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Where To Be A Woman
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Where To Be A Woman

Author: BBC World Service

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Where can women live their best lives? Scaachi Koul and Sophia Smith Galer are pushing past the latest wellness fads to search the globe for the best wellbeing ideas. Each episode hears from two countries about something they are doing well and Scaachi and Sophia choose what they like for their imaginary fantasy land - because we can’t build what we can’t imagine. Topics up for discussion include where women are most likely to have the best body image, do the most equal share of the housework, get the best maternity leave or even where they’re most likely to be celebrated by having a statue made of them.
Let us know what you think - send us a Whatsapp voice note on +44330 123 9459.

You can read our full the privacy notice here: https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/articles/2pj25vkld7tZ2Lq2d0Z3YjT/where-to-be-a-woman-privacy-notice

16 Episodes
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Making music

Making music

2024-06-1024:44

Does samba lift your mood? How about karaoke or playing a guitar? Does music feed your soul? Scaachi and Sophia hear how music can make you feel alive and affect sleep quality, mental alertness, and memory. They find out about free lessons in Finland and the power of music in Brazil. It’s time to start singing, play an instrument or sit back and listen and pretend you are in a music video – that’s what Sophia likes doing on a train. Guests: Doctor of education Liisa-Maria Lilja-Viherlampi and Brazilian Voices founder Loren Oliveira. Let us know what you think. Share your thoughts on this episode and suggest ideas for a new one by sending us a voice note on WhatsApp: +44330 123 9459 For more information: The Powerful Impact Of Music- Neuroscience of music ( Stanford): https://ojs.stanford.edu/ojs/index.php/intersect/article/view/2873 World Happiness Report: https://worldhappiness.report/ed/2024/happiness-of-the-younger-the-older-and-those-in-between/#ranking-of-happiness-2021-2023 Vocal Music Listening Enhances Poststroke Language Network Reorganization: https://www.eneuro.org/content/8/4/ENEURO.0158-21.2021#ref-80 Scoping review of how music affects physicality: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8455907/
Feeling safe

Feeling safe

2024-06-0325:011

From commuting to going out in the evening, Scaachi and Sophia explore safety. We hear about “gender sensitive” city planning, street lightening, public transport and schemes to help keep people safe in the evenings, including night walks. They both like the idea of the right to party!Guests: Austrian architect and lecturer Sabina Riss talks about Vienna, and researcher Tonja Jerele from the University of Ljubljana discusses Slovenia.Let us know what you think. Share your thoughts on this episode and suggest ideas for a new one by sending us a voice note on WhatsApp: +44330 123 9459
New mum Janine Harouni is anxious and lonely, so why do the other mums online look so happy? This is a guest episode from Dear Daughter.Namulanta is building a “handbook to life”, sharing your parenting advice, personal stories, with letters to your daughters. If you are a mum or mom, dad or papa, grandparent, uncle, aunt, daughter, son, what would you write?This episode includes discussion about difficult parts of pregnancy and also miscarriage. For more episodes from Namulanta Kombo’s Dear Daughter podcast, go to www.bbcworldservice.com/deardaughter or search for “Dear Daughter”. Janine Harouni was performing stand-up comedy while 40 weeks pregnant, but now there's a whole other set of challenges. On social media, she sees pictures of pregnant models who don’t appear to gain weight. Nobody seems to talk about the gross parts or the difficult parts. She’s exhausted and full of worry. Then a surprise family DNA test changes her perspective on motherhood.
Period equity

Period equity

2024-05-2125:592

We discuss the menstrual cycle - turning period poverty to period dignity. From free and locally produced sanitary products to the No Pad Tax campaigns.Sophia Smith Galer and Scaachi Koul explore menstruation education, legislation and cultural change, as they meet two people from different countries to explore how period equity can be achieved for everyone. And is education on reproductive health up to scratch? Guests: Ailsa Colquhoun from Hey Girls in Scotland, and menstrual hygiene advocate, Lilipearl Baaba Otoo, in Ghana.What’s it like for you once a month where you are? Let us know. Share your thoughts on this episode and suggest ideas for a new one by sending us a voice note on WhatsApp: +44330 123 9459
Keeping a journal? Writing books or an academic paper? Maybe it’s good for you. Scaachi Koul and Sophia Smith Galer both write and feel it contributes to their wellbeing and is therapeutic. They hear from the United States and Serbia about getting published and women in STEM. So what are you waiting for? Pick up a pen or start tapping away on a keyboard and then let us know about it! Guests: Chris Olsen, founder of Publish Her, and Nataša Simić, from the University of Belgrade’s Institute of Psychology. Tell us know what you think. Share your thoughts on this episode and suggest ideas for a new one by sending us a voice note on WhatsApp: +44330 123 9459 You can read the full privacy notice here: https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/articles/2pj25vkld7tZ2Lq2d0Z3YjT/where-to-be-a-woman-privacy-notice
Work-life balance

