Conversation, The [World Service]

Episodes

TitleFirst
Broadcast
RepeatedComments
20141103Kim Chakanetsa presents a conversation between two women from different cultures about.

Kim Chakanetsa presents a conversation between two women from different cultures about their paths to success.

20200427
2020070620200712 (WS)Kim Chakanetsa presents a conversation between two women from different cultures about their paths to success.
2020071320200719 (WS)Kim Chakanetsa presents a conversation between two women from different cultures about their paths to success.
2020080320200809 (WS)Kim Chakanetsa presents a conversation between two women from different cultures about their paths to success.
20201130
20201207
20210222Kim Chakanetsa presents a conversation between two women from different cultures about their paths to success.

The show that amplifies women's voices, with Kim Chakanetsa

20210308Kim Chakanetsa presents a conversation between two women from different cultures about their paths to success.

The show that amplifies women's voices, with Kim Chakanetsa

20210315
#metoo: The Lawyers2020101920201025 (WS)Two lawyers who represent alleged victims of sexual assault and harassment join Kim Chakanetsa to discuss how #MeToo and other public movements have impacted their work.

Debra Katz is an American civil rights and employment lawyer, best known for representing alleged victims of sexual assault and sexual harassment, and the whistleblowers who bring these stories to light. Her clients have included Christine Blasey-Ford, Vanessa Tyson and Chloe Caras.

Karuna Nundy is an Indian Supreme Court lawyer who focusses on constitutional law, media law and legal policy. Her work includes helping draft an anti-rape bill in India, after the 2012 Delhi bus gang rape created outrage around the treatment of women.

IMAGE DETAILS
L: Karuna Nundy (credit - Ankita Chandra)
R: Debra Katz

How has the #MeToo movement impacted women representing alleged victims?

Kim Chakanetsa presents a conversation between two women from different cultures about their paths to success.

#metoo: Two Women's Stories Beyond Hollywood20181015One year ago a #MeToo tweet by Hollywood actor Alyssa Milano encouraged an outpouring of women using the hashtag to talk about experiences of sexual harassment or assault. What followed were allegations against high profile figures in entertainment, the media and politics with many of the accused denying any wrongdoing. Kim Chakanetsa brings together two women who have made public allegations of sexual abuse in countries where that's highly unusual, to find out if the ripples of #MeToo are being felt beyond Hollywood and the West?

Tatia Samkharadze is a Georgian TV journalist and actor who successfully sued her former boss, Shalva Ramishvili, for discrimination after her claim of sexual harassment in January 2018. It was viewed as a landmark case because there is currently no law against sexual harassment in Georgia. Shalva was ordered to pay her nearly 800 US dollars in moral damages, though he denied the claim and is appealing the ruling. Since Tatia made her allegations, she says people have told her that his behaviour wasn't a problem or that it was her fault, and she has been bullied online. She says because she spoke out she has been unable to find work as a journalist. She believes Me Too was a blessing for her and her case. She now campaigns for women's rights.

Shiori Ito is a Japanese freelance journalist. In April 2015, she alleged that she had been raped by Noriyuki Yamaguchi, a high-profile Japanese journalist, at a Tokyo Hotel. He strongly denies the allegations and after a lengthy investigation, prosecutors dropped the case against him, citing insufficient evidence. In May 2017, Shiori took the unusual move of going public with her claims to try to change how Japan treats allegations of sexual assault, legally and socially. Shiori says after she went public she received many threats and even had to leave her home in a disguise. She says the Me Too movement is slowly helping to shift attitudes towards sexual abuse in Japan.

L: Shiori Ito (credit: Hanna Aqvilin)
R: Tatia Samkharadze (credit: Ekaterine Kadagishvili)

Produced by Sarah Kendal

Two women who have made public allegations of sexual abuse in Georgia and Japan

A conversation between two women about their paths to success

03/04/2017 Gmt20170403Kim Chakanetsa presents a conversation between two women from different cultures about their paths to success.

