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Stacey Dooley is one of Britain's most loved documentary presenters and investigative reporters. Fashion conscious Stacey's life took an unexpected turn when she travelled to India in 2007 for the BBC3 series 'Blood, Sweat and T-Shirts' to live and work alongside the people in the Indian fashion industry making clothes for the UK High Street.
Upon her return to the UK, Stacey began campaigning against child labour, organising events to raise money for charities and even appearing on BBC2's Newsnight to raise awareness, and has since embarked on a series of investigations to become one of BBC3’s most celebrated presenters.
Through the course of her documentary making, Stacey has covered a variety of topics, from sex trafficking in Cambodia, to Yazidi women fighting back in Syria. At the core of her reporting are incredible women in extraordinary and scarily ordinary circumstances – from sex workers in Russia, to victims of domestic violence in Honduras. In her first book, On the Front Line with the Women Who Fight Back, Stacey draws on her encounters with these brave and wonderful women, using their experiences as a vehicle to explore issues at the centre of female experience. From gender equality and domestic violence, to sex trafficking and sexual identity, Stacey weaves these global strands together in an exploration of what it is to be women in the world today.
She won Strictly 2018.
Imogen Walford is senior producer of BBC Radio 4's Today programme.
What do the attacks on London Bridge, Manchester and Westminster have in common with those at the Charlie Hebdo offices, the Finsbury Park Mosque, and multiple US shootings? They were all carried out by men with histories of domestic violence. From angry white men to the Bethnal Green girls and London gang members who joined ISIS, Joan Smith shows that, time and time again, misogyny, trauma and abuse lurk beneath the rationalisations of religion or politics. Until Smith pointed it out in 2017, criminal authorities missed this connection because violence against women is dangerously normalised. Yet, since domestic abuse often comes before a public attack, it’s here a solution to the scourge of our age might be found. Afzal is a lawyer who oversaw prosecutions in the Rotherham grooming case.
The author of What I Loved introduces her new novel. Fresh from Minnesota and hungry for all New York has to offer, twenty-three-year-old S.H. embarks on a year that proves both exhilarating and frightening – from bruising encounters with men to the increasingly ominous monologues of the woman next door. Forty years on, those pivotal months come back to vibrant life when S.H. discovers the notebook in which she recorded her adventures alongside drafts of a novel. Measuring what she remembers against what she wrote, she regards her younger self with curiosity and often amusement. Anger too, for how much has really changed in a world where the female presidential candidate is called an abomination?
The historian tells the story of extraordinary, transformative projects helping refugee stonemasons to begin to rebuild the shattered treasures of Syria. The new, trainee masons, artisans and artists are both women and young men. The lecture is illustrated with film footage from Hughes’ documentaries about the project. Chaired by Peter Florence.
Holding her first grandchild in her arms in 2003, Mary Robinson was struck by the uncertainty of the world he had been born into. Before his fiftieth birthday, he would share the planet with more than nine billion people – people battling for food, water and shelter in an increasingly volatile climate. As the UN’s Special Envoy for Climate Change, Robinson’s mission led all over the world, from Malawi to Mongolia, and to a heartening revelation: that an irrepressible driving force in the battle for climate justice could be found at the grassroots level, mainly among women, many of them mothers and grandmothers like herself. Robinson met with ordinary people whose resilience and ingenuity had already unlocked extraordinary change. Robinson is the former President of Ireland and United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, and is now a member of The Elders.
When it comes to the trials and triumphs of becoming a grown-up, journalist and former Sunday Times dating columnist Dolly Alderton has seen and tried it all. In her memoir she vividly recounts falling in love, wrestling with self-sabotage, finding a job, throwing a socially disastrous Rod Stewart themed house party, getting drunk, getting dumped, realising that Ivan from the corner shop is the only man you’ve ever been able to rely on, and finding that that your mates are always there at the end of every messy night out. Alderton’s captivating memoir is about bad dates, good friends and – above all else – about recognising that you and you alone are enough.
The Industrial Revolution brings to mind famous male inventors and industrialists. Spanning the globe and drawing on thousands of years of history, Bateman weaves rigorous analysis with autobiographical insights to tell a bold, ambitious story about how the status and freedom of women – particularly freedom over their bodies – is central to our prosperity and economic wellbeing. Genuine female empowerment requires us not only to recognise the liberating potential of the market and the importance of smart government policies, but also to challenge the double standard of many modern feminists when they celebrate the brain while denigrating the body. Chaired by Jane Garvey of BBC Radio 4’s Woman’s Hour.
The novelist reboots Mary Shelley for the 21st century, as a young transgender doctor called Ry is falling in love – against their better judgement – with Victor Stein, a celebrated professor leading the public debate around AI. What will happen when homo sapiens is no longer the smartest being on the planet? Winterson shows us how much closer we are to that future than we realise. Funny and furious, a celebration of the bodies we live in and the bodies we desire, Frankissstein is a love story about life itself.
Nicholls left England to raise her five children in Botswana. Living on a shoestring in a lion conservation camp, she home-schools her family while they also learn at first-hand about the individual lives of wild lions. The setting is exotic but it is also precarious. When Nicholls is subjected to a brutal attack by three men, it threatens to destroy her and her family: post-traumatic stress turns a good mother into a woman who is fragmented and out of control. This powerfully written, raw and often warmly funny memoir is an inspiring account of family love, and a powerful beacon of hope for life after trauma.
New Stand-Up from the beloved GBBO and QI superstar.
