Woman's Hour

BBC Radio 4

Health, Kids & Family, News & Politics

The programme that offers a female perspective on the world


Muslim women and learning English; Drew Gilpin Faust, the first woman president at Harvard

January 19th, 2016

Episode 472 of 724 episodes

David Cameron has just announced that an extra 20 million should be available to teach English to Muslim women. Few people dispute the value of better access to English lessons, but David Cameron has angered many people by singling out the Muslim community and Muslim women in particular and suggesting that a lack of English might make you more susceptible to extremist viewpoints. We look at the situation of Muslim women without language skills in the UK today. Drew Gilpin Faust was the first woman to become the President of Harvard University, the first president since 1672 without a degree from Harvard and the first to have been brought up in the South. She has always been a passionate campaigner for equality. She talks about developments in education and at Harvard in particular during the nine years she has been doing the job. In 2011 the UK's still birth ranked at 33rd out of 35 high income countries. The latest research published in The Lancet now places the UK 21st, but things aren't improving here as quickly as in other European countries. We speak to Dr Alex Heazell, a report co-author and Senior Clinical Lecturer in Obstetrics at Manchester's Saint Mary's Hospital, and to Louise Silverton, Director for Midwifery at the Royal College of Midwives. Baroness Joyce Gould was Director of Organisation for the Labour Party during politically tumultuous 1980s. In her memoir The Witchfinder General, Joyce describes her role in rooting out the Militant Tendency. She joins Jane to talk about her sixty-four years with the Labour Party.

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