sexism to rise to the top but never had a happy private life. Lyndsy Spence's new book Cast a Diva draws on previously unseen documents to reveal her tragic story. Stacie Marshall has inherited her family's farm in a small Appalachian valley in the US state of Georgia. She'd vaguely known about the history of her family and their land but it wasn't until she moved into her grandparents house that she realised her family had in fact owned seven enslaved people. Now Stacie, the only young woman running a farm in the valley, is trying to make amends for the wrongs of her ancestors. She joins us live from Georgia and we also hear from Nkechi Taifa a civil and human rights lawyer and long-standing reparations advocate. A charity that provides sexual and reproductive support to disadvantaged women around the world is threatening legal action against the UK government, over their recent decision to cut the international aid budget by around £4 billion. We speak to Mina Barlow, Director for External Relations at The International Planned Parenthood Foundation. And we look at the new casual officewear trends with Fashion Historian Lucy Adlington & Style Coach Loulou Storey to consider if the way we dress for work has changed forever? Presenter: Chloe Tilley Producer: Lisa Jenkinson Studio Manager: Sue Maillot

Weekend Woman's Hour: The Three Hijabis, 150 years of Female GPs & going braless

Three female football fans – hashtag ‘TheThreeHijabis - as they called themselves set up a petition calling for racists to be banned for life from all football matches in England. Shaista Aziz, Amna Abdullatif and Huda Jawad tell us about the petition which now has over a million signatories. As the Royal College of GPs marks 150 years of women in general practice we ask why more than half of GPs in the UK are women. We also discuss why women GP’s may still face issues like lower pay compared to men in their field. We hear from the President of the Royal College of GPs, Dr Amanda Howe and GP trainee, Dr Sophie Lumley. After more than a year of working from home during the pandemic, a third of women say they want to ditch their bra forever. Joanna Wakefield-Scurr, is Professor in Biomechanics at the University of Portsmouth she talks about the pros and cons of not wearing a bra. A Government challenge to a Parole Board decision to release Colin Pitchfork has been rejected - paving the way for the double child killer to be freed in the next few weeks. Pitchfork has served 33 years in prison after being jailed for raping and murdering 15-year-olds Lynda Mann and Dawn Ashworth in the 1980s. We hear from Philip Musson the uncle of Dawn Ashworth and from Belinda Winder, a Professor of Forensic Psychology and Research Director of the Centre of Crime, Offending, Prevention and Engagement (COPE) at Nottingham Trent University, and from David Wilson Emeritus Professor of Criminology at Birmingham University. Deborah James is a the host of the BBC's You, Me And The Big C podcast, a campaigner, writer and mother of two. She tells us about her recent experience of liver failure followed by sepsis and how she attended Wimbledon only 12 hours after leaving hospital. And we have music and chat from Bronwen Lewis a Welsh singer songwriter whose style sits between Country, Pop, Folk and Blues. Presenter: Anita Rani Producer: Rabeka Nurmahomed Editor: Siobhann Tighe

Bronwen Lewis, Football Racists Ban and 'The Three Hijabis', Pregnancy & the Covid Vaccine, The Joy of Skating

Bronwen Lewis is a Welsh singer songwriter whose style sits between Country, Pop, Folk and Blues. She starred in the BAFTA Award Winning and Golden Globe nominated film ‘Pride’ where she sang the theme song ‘Bread and Roses' and brought Tom Jones to tears during her time on BBC’s The Voice in 2013. Proudly bilingual, this year her TikTok following grew as she went viral for her Welsh language covers of famous Pop songs and singing the Welsh National anthem in the lead up to the Wales v Denmark Euros game. She joins Anita to discuss her passion to promote the Welsh language and the inspiration behind her new music. Three female football fans – hashtag ‘The Three Hijabis - set up a petition calling for racists to be banned for life from all football matches in England. This was in response to the shocking levels of racism that was directed towards Marcus Rashford, Jadon Sancho and Bukayo Saka on social media after their missed penalties resulted in England losing to Italy in the Euro 2020 final. Within 48 hours Shaista Aziz, Amna Abdullatif and Huda Jawad had more than a million signatories and on Wednesday, the Prime Minister announced that he would ensure the football banning regime was changed and that people guilty of online racist abuse towards players would be banned from football matches. And yesterday it was announced that people have been arrested after the English footballers were racially abused online. Like many others our reporter Ena Miller took up a new hobby over lockdown - skating. As a form of socially distanced, COVID -compliant exercise it's boomed over the last 18 months and manufacturers of skates are struggling with demand. Ena is still learning and for us she put on her beautiful new roller skates and gingerly joined the legions of women who skate in car parks, on the streets and in halls all over the country. Pregnant women are facing a “perfect storm” of risks according to the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologis

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