03/10/2016 Gmt20161003Kim Chakanetsa presents a conversation between two women from different cultures about their paths to success.

06/02/2017 Gmt20170206

Kim Chakanetsa presents a conversation between two women from different cultures about their paths to success.

06/03/2017 Gmt20170306
09/01/2017 Gmt20170109
10/10/2016 Gmt20161010
12/12/2016 Gmt20161212
13/02/2017 Gmt20170213
14/11/2016 Gmt20161114

Kim Chakanetsa presents a conversation between two women from different cultures about their paths to success.

21/11/2016 Gmt20161121
24/10/2016 Gmt20161024
27/02/2017 Gmt20170227

Star cricketers from New Zealand and the West Indies discuss the women's game.

30/01/2017 Gmt20170130
A Dangerous Place To Be A Woman20181112The most extreme hate crime against women is femicide, the act of killing a person because they are a woman. But there is a growing movement of women who are taking a stand against this crime and demanding that their community takes it seriously. Nelufar Hedayat talks to two activists from countries where the death toll for women through violence is high: Mexico and Pakistan.

Khalida Brohi grew up in Pakistan and saw her family being torn apart when her cousin Khadija was strangled to death with their uncle suspected of having killed her. This spurred Khalida on to fight against so-called honour killings. She says the problem with so-called honour killings is that people merge religion with tradition and are ignorant of what the Quran actually says about respecting women. She decided to work with tribal leaders to change attitudes. Through her organisation Sughar, Khalida gives women practical skills, empowering them economically and giving them confidence. She has written a book about her experiences called I Should Have Honour.

Andrea Narno Hijar is a graphic artist and activist in Mexico, where the UN estimated in 2016 that 7 women a day are being murdered. Using her skills as a graphic artist, Andrea is trying to draw attention to this, even though she says it's something most Mexicans don't want to talk about. She says as a woman living in Mexico she faces harassment and violence everyday. She designs posters and puts them up around Mexico City to raise awareness about femicide and to challenge machismo in her culture.

Image and credit: (L) Andrea Narno Hijar and (R) Khalida Brohi

Two women taking a stand against femicide in Mexico and Pakistan

A conversation between two women about their paths to success

Academics In Exile20180521Explosions in classrooms and a commute threatened by bombs and bullets - academics from Yemen and Syria who found themselves working through a civil war. Kim Chakanetsa brings together two women who are passionate about educating their country's next generation, but were forced to leave them behind when they fled to safety in Europe. They discuss why they had to make that painful decision, and how they are continuing their work in exile.

Dr Fathiah Zakham is an award winning Yemeni microbiologist whose research focuses on drug-resistant tuberculosis. She was based at Hodeidah University, a port city in Yemen that came under rebel control in 2015. Despite her institution being destroyed by an air attack, Fathiah stayed in Yemen and even won a global award for female researchers. But eventually the situation became impossible and she left for Switzerland in 2017. She is now doing post-doctoral work at the University Hospital of Lausanne.

Reem Doukmak is a Syrian linguist and was working at Al Baath University in Homs, a city at the heart of the uprising against the government in 2011. Homs has been under siege for much of the time since. Reem endured two years living in a war zone before managing to leave Syria with the help of a charity. Reem is now continuing her studies at Warwick University in the UK and she also volunteers as a translator for other refugees.

(L) Image and credit: Reem Doukmak
(R) Image and credit : Fathiah Zakham

Two female academics fleeing civil war

A conversation between two women about their paths to success

Addiction: Parina Subba Limbu And Melinda Ferguson20151228Two women from Nepal and South Africa whose drug addiction almost cost them everything

Parina Subba Limbu first tried drugs as a teenager. Expelled from nine schools, she eventually ran away from home. After a decade of escalating addiction, and many disastrous love affairs with other addicts, Parina finally got help to get clean, and now runs Dristi Nepal, a charity she founded to care for drug-addicted women in Kathmandu, a group she says who are harshly judged by her society.

