Gender Matters

At a party to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the feminist press Virago last week, writes Sarah Dunant, the current head of the company told the story of how one night she asked one of Virago's founders why she had started the company. "To change the world of course" was the reply.

Forty years on, Sarah, a Virago author herself, wonders just how much Virago has changed the world.

She talks about how, a few weeks ago, as she waited for an hour in the studio of the Today Programme to be interviewed for a piece about female characters in fiction, she didn't hear a single women's voice.

She tells how last month, the Australian writer and academic, Kathryn Heyman, got into a very public spat with The London Review of Books because of a dearth of women writers in its pages.

And the ousting of Julia Gillard as Australia's Prime Minister last week is the most striking example that Virago's mission is not yet complete.

But Sarah takes some comfort from the fact that Kevin Rudd, the new PM, has an unprecedented six new women in his cabinet.

Producer: Adele Armstrong.

Release date:

10 minutes

Last on

Sun 7 Jul 2013 08:48

A Point of View: The long march of everywoman

Forty years ago, a small publishing house set out to help redress the gender imbalance in literature and the media. There is still work to be done, says Sarah Dunant.


Read Sarah Dunant’s article on the BBC News website




Role Contributor
PresenterSarah Dunant
ProducerAdele Armstrong

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