The fight for equality for women remains as urgent now as it has ever been. Listen to these wise women who say out loud what everybody is thinking

The fight for equality for women – as well as our basic right to simply walk home alone safely – remains as urgent now as it has ever been. Listen to these wise women who say out loud what everybody is thinking.

The horrifying murder of Sarah Everard, combined with the unpleasant ending to the vigil held in her memory, have been dark moments for the feminist cause.

We, along with women everywhere, feel horrified. Yet, as women, every one of us knows what it is to feel fear on our walks home. We can only hope that the call to action in Boris Johnson’s words will be heeded, when he said, ‘The death of Sarah Everard must unite us in determination to drive out violence against women and girls and make every part of the criminal justice system work to protect and defend them.’

Yet that doesn’t stop us from mulling over these events and what they mean for women today. We have been taking comfort in podcasts, which allow presenters and their guests to voice opinions without restriction, making them the perfect space for feminist debate.

With lively and insightful women at their helm, these podcasts provide nourishing food for thought. Whether this is your natural subject matter or you need to step out of your echo chamber, we’ve picked for you some of the best feminist podcasts around at the moment.

The Guilty Feminist

Comedian Deborah Frances-White has won multiple awards for her total hit of a podcast, The Guilty Feminist, which launched in 2015. She says: ‘We’re a supportive forum to discuss the big topics that all 21st-century feminists agree on, whilst confessing our ‘buts’ – the insecurities, hypocrisies and fears that undermine our lofty principles.’ Recent guests include Jo Brand and Marian Keyes. The spin-off live shows, book and merchandise are pretty great, too.

Sisterhood Works

This podcast comes from the founders of the leading women’s network, Allbright. In each episode the hosts, Anna Jones and Debbie Wosskow, speak candidly to an inspirational woman (like Farrah Storr, Kelly Hoppen and Lily Cole) about how she made her mark and the hurdles she overcame to do so.

Woman’s Hour

Since new presenter Emma Barnett took custody of this BBC stalwart in January, Woman’s Hour has seemed fresher and punchier than ever. The radio show (also available as a podcast on BBC SOUNDS) has been offering a female perspective on the world every day since 1946. Its raison d’etre is to empower women by hosting debates and interviews on everything from health and education to politics and culture. Before she left, Jenni Murray paid tribute to its listeners thus: ‘[They’re] remarkable. We’ve got men who listen, men who listen to be annoyed, we’ve got men who listen to learn about women… and that’s brilliant. And our female audience ranges in age from 19 to 103, we get emails from women in their 90s. We get such a cross-section of experience and point of view.’ Everyone can learn from this programme.

Feminists Don’t Wear Pink

It comes as little surprise that Scarlett Curtis, the 25-year-old daughter of Richard Curtis and Emma Freud, knows how to speak her mind. The blogger, columnist and feminist activist is a leading Gen Z influencer. Having curated a collection of essays, Feminists Don’t Wear Pink (And Other Lies), in which prominent women shared their definitions of feminism, Curtis was perfectly placed to host a spin-off podcast. In this weekly show, her guests – many but not all of whom were contributors to the book – go into further detail about life through a feminist lens. When the podcast launched in 2018, The Evening Standard described Curtis as “a bright, curious host, as eloquent on hard stuff as on the merits of manicurea”.

Call Yourself A Feminist

In this brilliant and thoughtful trio of programmes, historian Bettany Hughes traces the development of feminist ideas from the 1960s onwards. It is packed with key women who make knowledgeable guests and gripping facts you’ll never have heard before. Did you know, for instance, that the word “feminist” first appeared in the Oxford English Dictionary in 1895?

Back Talk

Zingy and thoroughly modern, this US podcast was a quick, fun conversation about the week in pop culture brought to us by Bitch Media, which in turn calls itself “a feminist response to pop culture”. Here, smart, tough and humorous hosts Amy and Dahlia analysed the week with an eye on gender, race, class and sexuality. It looks like they may not be creating new episodes for 2021, but the last two years of back catalogue is well worth going through – topics include Harvey Weinstein, the controversy of the novel American Dirt and whether or not Halle Berry should have been cast as the lead in a remake of The Little Mermaid.

By Becky Ladenburg
Updated April 2021

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Becky Ladenburg

Features Editor

As the GWG's features editor, Becky has her discerning finger on the cultural pulse. She's also our go-to expert on the property market.