Melinda Ferguson, who grew up in Apartheid-era South Africa, started stealing her mother's brandy aged 10, and was soon experimenting with drugs. In 1993 she tried heroin, which led to a downward spiral that saw her losing her kids, and selling her body for the next hit. Melinda's journey to recovery began in 1999, and has since published two addiction memoirs, Smacked and Crashed.

(Picture: Parina Subba Limbu (Left) and Melinda Ferguson(Right)

Melinda Ferguson picture credit: Aubrey Johnson )

Adoption: Judith Fleming And Amy Seek2016081520160820 (WS)
20160821 (WS)
The perspectives of two women at opposite ends of the adoption process in the US and UK

A conversation between two women about their paths to success

Kim Chakanetsa brings together two women from the US and UK, who have been at either end of the adoption process, to reflect on their choices.

Judith Fleming is an actor and writer based in the UK who decided to adopt a child, on her own, at the age of 40. We are using a different name to protect Judith's and her son's privacy. Judith looked through many profiles, but says when she saw a picture of her son she knew he was the one and she had to be his mum. Judith's open with her little boy about his identity and he knows that she didn't ""grow him in her tummy"".

Amy Seek is an architect from America and got pregnant at the age of 22. She made the difficult choice to give her child up in an ""open adoption"" and went through a painstaking process of trying to find the right family for him. Sixteen years on and Amy still lives with the pain of her decision, but she does have a relationship with her son. She reveals that they haven't had an in-depth talk about the circumstances of his adoption and hopes one day he will understand how hard it was for her to make that choice.

Photo: Judith Fleming and Amy Seek with Kim Chakanetsa in the studio, Credit: BBC

Albinism: Dispelling The Myths20200907Two women with albinism talk to Kim Chakanetsa about countering superstition and prejudice around the condition.
 
As a ‘white African’ growing up in Nigeria Ikponwosa Ero was well aware of the danger some people with the condition face. In June 2015 she was appointed the first UN Independent Expert on the enjoyment of human rights by persons with albinism and campaigns against stigmatisation, myths and violence.
 
Connie Chiu is known as the first international fashion model with albinism. Born in Hong Kong she and her family moved to Sweden when she was a child to avoid harsh sunlight and in an effort to help her 'fit in.' She talks about challenging conventional ideas of beauty and wants to dispel the myth that albinism is limiting.

IMAGE
Left: Ikponwosa Ero (credit: A F Rouen)
Right: Connie Chiu (credit: Ellis Parrinder)

Women with albinism talk about discrimination and advocating for those with the condition

Kim Chakanetsa presents a conversation between two women from different cultures about their paths to success.

Alone At Sea20170102Two women who steer boats across oceans single-handed on the challenges of being at sea

A conversation between two women about their paths to success

Steering a small boat across oceans by yourself - why do it? Kim Chakanetsa meets two women who have been alone at sea for months - and they chat about encountering sharks, avoiding pirates and having to call their mums.

Roz Savage is the first woman to have rowed solo across three oceans - the Atlantic, Pacific and Indian. She had no background as an adventurer and in fact was a UK management consultant for years, but in her 30s she decided to do something completely different with her life. Roz says rowing the Atlantic was a huge struggle physically and mentally, but afterwards she wanted to put herself in even more challenging situations to see if she could do it, and to raise awareness about sustainability.

Australian Jessica Watson sailed around the world when she was just 16, battling storms and isolation, but also fierce criticism from those who thought she was too young. On her return after 210 days she was greeted by the Prime Minister and tens of thousands of people, and was later named Young Australian of the Year. Jessica says she did it partly to prove that young people, and young girls, can be serious and achieve incredible things, and they should not be dismissed.

(Photo: (L) Roz Savage sat in her row boat. Credit: Phil Uhl and (R) Jessica Watson stood on her yacht. Credit: Sam Rosewarne)

An Extraordinary Meeting Between Two Former Hostages20161121What life as a hostage in the depths of the jungle or in a darkened room can teach you

A conversation between two women about their paths to success

In 2002, the French Colombian politician Ingrid Betancourt became perhaps one of the best-known hostages in the world when she was kidnapped and held for over six years, deep in the Colombian jungle, by the Farc or Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia.

