It’s no secret to anyone who follows me on Twitter (@JaneCWoods) that I have a long standing affair with Woman’s Hour. I think it’s a pearl of a programme and has been genuinely ground breaking over the years. For readers beyond the UK, Woman’s Hour is a programme on BBC radio 4 which began in 1946. The first presenter was a man! Well, it was 1946… (see more here on BBC website). It covers anything which women are interested in so that’s just about anything you care to mention!
The programme has always been at the centre of the debate on women’s rights and issues that were rarely aired in public. ‘Down below’ issues like periods, haemorrhoids, birth, and the menopause. Recently it devoted a whole item to digestion and the end product! For years it was the only place that you could hear these topics openly discussed. Plus, literature, poetry, theatre, politics… Totally brilliant. I think I first began listening regularly when I was home after the birth of my daughter, Laura, in 1981. And I was addicted. No one else was treating women’s issues with this level of respect or gravitas. Over the years it’s got more overtly feminist in ground covered but always manages to engage the listener rather than alienate.
It now has two main presenters, Jane Garvey and Dame Jenni Murray; for a long time Jenni presented it on her own. At one point it was even suggested it be called the Jenni Murray show, a move fiercely resisted by all involved, especially Jenni herself. So, dear reader, you can imagine my excitement when Jenni said, yes, of course I’m happy to be interviewed by you. My skipping around the kitchen was only matched by the skipping foray after being asked to appear on the show itself, (more on that little excitement here Plastic Surgery and Me).
We did the interview recently and covered a lot of ground: Jenni’s breast cancer, Mothers, childbirth, gender equality, sexism, first jobs, and so on. I recorded it and when I’ve mastered (or should that mistressed) the editing I will put the audio version out. Meanwhile I’ll write it up for our Inspirational Women section, so keep your eyes peeled for that sometime soon. I guarantee you will love it!
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Posted on May 8th, 2015 by Jane