The RSPB now has more female members than male members and yet, according to research, women don’t really get involved with competitive bird watching. The RSPB was founded by Emily Williamson in Manchester in 1889 to protest at the trade in bird feathers for women’s hats and in its earliest days its membership consisted entirely of women. So, despite the fact that most ‘twitchers’ are men, why is the bulk of the RSPB’s membership female? Research has shown that women have a different relationship with birds ….why is that? To discuss the issue, Jenni is joined by Gemma Hall, who has written about women and birdwatching for the August edition of the BBC’s Wildlife magazine, and by Katie-Jo Luxton, the Director of RSPB Cymru. The appropriately named Geoff Bird has been to meet some of the RSPB’s enthusiastic female members at the Leighton Moss RSPB reserve near Morecambe Bay.
Older women and work
On Tuesday’s programme Jane Garvey spoke to Maria Miller about a new report by the Women’s Business Council: “Maxmimising women’s contribution to future economic growth”. One of the challenges the report highlighted for women in the 3rd stage of their working life was the problem of keeping their skills updated - and learning new ones - in an ever changing workplace. Recent figures show that once unemployed – for those aged 50-64 - it’s harder to get back into work than any other group. So what action can older women take to keep themselves relevant in the the world of work. To discuss the issues Jenni is joined by Professor Marilyn Davidson, Emeritus Professor of Work Psychology at the Manchester Business School and Victoria Tomlinson, chief executive, Northern Lights PR & Marketing.
Women protesting in Turkey
The photograph dominating every news website at the moment shows a young woman wearing a red cotton summer dress, necklace and white handbag being sprayed with teargas by a masked policeman in Taksim Square, Istanbul. It is an image that has become the leitmotif for female protesters during this week’s violent anti-government demonstrations in Turkey and it has also been plastered on walls where the woman appears much bigger than the policeman. "The more you spray the bigger we get" reads the slogan next to it. With swimming goggles and flimsy surgical masks to give themselves meager protection from the water cannon and teargas, many young Turkish women are joining the protests on the streets because they mistrust Prime Minister Erdogan. They feel threatened by his support for the wearing of the Islamic headscarf, his opposition to abortion and his campaigns against the sale of alcohol and kissing in public. They are concerned that he wants to roll back women’s rights which were encouraged by the founding father of modern day Turkey – Mustafa Kemal Ataturk. He created a secular republic in 1923 and encouraged women to work and to wear Western clothes [without a headscarf]. Dr Gul Berna Ozcan, from the School of Management at the University of London, talks about why Turkish women have joined the protests on the streets.
Teaching children about finance
For the first time, compulsory education about personal finance is included in the draft national curriculum for England and will become part of maths and PHSE lessons in secondary schools from September 2014. Lessons about finance are already taught in Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland to children from the ages of 7 but not to primary school children in England. This week (Monday June 3), a survey by the charity Personal Finance Education Group (PFEG) shows that teenagers have huge gaps in their knowledge about money and financial planning. Nearly half (42%) can’t identify whether or not an account is in credit or overdrawn form the bank statement, more than a third (36%) don’t know the meaning of APR in relation to interest charges on loans or credit cards and around one in eight (13%) don’t even know what an overdraft is. So, what should we be teaching our children about personal finance and should children as young as 7 be getting these lessons too? To discuss, Jenni is joined by Tracey Bleakley, Chief Executive of the charity PFEG and by Hattie Garlick from the Save Childhood Movement.