Watching Ingrid's emotional release on TV in 2008, was a young Canadian journalist called Amanda Lindhout. A month later she herself was taken hostage at gun-point, on a work trip to Somalia. For the 460 days of Amanda's captivity, she thought about Ingrid nearly every day, inspired by the thought that she too could one day end her ordeal.

This is the first time they have spoken to each other.

(Photo: Amanda Lindhout (L). Credit: Steve Carty. (R) Ingrid Betancourt. Credit: Barker Evans)

Architects20171106A Syrian architect who watched her city destroyed around her talks to an Irish architect who helped create community spaces in a migrant camp. They emphasize the importance of authenticity, simplicity and boundaries when it comes to designing buildings and public spaces.

Marwa al-Sabouni runs an architectural practice together with her husband in the Syrian city of Homs. She has watched her city be torn apart by war, and believes communities are directly shaped by the environment they inhabit. She has now turned her mind to the question of how architecture might play a role in reversing the damage and rebuilding her country. She has written a memoir about her experiences called 'The Battle for Home'.

Grainne Hassett is a senior lecturer at the School of Architecture, University of Limerick. She also runs her own architecture practice. In August 2015 she travelled to the migrant camp in Calais, known as 'The Jungle', where she ended up building several temporary community buildings with the help of volunteers. Although the buildings were demolished, she has taken the lessons she learnt from the camp into her wider work.

Image: Marwa al-Sabouni and Grainne Hassett (R) with Kim Chakanetsa (L)
Credit: BBC

Two women who explore the role architecture can play in bringing communities together

A conversation between two women about their paths to success

Art Dealers20180625In the art world, how much power do women hold? In 2017, of the top 100 artists whose work fetched the highest amount at auction, just 13 were women. Two female art-dealers who have pioneered Czech and Asian art on the international scene, discuss how that affects the way they value and sell art made by women.

Pearl Lam is an iconic art dealer and a pioneer in raising the profile of Chinese art. She is the founder of Pearl Lam Galleries which operate in Shanghai, Singapore and Hong Kong. She is considered a powerhouse within Asia's contemporary art scene and says that although it is all about the art, not the artist, she has become aware of issues with gender and diversity.

Katherine (Kacha) Kastner co-founded the gallery Hunt Kastner in Prague in 2005 at a time when there was no established tradition of commercial galleries in the Czech Republic. The goal was to offer a more professional representation of Czech artists both locally and internationally. She says that though she would never choose an artist based on their gender, she is trying to do more to promote female artists.

Left: Katherine Kastner (credit: Jiri Thyn)
Right: Pearl Lam (credit: William Louey)

Two female top gallery owners

A conversation between two women about their paths to success

Asian American Authors20170417Two women who emigrated to the US from Asia and both became writers talk to guest presenter Lauren Schiller in San Francisco about their 'messy' relationship with language, their rejection of the American Dream, and how they're trying to break free from labels.

Barbara Jane Reyes is a poet, whose work explores language, culture and identity. She was born in Manila in the Philippines, and raised in the San Francisco Bay Area. She started writing seriously as a student - when there were very few writers who were voicing her own immigrant experience. She now teaches Philippine Studies at the University of San Francisco and is the author of four books of poetry. She is due to publish her fifth collection, Invocation to Daughters, later this year.

Yiyun Li is an award-winning writer. She grew up in Beijing, and moved to the US when she was in her early 20s to study immunology. It was after she had arrived in Iowa and adopted English as her own language that she decided to make the leap from science to creative writing. She has published four works of fiction, and numerous essays. Her latest book is called 'Dear Friend, from My Life I Write to You in Your Life' and it was written while she grappled with depression and was finding solace in other writers. Yiyun teaches creative writing at UC Davis.

