Woman's Hour

BBC Radio 4

Health, Kids & Family, News & Politics

The programme that offers a female perspective on the world


Hypertrichosis, 'Cuckoo Kids' law', Discrimination, Racist abuse

August 31st, 2016

Episode 675 of 985 episodes

Carol Birch's novel Orphans of the Carnival tells the true story of Julia Pastrana, a Victorian era circus performer who was described as the 'ugliest woman in the world'. Suffering from a genetic condition that meant her face and body were covered in thick hair, Julia won over crowds with her singing and dancing. But, were people fascinated by Julia's talent, or by her unusual appearance? Ghostbusters actor Leslie Jones, Olympian Gabby Douglas, and Michelle Marie, a black woman who took over the official Ireland community twitter account last week have all been inundated with racist abuse. Jane talks to Claire Heuchan a Black radical feminist from Scotland and Natalie Jeffers, co-creator of Black Lives Matter UK. A new report from the Women & Equalities Commission calls for UK women to have much greater protections after what they say is a 'shocking' increase in workplace pregnancy discrimination over the past decade. Jane Garvey is joined by Maria Miller MP, Chair of the Women & Equalities Commission, Rosalind Bragg, Director Of Maternity Action, and Dawn, who shares her personal experience of what she says was discriminatory treatment. Germany's justice ministry has drawn up a change in the law which would require mothers in certain paternity cases to reveal who they had slept with. The press have dubbed it the 'Cuckoo Kids' Law,' after the phrase for children conceived in adultery, Kuckuckskindern. BBC Berlin correspondent Damien McGuinness talks to Jane. Presenter: Jane Garvey.

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