Work-life balance

2024-05-0624:527

Would a four-day week and no texts from your boss after work improve your wellbeing? We hear about quiet quitting and digital nomads too. Should this episode be called 'life-work balance', with life coming first? Sophia Smith Galer and Scaachi Koul find out what can be learnt from Gen Z, and talk to two women from Portugal and Singapore about what works in the world of work. Guests: Economist and entrepreneur Mafalda Rebordão from Portugal and HRM Asia journalist Champa Ha from Singapore. Let us know what you think. Share your thoughts on this episode and suggest ideas for a new one by sending us a voice note on WhatsApp: +44330 123 9459 You can read the full privacy notice here: https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/articles/2pj25vkld7tZ2Lq2d0Z3YjT/where-to-be-a-woman-privacy-notice
Hot flushes, mood swings, medication and the good experiences too all come up, as we explore the menopause and perimenopause. The physical and mental symptoms vary in severity and between individuals. The way different cultures view this life change also varies from country to country. For some it’s still a taboo issue.Sophia hears about a parliamentary inquiry in Australia. Scaachi finds out about a grassroots group in Zimbabwe that has been helping women understand what’s happening to their bodies and creating a sense of community. Guests: Sonya Lovell, host of the podcast Dear Menopause; and Primrose Hove, cofounder of Let’s Talk Menopause. Let us know what you think. Share your thoughts on this episode and suggest ideas for a new one by sending us a voice note on WhatsApp: +44330 123 9459 You can read the full privacy notice here: https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/articles/2pj25vkld7tZ2Lq2d0Z3YjT/where-to-be-a-woman-privacy-notice#WheretobeaWomanFurther information: https://www.aph.gov.au/Parliamentary_Business/Committees/Senate/Community_Affairs/Menopause/Terms_of_Reference https://www.swanstudy.org/
Multilingualism

Multilingualism

2024-04-2233:092

There are an estimated 7,000 languages around the world, and experts think being a polyglot – someone who speaks more than one language - is good for us. So where in the world is multilingualism flourishing? And what are the social, emotional and cognitive benefits of speaking multiple languages? Whether it’s Spanish, Arabic, Hindi, Irish, French, Kashmiri, Pedi, Swazi or Afrikaans - should we all start learning a new one? We hear from an organisation supporting multilingualism among children in Ireland. And we learn about the twelve official languages - and many more - being used every day in South Africa. Guests: Suzanne McCarthy from the organisation Mother Tongues, and social linguist Dr Lorato Mokwena.Let us know what you think. Share your thoughts on this episode and suggest ideas for a new one by sending us a voice note on WhatsApp: +44330 123 9459 You can read the full privacy notice here: https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/articles/2pj25vkld7tZ2Lq2d0Z3YjT/where-to-be-a-woman-privacy-notice
The beautiful game

The beautiful game

2024-04-1531:581

Physical activity is good for us! We know that! So, where is participation being encouraged? Sophia Smith Galer and Scaachi Koul are exploring the round ball that you kick, whether you call it football or soccer, from grassroots level upwards.We hear from Jordan on what’s been done to break down cultural barriers to participation in the sport, and we find out how Brazil, one of the world’s most historically successful male footballing countries, has transformed its relationship with the women’s game.Guests: Former footballer Haneen Khateeb and Julia Pimenta, head of delegations and programmes at the Street Child United initiativeLet us know what you think. Share your thoughts on this episode and suggest ideas for a new one by sending us a voice note on WhatsApp: +44330 123 9459 You can read the full privacy notice here: https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/articles/2pj25vkld7tZ2Lq2d0Z3YjT/where-to-be-a-woman-privacy-notice
Loneliness

Loneliness

2024-04-0834:2511

What can we learn about loneliness, and how to avoid it, from two countries in two different continents? As Sophia Smith Galer and Scaachi Koul continue their quest for true women’s wellbeing, this time they’re exploring social connections from a global perspective. They hear from Sweden about how an appreciation for the arts, particularly singing, could be helping women feel more connected. Meanwhile in Egypt, large networks of extended families and friends help many women avoid loneliness.Guests: Dr Eva Bojner Horvitz, professor of music and health at the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm, and Alexandra Kineas, an author and gender equality advocate.Further information:https://www.gallup.com/analytics/509675/state-of-social-connections.aspx https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2910600/Let us know what you think. Share your thoughts on this episode and suggest ideas for a new one by sending us a voice note on WhatsApp: +44330 123 9459You can read the full privacy notice here: https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/articles/2pj25vkld7tZ2Lq2d0Z3YjT/where-to-be-a-woman-privacy-notice
Parental leave