Image: Barbara Jane Reyes (left) (credit: Oscar Bermeo) and Yiyun Li (right) (credit: Roger Turesson)

Two women who moved to the US from Asia at different stages of their lives.

A conversation between two women about their paths to success

Astronauts: Sandra Magnus And Samantha Cristoforetti2016032820160402 (WS)
20160403 (WS)
20200720 (WS)
20200726 (WS)
Women who have lived and worked in space, share their out of this world experiences

A conversation between two women about their paths to success

Sandra Magnus is a US astronaut with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) and is now the executive director of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics. Sandra always wanted to become an astronaut and has had a lifelong passion for science and exploring how the world works. On the space station she says that every day is about trouble-shooting, and sometimes it doesn't seem very organised, there is a lost and found plastic bag, ""I always thought that was rather amusing because that means there were things on the station that were missing parts"".

Samantha Cristoforetti made history when she became the first person to make an espresso in space. ""We got to try the first freshly brewed espresso coffee in space"" she says proudly. Born in Milan and raised in the province of Trentino in Itlay, Samantha speaks four languages including Russian. She has a second degree in aeronautical sciences and a masters in mechanical engineering. She is a captain in the Italian air force, a qualified jet-fighter pilot and has been an astronaut with the European Space Agency since 2009, the first Italian woman to take the role.

(Photo: Sandra Magnus: NASA, Samantha Cristoforetti: ESA-S. Corvaja)

Sandra Magnus is a US astronaut with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) and is now the executive director of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics. Sandra always wanted to become an astronaut and has had a lifelong passion for science and exploring how the world works. On the space station she says that every day is about trouble-shooting, and sometimes it doesn't seem very organised, there is a lost and found plastic bag, "I always thought that was rather amusing because that means there were things on the station that were missing parts".

Samantha Cristoforetti made history when she became the first person to make an espresso in space. "We got to try the first freshly brewed espresso coffee in space" she says proudly. Born in Milan and raised in the province of Trentino in Itlay, Samantha speaks four languages including Russian. She has a second degree in aeronautical sciences and a masters in mechanical engineering. She is a captain in the Italian air force, a qualified jet-fighter pilot and has been an astronaut with the European Space Agency since 2009, the first Italian woman to take the role.

Kim Chakanetsa presents a conversation between two women from different cultures about their paths to success.

Bakers2018041620190325 (WS)Two women re-define what it means to be a bread-maker. While women and baking have always been closely associated with each other, the billion dollar industry is actually dominated by men. This week, two young women speak to Kim Chakanetsa about becoming the face of bread-making, taking on the family business, and the sacrifices it takes to make the perfect loaf.

Apollonia Poîlane's grandfather opened Poîlane bakery in Paris in 1932, and his son Lionel took over the business in 1970. Lionel turned it into one of France's most famous bakeries. However in 2002 he and his wife were killed in a helicopter crash, and his 18 year old daughter, Apollonia, took over the family business. She has turned Poilâne into a multi-million dollar international brand and says her father's friends and baking team helped her become the CEO she is today.

Maya Rohr is a young American baker currently doing an apprenticeship with a Swedish chocolatier. 25 years ago Maya's mother opened a bakery in their hometown of Homer, Alaska, just a few days after Maya was born. Maya is in the process of deciding whether she wants to carry on the family business, Two Sisters Bakery, or pursue her own path. The bakery is more than just a company for Maya - she says it's a vital part of her small community.

Image: (L) Apollonia Poilâne (Credit: Helene Saglio) and (R) Maya Rohr (Credit: Brianna Lee)

Two women explore the business of baking

A conversation between two women about their paths to success

A conversation between two women about their paths to success

Ballroom Dancers: Oti Mabuse And Alex Hixson20161107Two female professionals take us backstage in the world of ballroom dancing

A conversation between two women about their paths to success

Get your dancing shoes on because this week Kim Chakanetsa brings together two supremely talented ballroom dancers who between them have a pile of trophies. We talk about the glamour, romance, athleticism and also the rivalries, injuries and tears that go on behind the scenes.

