Handbagged; Rwanda; the Army

We hear from the women the women who continue to live with the effects of the Rwandan genocide. We discuss the arguments for and against women taking on combat roles in the British Army. Moira Buffini talks about Handbagged, a play featuring Mrs Thatcher and the Queen. And Jenni Murray is joined by choreographer, Gillian Lynne.

Presenter: Jenni Murray
Producer: Louise Corley.

Release date:

Available now

58 minutes

Last on

Thu 10 Apr 2014 10:00

Women in combat roles

Many roles in the army are open to women, but they are still not allowed to join front line combat roles. The Chief of the General Staff, General Sir Peter Wall, has said that it’s time to reconsider. Jenni speaks to Major Webb, a retired Army Officer, and Doctor Cheng, a Lecturer from the King’s College London War Studies Department. 


Playwright Moira Buffini joins Jenni to talk about Handbagged. Recently transferred to the West End, the play takes a comic look at the relationship between the Queen and Margaret Thatcher as it evolved at their weekly Buckingham Palace meetings during the eleven years she was Prime Minister. Marion Bailey and Stella Gonet, who play the roles of the older Queen and older Margaret Thatcher, join in to discuss the challenges of playing two women with such huge personnas.

Handbagged runs at the Vaudeville Theatre in London until 2 August.

Dame Gillian Lynne

She is a world-famous choreographer and director and her credits include the iconic musicals Cats and The Phantom of the Opera.  At the age of 88, Dame Gillian Lynne is showing no signs of slowing down, with a new fitness DVD. So what is the secret to ageing gracefully and what she describes as “a beautiful life”?


Rwandan women and rape

This week marks the 20th anniversary of the 1994 genocide in Rwanda, during which hundreds of thousands of women and girls were raped, of these an estimated 20,000 gave birth. With loved ones lost in the genocide and rape a social taboo they were often alone in their shame, experiencing years of stigma, trauma and difficult family relationships. Amny told no one about their rapes and though they were the only one who had experienced this trauma,  Many women have not yet told their children, who are now young adults aged 19 or 20, about the circumstances of their birth.  It was the idea of some of these women to try to get together to help each other in finding ways to cope with disclosing the truth. SURF- The Survivors Fund - have supported community counselling initiatives for them. 


Felicity Finch has been to the Western Province where she met clinical psychologist Jemma Hogwood, counsellor Janviere and Clementine, who has just started her course.


Role Contributor
PresenterJenni Murray
Interviewed GuestMoira Buffini
Interviewed GuestGillian Lynne
ProducerLouise Corley

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