What is the future of spaceflight? In October, the first all-female spacewalk was conducted by Christina Koch and Jessica Meir, as they made repairs to the exterior of the International Space Station. As space missions become easier to conduct, the novelty of an all-female astronaut team will wear off. But there are still some barriers to women astronauts. To discuss the importance of diversity in space, Jane speaks to the first British astronaut, Helen Sharman, who visited Mir, the Russian space station, in 1991. Alongside Helen is Dr Varsha Jain, a gynaecological researcher interested in the physiological impact of spaceflight and zero gravity on human physiology, and Liz Seward a senior space strategist at Airbus discussing when humanity will colonise the moon and when the first woman will set foot on Mars.
Femke Halsema is Amsterdam’s first female mayor and she says she wants to make sex work in the red light district safer. The plan is to crack down on human trafficking and the humiliation women working in windows face from tourists. Four main options are being considered including closing the windows in which women work and moving the red light district altogether. A consultation has been carried out and Ena Miller went to Amsterdam to canvass the opinions of sex workers, campaigners, a brothel owner, residents and tourists about the Mayor’s plans.
A record numbers of women are standing for Parliament in the upcoming General Election - making up about a third of candidates. But where are the high profile women? Have we seen enough prominent female voices on screen and in the debates? And what impact is this having? We hear from Anne McElvoy, Senior Editor at The Economist and Alice Thomson, Associate Editor and columnist at The Times.
Presenter: Jane Garvey
Producer: Kirsty Starkey
Interviewed Guest: Dr Varsha Jain
Interviewed Guest: Helen Sharman
Interviewed Guest: Liz Seward
Reporter: Ena Miller
Interviewed Guest: Alice Thomson
Interviewed Guest: Anne McElvoy
Alison Lapper, Greek Refugee Camps, Weaning
You’ll probably know Alison Lapper. There used to be a huge marble statue of her in Trafalgar Square and it showed her 8 months pregnant, with no arms and short legs. That’s because Alison has a condition called phocomelia. This summer her son, Parys, died. He was 19, and had been struggling with mental health problems and drugs. Alison is an artist and she has an exhibition on right now. One of her pictures is of her son, but that wasn't the intention, she says, when she was painting it.
It's International Human Rights Day. We're focusing on the women and girls in migrant camps in Greece, where conditions are dangerous and risky. Sexual harassment and gender-based violence are problems as well as food and water shortages and poor sanitation. Hillary Margolis of Human Rights Watch has been there recently.
Poet and novelist Helen Mort has written a story called Weaning. It's part of an anthology called The Book of Sheffield. It's about a mother who stops breastfeeding and the impact it has on her mental health. It's also about feeling disconnected from the city of Sheffield as well as herself. Helen tells Jane how her own experience of weaning has inspired the story.
Sexual Violence in India, Mary Rose Diver, Green Christmas on a Budget
With the recent gang rape and brutal murder of a young woman in India, and news this week of another woman being set alight on her way to give evidence at her rape trial, we consider the longstanding issue of sexual violence again women in the country.
In 1979 divers were working hard, excavating the contents of Mary Rose, Henry VIII's war ship. Over the next 3 years more than 19,000 artefacts were brought to the surface. Forty years on, we speak to one of the divers, Dr Alexzandra Hildred, who went on to become Head of Research at the Mary Rose Trust.
How can you have a green Christmas if you're on a budget? We discuss eco and budget friendly ways to gift, decorate and socialise.
The first in our series about eminent women scientists: Medical pioneer, Dame Janet Vaughan whose wartime research saw advances in treatments of blood transfusion, starvation, radiation and anaemia. She later held the position of Principal of Somerville College, Oxford for over 20 years and was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society in 1979.
A 'Green' Christmas lunch, Raising bilingual children, #FreePeriods
The U.N. Secretary-General issued a dire warning this week. He said that the international effort to stop climate change has been “utterly inadequate.” What are you doing to have a greener Christmas when it comes to the food you eat? Are you considering a more sustainable alternative to turkey for Christmas lunch? We hear from the food writer and campaigner, Jack Monroe, the journalist, Nina Pullman and Jenny Costa from Rubies in the Rubble.
The President of the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists, Professor Lesley Regan, is calling for a bold approach to transform women’s health services. She tells us about her ambitions.
Dr Jessica Wade, a British physicist, tells us why she's made it her mission to include more women in Wikipedia. She's added pages for more than 800 women in STEM and tells us about some of the obstacles she's faced.
Four leading women politicians debate the ongoing problem of child poverty in the UK. We hear from Helen Whately from the Conservatives, Laura Pidcock from Labour, Dr Sarah Wollaston of the Liberal Democrats and Deidre Brock from the SNP.
How difficult is it to raise your children as multi-lingual when you’re the only person who speaks your mother tongue? We hear from Mercy Haruna, the presenter of the podcast Parentland who's trying to teach her children Igala and from Gbemi Isimi the founder of Culture Tree, who's got a Nigerian Yoruba background.
After a long campaign by #FreePeriods, the government has agreed to fund a scheme providing free sanitary products in primary and secondary schools from this January. Gemma Abbott, a campaigner for #FreePeriods, tells us how the opt-in scheme will work and Nadia Collier, a family support worker at a London primary school, tells us how The Red Box Project has been working at her school.
Liberal Democrat Leader Jo Swinson. Plus Anti-Slavery Commissioner Dame Sara Thornton
We continue our series of interviews with party leaders looking at what the political parties are doing to win women’s votes. Today it’s Jo Swinson, leader of the Liberal Democrats.
Plus we hear from a trafficked woman now living in a safe house and the new Anti-Slavery Commissioner Dame Sara Thornton, charged with listening to those brought into the UK to be used as slaves or to work in the sex trade.
Producer Beverley Purcell
Presenter Emma Barnett
Guest; Jo Swinson
Guest; Dame Sara Thornton