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Abortion law; Women and art; Giving up booze; Colleen McCullough; Success stories

Jenni Murray and guests discuss abortion law in Northern Ireland, how Manet changed the depiction of women in art, giving up the booze and encouraging Muslim girls into university.

Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission is taking the devolved government in Belfast to the high court over its refusal to reform the abortion law. The Commission wants a change in the law so that women and girls in Northern Ireland have the choice of accessing a termination of pregnancy in circumstances of serious foetal abnormality, rape or incest. What is the basis for their legal challenge?

Are you among the thousands of women who resolved to cut down or stop drinking for January? Or perhaps you're among those who're hoping to give up the booze for good? A new wave of clubs and websites is springing up to support the growing numbers of women who are worried about their alcohol intake, but how do they differ from Alcoholics Anonymous and can they really help?

This weekend a new exhibition exploring the legacy of one of the most important and controversial artists of modern times opens at the Norwich Castle art gallery. The French artist, Edouard Manet's provocative paintings of women scandalised the Paris art world, but they challenged traditional depictions of women, and paved the way for professional female artists of the early 20th century. We discuss the impact of his work.

Australian Author, Colleen McCullough, has died at the age of 77. Her most famous novel, The Thorn Birds, a story of an unlikely affair between a young woman and a priest, sold more than 30 million copies and became a successful mini-series. But how did she come to give up a promising career in neurophysiology to become one of Australia most famous and loved authors?

Success stories: Judy Merry visits Feversham College in Bradford to see how a writing project is helping encourage academic ambition in Muslim girls.

Presenter: Jenni Murray
Producer: Cecile Wright.

Available now

45 minutes

Abortion Rights

Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission is taking the devolved government in Belfast to the high court over its refusal to reform the abortion law. The Commission wants a change in the law so that women and girls in Northern Ireland have the choice of accessing a termination of pregnancy in circumstances of serious foetal abnormality, rape or incest. What is the basis for their legal challenge?

Manet's Women

This weekend a new exhibition - Homage to Manet - exploring the legacy of one of the most important and controversial artists of modern times opens at the Norwich Castle art gallery.   The French artist, Edouard Manet’s provocative paintings of women scandalised the Paris art world, but they challenged traditional depictions, influenced the way future generations of painted women, and paved the way for professional female artists of the early 20th century. Jenni discusses Manet’s legacy with art historian and critic, Frances Spalding, and the exhibition’s curator, Heather Guthrie. 

Giving Up Drinking

Are you among the thousands of women who resolved to cut down or stop drinking for January?  Or perhaps you’re among those who’re hoping to give up the booze for good?  A new wave of clubs and websites is springing up to support the growing numbers of women who are worried about their alcohol intake, but how do they differ from Alcoholics Anonymous and can they really help? Jenni is joined by Bryony Gordon, a columnist for the Telegraph who wants not just a dry January but a dry life, and Laura Willoughby, co-founder of Club Soda a campaign group for men and women who want to drink less.  

Colleen McCullough

Australian Author Colleen McCullough has died at age 77. Her most famous novel, The Thorn Birds, a story of an unlikely affair between a young woman and a priest, has sold more than 30 million copies and became a successful mini-series. So how did she come to give up a career in neurophysiology to become one of Australia's most famous and loved authors?

First Story

Success stories: Judy Merry visits Feversham College in Bradford to see how a writing project is helping encourage academic ambition in Muslim girls.

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Role Contributor
Presenter Jenni Murray
Interviewed Guest Judy Merry
Producer Cecile Wright

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