With lively and insightful women at their helm, these podcasts provide nourishing food for thought.

Just over seven million people in the UK now listen to podcasts each week (which is one in eight of us). It is safe to say that the format has pretty much changed our lives. Allowing presenters and their guests to voice opinions without restriction, a podcast is the perfect space for feminist debate. 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 High Low

Brought to us by the dynamic duo that is Dolly Alderton and Pandora Sykes, The High Low is a clever, sassy and informal discussion of everything that matters — and quite a lot that doesn’t much. Millennial and woke but funny, too, Alderton and Sykes deliver the very best type of feminist message. This top-ranking weekly news and pop-culture podcast is currently on ‘maternity leave’ because Sykes has just had her second baby. It is so brilliant and so popular, however, that it deserves a place in our list.

If I Can Do It

Telegraph columnist, Bryony Gordon, has wit and wisdom in spades. Honest about her flaws but positive in her message, Bryony has a voice that is truly worth listening to. Her balanced approach to life’s rocky road is encapsulated in quotes like this one: ‘Beauty is walking that tricky path between being a feminist, having body acceptance and realising it’s perfectly OK to like make-up and skincare.’ In her latest podcast, If I Can Do It, she talks to a range of people – female refugees from South Sudan; a leading campaigner for body positivity, Chiddera Eggerue; the Spice Girl, Mel B – who’ve faced large obstacles and overcome them. From household names to unsung heroes, the lives of her guests are a lesson in ‘can do’.

Feminists Don’t Wear Pink

It should come as no surprise that Scarlett Curtis, the 24-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, The Evening Standard described Curtis as ‘a bright, curious host, as eloquent on hard stuff as on the merits of manicurea’.

Woman’s Hour

Aimed at the empowerment of women and mothers, the BBC stalwart Woman’s Hour consists of debates and interviews on everything from health and education to politics and culture. The radio show (now also available as a podcast) has been offering a female perspective on the world each day since 1946. It is still going exceptionally strong – by the end of 2016, it had 3.7 million listeners weekly and was the second most popular daily podcast across BBC radio. Asked to explain the show’s enduring popularity, one of the two hosts, Jenni Murray (the other being Jane Garvey), said: ‘It has always been respectful of the fact that women are not all one thing. They have a huge range of interests, and it has always tried to reflect that. So, we might go from Germaine Greer to cooking. The range has always been there.’

The Guilty Feminist

Comedian Deborah Frances-White has won multiple awards for her total hit of a podcast, The Guilty Feminist. 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.’ The spin-off live shows, book and merchandise are pretty great, too.

TOAST podcast

Though this podcast is always a pleasure, it is specifically Series Three that deserves a mention here. Entitled The Making of a Pioneer, this series explores the lives of pioneering women from the past and present. What these women have in common is that portraits of each one hang in the National Portrait Gallery. The subjects have been chosen for their ‘ability to push boundaries and take risks’. Throughout the series, the sensitive and searching host, Laura Barton, meets Germaine Greer and Shami Chakrabati, travels in the footsteps of Emily Bronte and Vanessa Bell and discusses literary greats with Ali Smith and Claire Tomalin. It all makes for a gentle and enriching listen.

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July 2020
By Becky Ladenburg

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.