South African dancer Oti Mabuse has been Latin American dance champion in South Africa eight times and she is currently gracing UK screens as a professional dancer on the popular reality TV show Strictly Come Dancing. When she started ballroom dancing was a very divided activity, ""We were the only black family doing Latin and ballroom, I was young, I was four and cute, but for my sisters it was extremely difficult."" More recently, things have changed, she says ""It's not about where you come from or what you look like, it's about what you do and what you deliver.

Alex Hixson is from the UK and has been a World Champion bronze medallist and an International Professional Rising Star Champion. Her favourite dance is the foxtrot. Alex started dancing aged 6, ""before 'Strictly', so before ballroom dancing was cool. I saw a poster and told my mum that I want to do ballroom and Latin dancing and she said why? That's what old people do.

(L) Photo: Oti Mabuse. Credit: BBC.

(R) Alex Hixson. Credit: Nick Redman, London Photos.

Banishing Body Shame20180730Body shaming is discrimination against 'non-perfect' bodies and it is usually directed at women. Kim Chakanetsa sits down with a Danish comedian and a British blogger who are challenging society's perceptions of a beautiful female body.

Chidera Eggerue - aka The Slumflower - is a British blogger whose hashtag #saggyboobsmatter started an online movement, empowering women who were considering plastic surgery and breast-feeding mothers to love their breasts. Through her public profile, she tackles the absence of positive representation of black women's bodies, bullying and insecurity.

Sofie Hagen is an award-winning Danish comedian and fat activist. As a chubby child, she was forced to go on diets, which she says led to her hating her body and was detrimental to her mental health. At university Sofie met a fat activist who changed her life. She then co-started a campaigning group in Denmark, Fedfront, and talks a lot about fatness in her comedy. She says that on a good day she will only receive 100 death threats because of her weight and gender.

Image: (L): Chidera Eggerue. Credit: Tom Oldham
Image: (R): Sofie Hagen. Credit: Karla Gowlett

Two women using their own bodies to challenge traditional perceptions of beauty

A conversation between two women about their paths to success

Beauty Pageants: What's In Them For Women?20181119Gowns, glittery bikinis and a lot of hair spray: thousands of women around the world wear them on stage every year, hoping to win a beauty pageant. Many say these pageants are demeaning and outdated but others argue that beauty pageants can be life changing experiences that help contestants to go on to academic and professional success. Kim Chakanetsa brings together two beauty queens to find out what's in it for women?

Dee-Ann Kentish-Rogers is an Anguillan-British barrister and former athlete who is the first black woman to represent Great Britain at a Miss Universe pageant. She says that since winning her title this year many women of colour have reached out to congratulate her for representing black female beauty. She says that she entered pageantry for self-development and hopes that future competitions will change their requirements to allow single mothers to compete.

Jamie Herrell is a Filipino-American business entrepreneur who won Miss Earth for the Philippines in 2014. Initially she thought pageants were degrading for women but entered to earn some extra money when her father became unwell. She says there are many different sides to pageantry and many different reasons why women compete. Since winning she has launched an eco flip-flop business to help tourism in the Philippines.

Producer: Sarah Kendal

Image: (L) Jamie Herrell Credit: Euguene Herrera
(R) Dee-Ann Kentish-Rogers Credit: Kev Wise

Two beauty queens who say attitudes to pageants are changing

A conversation between two women about their paths to success

Being Blind20171113Opening a bank account and praying in peace - just two things blind women cannot take for granted in Ethiopia and India. Kim Chakanetsa has a revealing conversation with two women who are taking on these challenges and more.

Yetnebersh Nigussie recently won the Right Livelihood Prize - widely referred to as the 'Alternative Nobel Prize' - for her work promoting disabled people's rights in her country. Yetnebersh is a lawyer born and raised in rural Ethiopia who lost her eye sight at the age of five. She says growing up blind had its challenges but in the end it was a kind of liberation - she was not considered suitable for early marriage due to her disability, and her mother insisted that she was educated instead.

