Listen in pop-out player

Presented by Jenni Murray. Clare Short on leaving Westminster after 27 years as an MP. Once regarded as a firebrand of the left, Tony Blair brought her into Labour's first cabinet and gave her a department to run before she famously fell out with him over the decision to go to war with Iraq. She looks back at her parliamentary career.

The Intensive Care Unit at Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children is the subject of a new BBC2 television series starting tonight. The series follows the decision making process as it unfolds between doctors and parents as they face some of the most difficult ethical dilemmas in medicine in supporting severely sick children. While modern technology might make it possible to keep a child alive on a ventilator machine, if a child is not getting better at what point do doctors advise parents it's no longer right to carry on? Jenni is joined by Dr. Christine Pierce, Intensive Care Consultant at Great Ormond Street Hospital, and by John Harris, Professor of Bioethics at the University of Manchester.

Lola Shoneyin's first novel is the story of a polygamous family in Nigeria. Babi Segi is a rich, rotund patriarch. He has four competing wives and their children make up a clamorous household of twelve. In real life, Nigerian writer Lola had first-hand experience of polygamy; her grandfather had five wives. Her grandmother, the first to marry him, never forgave him. Lola discusses why she's written the book, what polygamy feels like for those involved and why it's still common in Nigeria.

Queen Isabella of Spain, Catherine de' Medici and Lucrezia Borgia: powerful female figures in early modern and Renaissance history who have become synonymous with the evils of the Inquisition, massacre and Machiavellian murder plots. But have these women been given an unfairly bad press and why? Author Theresa Breslin, whose historical fiction have featured all three women, is joined by Warwick University's Dr Penny Roberts to discuss whether these women have been singled out for their ruthlessness because they were women in men's roles.

Available now

45 minutes

Last on

Tue 6 Apr 2010 10:00

The Woman’s Hour 2015 Power List: Influencers

Polling for Woman's Hour: 2015 Election

Woman's Hour

Woman's Hour reveals the findings of research into what women make of British politics.

Woman's Hour Chore Wars

Woman's Hour Chore Calculator - Promo

How equal is your household? Calculate the division of responsibilities in your home.

Radio 4 ♥ Knitting


The wonderful world of knittig - programmes, patterns & galleries. Image @DorothyLollipop

Woman's Hour Takeover

Woman's Hour Takeover

Five remarkable women take over Woman's Hour for one week.