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Queens of Noise: Rip It Up - Episode 2
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Last on

Mon 10 Sep 2012 20:00 BBC Radio 4 FM only

28 minutes
First broadcast:
Monday 10 September 2012

Twenty years ago barrister Helena Kennedy wrote her book "Eve Was Framed" drawing attention to widespread discrimination against women in our criminal justice system. Back then senior judges and lawyers were nearly all men and the system was rife with prejudices and misconceptions about women's behaviour - both as victims and offenders.

Since then, and despite progress on many fronts, the number of women sent to prison has trebled, growing at a faster rate then men.

Helena Kennedy sets out to indentify the extent to which women are still marginalised within the system. She is concerned that both the police and the courts, in an attempt to treat men and women equally, are failing to take into account the social and psychological differences.

She explores cases of women who have received rough justice at the hands of the authorities and asks how have we arrived at a situation where every year 17,000 children are separated from their mothers by prison.

Helena talks to lawyers, judges, academics and politicians to get to the bottom of what is going wrong, who is to blame and what needs to change.

Produced by: Gina Peach & Brian King
An Above The Title Production for BBC Radio 4.


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