Sandi is a Danish/British writer and presenter. She has been working on British TV and radio for nearly four decades and in 2014 was made an Officer of the British Empire for her services to broadcasting. She has written over 25 books including fact and fiction. Her latest novel ‘The End of the Sky’ was published in 2017 and her new stage musical, an adaptation of ‘Treasure Island’, will open in December 2018 Sandi is the co-founder of Britain’s newest political force, the Women’s Equality Party.
Presented by Fane Productions
Sandi will also be appearing in the Woodland Trust event on Tuesday morning at 10am, for which there are tickets available - event 166
In June 1916 Field Marshal Lord Kitchener set sail from Orkney on a secret mission to bolster the Russian war effort. Just a mile off land and in the teeth of a force 9 gale, HMS Hampshire suffered a huge explosion, sinking in little more than fifteen minutes. Kitchener’s body was never found. Remembered today as the face of the famous First World War recruitment drive, at the height of his career Kitchener was fêted as Britain’s greatest military hero since Wellington, though he was considered by many to be arrogant, secretive and high-handed. From the moment his death was announced, rumours of a conspiracy began to flourish, with the finger pointed variously at the Bolsheviks, Irish nationalist saboteurs and the British government. Laws is an historian and served as Chief Secretary to the Treasury. Chaired by Sarfraz Manzoor.
Seymour’s new book is a double biography, In Byron’s Wake: The Turbulent Lives of Lord Byron’s Wife and Daughter, Annabella Millbanke and Ada Lovelace. Her previous book was a lauded biography of Mary Shelley. Sampson’s brilliant debut biography is In Search of Mary Shelley: The Girl Who Wrote Frankenstein. They compare notes on female genius, Romanticism, radicalism, the madness and badness of male poets, and the interplay of literature and the sciences, with Rosie Goldsmith in the chair.
A life of Matilda – empress, skilled military leader and one of the greatest figures of the English Middle Ages. Matilda was a daughter, wife and mother. But she was also empress, heir to the English crown and the first woman ever to hold the position; and she was an extremely able military general. Hanley’s new biography explores Matilda’s achievements as military and political leader, and sets her 12th-century life and career in full context. Chaired by Sameer Rahim of Prospect.
The allegedly male world of the spy was more than merely infiltrated by women. This compelling and groundbreaking contribution to the history of espionage details a series of case studies in which women – from playwright to postmistress, from lady-in-waiting to laundry woman – acted as spies, sourcing and passing on confidential information. They acted out of political and religious conviction or to obtain money or power. Akkerman reveals the special roles of Royalist and Parliamentarian ‘she-intelligencers’ and their hidden world.
Polly, Annie, Elizabeth, Catherine and Mary-Jane are famous for the same thing, though they never met. They came from Fleet Street, Knightsbridge, Wolverhampton, Sweden and Wales. They wrote ballads, ran coffee houses, lived on country estates, they breathed ink-dust from printing presses and escaped people-traffickers. What they had in common was the year of their murders: 1888. Their murderer was never identified, but the name created for him by the press has become far more famous than any of these five women. Now, in her devastating narrative of five lives, historian Rubenhold finally sets the record straight, and gives these women back their stories. Chaired by the historical thriller writer SJ Parris.
Fiction provides children with an important space to learn how to make sense of the world. It is also a crucial source for role models. Fictional worlds are not so unlike the real world – especially when it comes to gender inequalities. Based on their work with large collections of texts, Professor Mahlberg and Dr Cermakova from the University of Birmingham's Centre for Corpus Research will explore fiction from Dickens to modern children's books, to demonstrate how repeated language patterns reflect a gendered view of society.
Who was Queen Victoria? A little old lady, potato-like in appearance, dressed in everlasting black? Or a passionate young princess, a romantic heroine with a love of dancing? There is a third Victoria – a woman who was a remarkably successful queen, one who invented a new role for the monarchy. She found a way of being a respected sovereign in an age when people were deeply uncomfortable with having a woman on the throne. On the face of it, she was deeply conservative. But if you look at her actions rather than her words, she was in fact tearing up the rule-book for how to be female.
The intrepid team of researchers who brought you Custard, Culverts and Cake: Academics on Life in The Archers return with a hard-hitting exposé on the lives of the women of Ambridge. The Archers Academics are joined by former Archers editor Alison Hindell and actor and academic Charlotte Martin (a.k.a. Susan Carter) to examine the power of gossip in Ambridge, portrayals of love, marriage, and motherhood, female education and career expectations, women’s mental health and the hard-won right of women to play cricket.
Does having more women involved in climate change-related research make a difference to discussions? What kind of adaptations will be required as global warming increases and how do we bring a broad range of the public on board, particularly regarding the more complex issues surrounding climate change? A panel discussion with Morgan Seag, Co-chair of the international council of the Association of Polar Early Career Scientists, anthropologist Ragnhild Freng Dale from the Scott Polar Institute, Chandrika Nath, Executive Director of the Scientific Committee on Antarctic Research, and Professor Melody Clark from the British Antarctic Survey.
We’re constantly bombarded by advice on what pregnant women should do – but what does science really tell us about how early development impacts on future health? Aiken explores how life in the womb affects not only our children’s lifelong health and wellbeing, but maybe even our grandchildren’s too. Aiken is Honorary Consultant in Maternal and Fetal Medicine at Cambridge University. Her work involves caring for women during high-risk pregnancies and researching how to improve the long-term outcomes for their babies.