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Women in Iraq 10 years on; Tracy Chevalier

58 minutes
First broadcast:
Thursday 14 March 2013

The female lobby in Rome for the papal election: Guardian journalist Joanna Moorhead on the "pink smoke" events aimed at raising the profile of women in the Catholic Church. Tracy Chevalier on her latest novel, The Last Runaway. Pat Wilkinson, another of our listeners hit by recent changes to state pensions. Women in Iraq 10 years on: Houzan Mahmood talks to Sheila McLennon about an exhibition at the Imperial War Museum North. And introducing partners to parents - what can possibly go wrong? We're joined by Hepzibah Anderson and Angie le Mar.

Presented by Jenni Murray
Produced by Louise Corley.


5 items
  • Pink Smoke

    Joanna Moorhead, journalist and Catholic commentator on the Roman Catholic women’s lobby in Rome and the ‘Pink Smoke’ events, which aim to raise the profile of women within the Church during the Papal election.

  • Tracy Chevalier

    Tracy Chevalier

    Tracy Chevalier’s seventh novel, The Last Runaway, tells the story of a modest Quaker, Honor Bright, who leaves 1850s England for a new life in America. Here she is drawn to a slave hunter, while simultaneously getting embroiled in the runaway slave smuggling operation that is the Underground Railroad. Tracy joins Jenni to discuss her love of writing historical fiction and to explain why she could be described as a ‘method’ novelist.


    The Last Runaway by Tracy Chevalier is published by Harper Collins on 14th March

  • Pension Changes case studies

    Back in January we looked at the recent government proposals to move toward a flat-rate state pension and the benefits and drawbacks of those changes for women.   Jenni spoke to the Pensions Minister, Steve Webb and Dame Anne Begg MP, Chair of the Work and Pensions Committee, who raised her concerns about the estimated 430,000 women who could lose out under these alterations.   People have been submitting evidence to the Select Committee, and the recommendations are expected to come out at the end of March – before Easter.    This week on Woman’s Hour we’ve been hearing differing experiences of how women affected by state pension changes are coping.  Jenni speaks to Pat Wilkinson about her experience.
  • Meeting The Parents

    Angie Le Mar

    Meeting a partner’s parents for the first time can fill us with feelings ranging from mild apprehension to pure dread. Should you brief your partner on what to expect or just go with the flow? And how do you react as a parent, especially if you have misgivings about your child’s choice? Journalist Hepzibah Anderson and comedian Angie Le Mar discuss their experiences and the pitfalls to avoid. It's a subject that has been the inspiration for the current BBC comedy series Cuckoo



  • Women In Iraq

    Iraqi Woman

    This month marks the 10th anniversary of the US-led invasion of Iraq and the end of Saddam Hussein. But despite the fact that a much hated regime no longer exists, the last ten years have not been easy for the Iraqi people and the lives of Iraqi women, in particular, have become much harder. Sheila McLennon takes Kurdish activist Houzan Mahmoud, spokesperson for the Organisation of Women's Freedom in Iraq, to the Imperial War Museum North to view a new exhibition of Iraqi war photographs by award winning Guardian photographer Sean Smith. They discuss the impact that conflict has had on Houzan and on the lives of Iraqi women.


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