Woman's Hour

Weekend Woman's Hour: 75th Birthday, Mina Smallman, Celibacy, Professor Anita Hill

Baroness Brenda Hale is a former judge who served as the first female president of the Supreme Court. She has written a book, Spider Woman, that spans her life and work.

We hear from Professor Anita Hill who thirty years ago faced an all-male, all-white Senate Judiciary Committee—led by the then, Senator Joe Biden—to testify that her boss, Supreme Court Justice nominee Clarence Thomas, had sexually harassed her. It was a landmark moment for these issues and inspired countless women to come forward with their stories, to file complaints, and even to run for office; creating an unintentional trail blazer.

Abi Sampa describes herself as a "weird warbling electric Veena player". She trained as a dentist and then appeared on The Voice in 2013, where she wowed the judges with her unique style of as a fusion of western pop and Indian classical music.

Over the last few years, the figures around celibacy have generally been on the rise - particular amongst young women. What’s to be gained from making this life choice? Anita speaks to sex therapist Danielle Bennett, and two women who have experience with celibacy. Laura Kennedy is in her 30’s and was celibate for six years. Shirley Yanez is in her 60's and became celibate as part of a conscious change in lifestyle.

Mina Smallman, the mother of Nicole Smallman and Bibaa Henry, the sisters who were murdered in a North London park last year, speaks to us about her grief and women's safety.

Joan Diana Gayford nee Wilson joined the BBC as a talks producer shortly after the Second World War. Not long after a new programme hit the airwaves. 75 years later, you can hear Emma talking to Diana Gayford who was working on Woman’s Hour when it first came to air at 2pm on 7th October 1946.

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