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Woman's Hour

Valerie June, the WI opens a branch in prison and are sex robots a danger to human intimacy?

Duration: 58 minutes

First broadcast: on BBC Radio 4 FMLatest broadcast: on BBC Radio 4 FM

Available for over a year

The Tennessee singer-songwriter Valerie June performs a track from her latest album The Order of Time.

Are sex robots a danger to human intimacy? The race is on to develop the first commercial sex robot for the mass market, the journalist Jenny Kleeman describes what they look like and how they work. And, Dr Kathleen Richardson, Senior Research Fellow in the Ethics of Robotics and Dr Kate Devlin senior lecturer in computing discuss if they are the ultimate in sexual objectification or an opportunity to improve of experience of sex.

The Women's Institute has opened a branch in a women's prison. Countess Bathurst, the former High Sheriff of Gloucestershire, is one of the founders of the group at HMP Eastwood Park. Jenny Earle, is the Programme Director for reducing women's imprisonment at the Prison Reform Trust, they explain the benefits of such a group in prison.

A 'Please Offer Me a Seat' badge for those less able to stand on public transport is launched. We hear from Amanda, a cervical cancer survivor who still experiences pain following radical surgery and Amy, who suffers from lupus, on the challenges they face on public transport with a hidden illness.

We hear from Rachel Malik on her debut novel Miss Boston and Miss Hargreaves. It tells the story of Rachel's grandmother who abandoned her children, lived as a lesbian and was tried for murder.

What's the impact on grandparents when adult children decide to take their young family and move abroad? We hear from Mary a listener whose son and daughter-in-law are taking their three young children to the other side of the globe and Helen Russell a British mum who now lives in Denmark. Clinical psychologist Dr Angharad Rudkin offers advice on maintaining relationships.

Lady Macbeth is a film about a women in a loveless marriage set in 19th century rural Northumberland. It stars BAFTA breakthrough Brit actress Florence Pugh who tells us about the role and Alice Birch the screenwriter discusses the appeal of such a dark story.

Presented by Jenni Murray
Producer: Rabeka Nurmahomed
Editor: Erin Riley. Show less


Jenni Murray
Interviewed Guest:
Valerie June
Interviewed Guest:
Jenny Kleeman
Interviewed Guest:
Kathleen Richardson
Interviewed Guest:
Kate Devlin
Interviewed Guest:
Sara Bathurst
Interviewed Guest:
Jenny Earle
Interviewed Guest:
Rachel Malik
Interviewed Guest:
Helen Russell
Interviewed Guest:
Angharad Rudkin
Interviewed Guest:
Florence Pugh
Interviewed Guest:
Alice Birch

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