30/05/2014

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Twenty six women who say they are in love with Roman Catholic priests have written to Pope Francis urging him to make celibacy optional. The women described the "devastating suffering" caused by the church's ban on priests having sex and marrying. But could celibacy ever be optional in the Catholic Church?

Last week, at the World Health Assembly in Geneva, governments reviewed the Every Newborn Action Plan. It's the first time there has been a global plan that targets the preventable deaths of newborn babies and mothers within a generation, and UNICEF and the World Health Organisation launch it in June. It advocates the care of every pregnant woman, a healthy start for every baby, and it set targets to improve care for babies and mothers. But are the targets achievable and how will they be funded? Jenni speaks to Dr Hannah Blencowe, one of the authors of a report that contributed evidence to the Every Newborn Action Plan, and to Professor Nynke van den Broek, Head of the Centre for Maternal and Newborn Health at the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine.

Back in 1872 American women's rights campaigner Victoria Claflin was the first woman ever to run for President. She and her sister Tennie were also the first women in America to open a brokerage on Wall Street. They advocated "free love" and as a result were embroiled in one of America's biggest sex scandals of the day. A new book, The Scarlet Sisters: Sex, Suffrage and Scandal in the Gilded Age, charts Victoria and Tennie's lives. It's author Myra MacPherson shares their story of humble beginnings to eventually marrying two of the richest men in England.

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58 minutes

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Fri 30 May 2014 10:00

Women who love priests

Earlier this month, 26 women wrote to Pope Francis, asking him to make priestly celibacy in the Catholic Church optional. When the Pope was asked about the issue earlier this week, he said that while he sees celibacy as “a gift to the church”, he feels that “the door is always open” to change. According to Advent, the support group for men and women and their partners who have left the active ministry, in the last 50 years some 10,000 men in England and Wales have left the priesthood in order to marry. So could celibacy ever be optional in the Catholic Church? Jenni is joined by Alex Walker, who left the priesthood to marry 25 years ago and now runs Advent, and Madeleine Teahan, Associate Editor of the Catholic Herald.

Scarlet Sisters

There’s been a lot of discussion in American papers in recent weeks about who may run for President in the 2016 US elections. It’s rumoured that Hillary Clinton may again be put forward as the Democratic candidate. Of course if she was to win she would be the first woman ever to do so - but she’s certainly not the first woman ever to have made a bid for it. Back in 1872 American women’s rights campaigner Victoria Claflin was the first woman ever to run for President, with former slave and civil rights activist Frederick Douglass as her running mate. She and her sister Tennie were also the first women in America to open a brokerage on Wall Street, and ran a weekly newspaper where they published articles on women’s suffrage, the labour market, and civil rights. They also advocated “free love” – women’s right to take lovers without being married – and as a result were embroiled in one of America’s biggest sex scandals of the day. The Scarlett Sisters: Sex, Suffrage and Scandal in the Gilded Age charts Victoria and Tennie’s lives, from humble beginnings to eventually marrying two of the richest men in England. The author Myra MacPherson joins Jenni.     

Unicef: Every Newborn Action Plan

Last week, at the World Health Assembly in Geneva, governments reviewed the Every Newborn Action Plan. It’s the first time there has been a global plan that targets the preventable deaths of newborn babies and mothers within a generation, and UNICEF and the World Health Organisation launch it in June. Targets include the promotion of breastfeeding, neonatal resuscitation, kangaroo mother care for preterm babies, and the prevention and treatment of infections, all that must be achieved by 2030. But are the targets achievable and how will they be funded?

Jenni speaks to Dr Hannah Blencowe, one of the authors of the Lancet Every Newborn series which contributed evidence to the Every Newborn Action Plan, and to Professor Nynke van den Broek, Head of the Centre for Maternal and Newborn Health at the Liverpool School of tropical medicine.

WW2 Evacuees

Margaret and Kathleen Wright are twins and they were seven when they left their parents in Southend to live with Joyce Johnson and her father in Derbyshire.  Margaret and Kathleen are now 81 and Joyce is 95 but they are still in touch after all these years. Bob Walker went to one of their reunions at Joyce's house.

Credits

Role Contributor
PresenterJenni Murray
Interviewed GuestDr Hannah Blencowe
Interviewed GuestProfessor Nynke van den Broek
Interviewed GuestMyra MacPherson
ProducerJo Meek

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