Reading in schools; Australian election; gay rights in Uganda; medal-winning rower, Helen Glover

Can parents help children improve their reading or should it be left to the teachers? This Saturday voters in Australia's general election go to the polls - but in a campaign in which women candidates have been rated for their "sex appeal" and opposition leader Tony Abbott has bragged about his daughters' attractiveness in a bid to win votes - what can women expect from the 2013 election? Gay rights campaigners on the discrimination blighting the lives of gay people in Uganda; and Olympic and World champion, rower Helen Glover. Jenni Murray presents the programme that offers a female perspective on the world.

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58 minutes

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Fri 6 Sep 2013 10:00

Reading in school

As primary schools reopen for another academic year, many will be opening their doors to parents and other volunteers who give up their time to listen to children read in the classroom. The arrangement is commonplace and ensures that children get an opportunity to practise their reading skills with an adult, even if they don’t get to read at home with their own parents. However, earlier this summer, Jo Saxton – an education expert who has advised the current and previous governments on the primary curriculum – said that parents who go into state schools to listen to children read lack the skills to raise standards. She believes that the teaching of reading should be left to qualified teachers alone. So are parents who volunteer in this way wasting their time, or worse – doing damage? Jenni is joined by Jo and Pete Mountstephen, the chair of the National Association of Primary Headteachers.

Gay rights in Uganda

Patience Akumu is an award-winning  journalist who has written about the lives – and deaths – of gay activists for five years in the Kampala Observer.  In Uganda homosexuality is illegal and homophobia is so severe that in 2009 Parliament introduced a bill calling for gay people to be executed.  Despite hate mail,  and threats and alienation from friends  Patience she says she won’t stop writing about gay rights in Uganda.  Jenni Murray will be talking to Patience, along with a gay activist, about the deep-rooted discrimination that blights the lives of gay people in their country.

Helen Glover

Six years ago, Helen Glover was just graduating from University and preparing for a teacher training course. Though she was a keen long distance runner, she had never been involved in rowing. Today she is the reigning Olympic and World Champion after winning gold in the women’s pair at London 2012 with her crew mate Heather Stanning, as well as having just completed an undefeated season at the World Championships with crew mate Polly Swann. She joins Jenni to look back at her career so far.

Women in the Australian General Election

This Saturday voters in Australia’s general election go to the polls. Women candidates have been rated for their “sex appeal” and opposition leader Tony Abbott has bragged about his daughters' attractiveness in a bid to win votes. Just months after the country’s first female Prime Minister, Julia Gillard, was ousted from government following a leadership plagued by misogynistic abuse, what can Australian women expect from the 2013 election? Jenni talks to Professor Louise Chappell, a politics expert from the University of New South Wales.

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PresenterJenni Murray

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