Parental leave

2024-04-0126:264

We’re looking for the longest, best or most generous parental leave. Sophia Smith Galer and Scaachi Koul shine a light on two countries where parents can access paid leave after birth or adoption. It's part of their quest to learn from around the world about how to improve wellbeing. Estonia offers maternity, paternity and lengthy paid shared parental leave packages. Kristel Kruustük, a tech entrepreneur, mum of two, and employer of many parents, explains why she thinks it’s one of the best places in the world to have kids. In Japan, journalist and gender specialist Renge Jibu describes the country’s paid leave packages aimed at dads, and tells us about “hunky dads” and “shining women”.Let us know what you think. Share your thoughts on this episode and suggest ideas for a new one by sending us a voice note on WhatsApp: +44330 123 9459You can read the full privacy notice here: https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/articles/2pj25vkld7tZ2Lq2d0Z3YjT/where-to-be-a-woman-privacy-notice
Living sustainably

Living sustainably

2024-03-2532:032

Where in the world are women living sustainably? Are any countries actually carbon negative? And what is “ecofeminism”? In this episode, we’re exploring sustainability from a global perspective. From the air we breathe, to how we source our food, our own health is intrinsically linked to a having a healthy environment to live in. First we hear from Bhutan, the world’s first country to become carbon negative and a country that measures national growth through a General National Happiness Index. Social entrepreneur and climate educator Thinley Choden explains how spirituality and respect for nature mean sustainability is embedded in Bhutanese culture.Meanwhile, in Madagascar, climate activist Marie Christina Kolo explains ecofeminism and how it impacts her world view and daily life. She explains how Madagascar is one of the world’s most bio-diverse and lowest polluting places, yet it’s also one of the hardest hit by climate change. Scaachi and Sophia consider the insights offered by these two women from two very different countries and the lessons we can all learn from them, before deciding whether one, both, or neither of their characteristics deserves a spot in their female fantasy land. Because we can’t build a better place for women if we can't imagine it.
Pay gap

Pay gap

2024-03-1830:002

Where are women more likely to be paid the same as their male colleagues? Are there good examples of attempts to close the pay gap? Belgium has one of the lowest gender pay gaps in the world. Scaachi Koul and Sophia Smith Galer find out how that has happened. Liberia has further to go on reducing the pay gap, but is making fast progress in shifting mindsets and creating more economic opportunities for women.What, if anything, will Scaachi and Sophia choose to put into the female fantasy land? Helping Scaachi and Sophia are Hildegard Van Hove, coordinator of statistics at the Institute for Gender Equality in Belgium, and Vivian Innis, gender and development specialist in Liberia.You can share your thoughts on this episode and suggest ideas for a new one by sending us a voice note on WhatsApp: +44330 123 9459 For more information: Gender wage gap data: https://data.oecd.org/earnwage/gender-wage-gap.htm Global Gender Gap Report 2023: https://www.weforum.org/publications/global-gender-gap-report-2023/
Statues

Statues

2024-03-1133:123

You can’t be what you can’t see, so where are all the statues of women? In some places there are many more sculptures of men – and even animals. In their quest to learn from women around the world, Scaachi Koul and Sophia Smith Galer hear from the United Kingdom and India. There seems to be lots of statues of Queen Victoria in the UK but what about women who aren’t royalty? Thanks to the Monumental Welsh Women campaign, there are now statues of Wales’s first black headteacher, Betty Campbell, writer Elaine Morgan and poet, headteacher, ship's captain, campaigner and journalist Cranogwen (Sarah Jane Rees). In India, we find out about statues reflecting divinity, femininity, fertility and even caste politics. Discover what Scaachi and Sophia choose to put into the female fantasy land.Helping Scaachi and Sophia are Art UK’s Katey Goodwin and art historian Yashaswini Chandra.Please let us know what you think. Share your thoughts on this episode and suggest ideas for a new one by sending us a voice note on WhatsApp: +44330 123 9459 You can read the full privacy notice here: https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/articles/2pj25vkld7tZ2Lq2d0Z3YjT/where-to-be-a-woman-privacy-notice
Body image

Body image

2024-03-0430:2916

What can we do better for our wellbeing? We begin with body image. Welcome to our quest to learn from women around the world. Scaachi Koul and Sophia Smith Galer hear from St. Lucia and Malta. Historian and artist Fiona Compton describes what she says is the outspoken and complimentary nature of St Lucian society, where different body types are admired. Journalist Giulia Magri explains how “small island syndrome”, immigration and the LGBTQ community impact the way women relate to their bodies in Malta. Let us know what you think - send us a Whatsapp voice note on +44330 123 9459You can read the full privacy notice below.
Body image, maternity leave, fair pay - all to be discussed in our new wellbeing show. Scaachi Koul and Sophia Smith Galer want to know what women around the world think their countries are getting right. And then they’ll decide what they like and add it to their ideal imaginary place to be a woman. You can’t build what you can’t imagine, so let’s start imagining! Want to let Scaachi and Sophia know what you think works? Send a WhatsApp voicenote on +44330 123 9459 - and start listening! We start on 4 March 2024.
Comments (10)

Fatemeh Momtaz

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Jun 2nd
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Muhammad Waqas

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Mar 11th
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