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Rape Trials, Nawal El Saadawi, Women and Public Toilets

45 minutes
First broadcast:
Monday 25 July 2011

Are women inconvenienced by a lack of public toilets and might the answer lie in more unisex provision? A seminar today considers whether it's fair for equal numbers of loos to be provided for both sexes or whether women need more. Outspoken writer and activist Nawal El Saadawi is one of Egypt's leading feminists of a generation. She joins Woman's Hour to discuss her hopes of real change in the post-revolutionary era. We discuss new research based on the observation of rape and sexual assault trials which is claimed shows that the court experience is failing victims. What problems remain with the criminal justice system and how might it be improved? Treating depression with a course in gardening is being piloted by one mental health charity - we find out more about the horticultural therapy on offer. Presented by Jenni Murray.


4 items
  • Gardening on Prescription

    For anyone suffering from depression, the last thing you might expect to be prescribed by your GP is a course in gardening. A pilot scheme that’s been running in Southampton offers just that. The idea has been developed by Mayfield Nursery which is run by the charity Solent Mind. Horticultural therapy covers everything from plant propagation to dealing with pests and diseases. People with low level depression can be referred by their GP to the scheme which is funded by the local Primary Care Trust. Louise Adamson visited the nursery and met some of those taking part.

    Mayfield Nursery
  • Rape victims in court - are changes needed?

    Adult rape and sexual assault trials routinely rob victims and witnesses of dignity and respect in court, according to new research by the University of Bath. The findings come after the Milly Dowler trial, which raised questions about court processes and barristers’ questioning. So, what are the problems with the criminal justice system? Why have prosecution procedures developed in such a way? What can be done to improve the system? Jenni will be talking to Olivia Smith, PHD Researcher, University of Bath and Jeremy Dein QC.

    Stern Review
  • Women and public toilets

    Do public toilets meet women’s needs? A Women’s Design Service seminar today will be looking at whether sufficient public loos are provided for women. Jenni is joined by one of the speakers at that event – Clara Greed, Professor of Inclusive Urban Planning at the University of the West of England, and by Anne Ferguson of the British Standards Institution, which has issued a code of practice on the provision of public toilets. They’ll be discussing whether one answer might be more unisex public loos.

  • Nawal El Saadawi

    Nawal El Saadawi is an Egyptian writer and activist, and one of the leading feminists of her generation. Since the 1950s her outspoken views on female oppression have frequently caused outrage in Egypt, her books have been banned, and she has been imprisoned. But her latest novel to be translated into English, ‘Zeina’, continues to tackle issues such as religious fundamentalism, domestic violence, sexual abuse and female genital mutilation. She talks to Jenni about the situation for women in her country today, and her hope that the Egyptian revolution will bring about real change.

    ‘Zeina’, by Nawal El Saadawi, is published by Saqi

    Nawal El Saadawi's website


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