Woman's Hour

BBC Radio 4

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The programme that offers a female perspective on the world


Pregnancy discrimination, Anita Brookner

March 31st, 2016

Episode 539 of 722 episodes

New research by the Equality and Human Rights Commission has found that over the last ten years, the percentage of woman who report discrimination related to pregnancy or motherhood has risen from 45% to 75%. Jenni is joined by Jo Swinson, who commissioned the research, and Joeli Brearley who set up the website Pregnant Then Screwed. The novelist, Anita Brookner, died earlier this month. She came to writing comparatively late in life and her best known work was almost certainly Hotel Du Lac. The writer Laura Thompson tells us why she considers that Brookner is one of the great writers and explores the appeal of her depiction of women who may feel life hasn't turned out quite as they'd hoped. Earlier this week we discussed the Helen, Rob domestic abuse storyline in The Archers. We have had a huge response on different aspects of the situation, including many on how realistic, or not, they find the idea that Pat, Helen's mother, is unable to see what is happening right under her nose. Jenni is joined by Ruth, a listener, who also didn't see what was taking place in her own sister's relationship. According to the United Nations, over 200,000 women and children have been raped in the Democratic Republic of Congo since 1998. In the first case of its kind, former Congolese rebel leader Jean-Pierre Bemba has been found guilty of using sexual violence as a war crime at the International Criminal Court. Anneke Van Woudenberg, Deputy Director for the Africa Division at Human Rights Watch, joins Jenni to discuss what makes this such a landmark case.