Poonam Vaidya lives in Bangalore and lost her sight seven years ago when she was 21. After the initial shock, she says she tried not to ask, 'why me?' and slowly took hold of her independence again. She went on to further studies, and is now a content writer and blogger. She loves to travel, and is particularly interested in making transport more accessible for blind people. Poonam recently spent a year at the Colorado Center for the Blind in the US where she completed various challenges including travelling to four cities in one day.

(l) Yetnebersh Nigussie (credit: Studio Casagrande)
(r) Poonam Vaidya (credit: Raj Lalwani)

Two women who are visually impaired share their experiences from India and Ethiopia

A conversation between two women about their paths to success

Being Open About Breast Cancer2017052220170528 (WS)'I will ride cancer; cancer will not ride me'. An Indian dancer and a Jamaican athlete who were diagnosed with breast cancer at the peak of their physical condition tell Kim Chakanetsa how they got through their treatment by focussing on their passions.

Novlene Williams-Mills is an exceptional Jamaican sprinter who has competed - and won medals - in four Olympic Games. In 2012, just before the London Olympics, she found out she had breast cancer. Despite the diagnosis, she decided to compete, and helped Jamaica bring home a bronze medal in the 400 metre relay. Four surgeries later, she is cancer-free. Throughout her treatment Novlene continued to run because when she's on the track, she says all her problems disappear.

Ananda Shankar Jayant is an award-winning Indian dancer and choreographer, known for her talent in two classical dance forms Bharatanatyam and Kuchipudi. She says as soon as she was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2008, she made a decision that she would not succumb to the 'bogeyman' of cancer, and would keep dancing, even through chemotherapy. By focussing on her what she loves to do, she says she was able to stay positive. Now also all-clear, Ananda continues to teach and perform dance, and recently launched a dance app called Natyarambha.

L-Image: Novlene Williams-Mills. Credit: Matthew Lewis/Getty Images
R-Image: Ananda Shankar Jayant. Credit: G Muralidhar

An athlete and a dancer exchange their breast cancer experiences

A conversation between two women about their paths to success

Being Transgender: Isis King And Abhina Aher2015081020150815 (WS)Model and fashion designer Isis King was catapulted to fame on US TV series America's Next Top Model. Her physical transition from male to female was caught on camera and got global attention in 2009. Isis says she knew she wanted to be a girl as early as four years old - ""I always knew that I was different"". Her mother was a strong role model and Isis remembers, ""I would put on my mum's heels"" when she was out and practise walking in a straight line in them. She reveals that it's been hard to find love since her genital reassignment surgery, because people have seen her on their screens at her most vulnerable, but says now she's just trying to focus on herself.

Abhina Aher is part of India's Hijra, or ""third gender"" community. Hijras were recognised by the country's supreme court last year, but Abhina says there's still a long way to go until people like her are accepted by families, communities and employers. Abhina, who works as a programme manager for India HIV/Aids Alliance, couldn't ""connect"" to herself as being a boy growing up and wanted to be a dancer like her mother. Abhina says that genital reassignment is costly in India and she had to opt for castration and hormone treatment carried out by unregulated medics.

(Picture: Isis King (Left) and Abhina Aher (Right). Credits: Isis - D Dipasupil/ Getty Images for Logo TV; Abhina - Prakash Singh/ AFP/ Getty Images)

Bikers2017061920170625 (WS)What draws women to motorbikes, whether it's weaving them through traffic or seeing the world from one? Kim Chakanetsa asks two women from Poland and Kenya who spend their lives in the saddle.

Aleksandra 'Ola' Trzaskowska's love of motorbikes is not about the machine itself - it's about the thrill of seeing new places from the best vantage point. She used to be a lawyer in Warsaw but gave it up to do what she loves. Ola now runs tours on two wheels to Asia, North Africa and both American continents. On her own trips she always aims to steer off the beaten track - preferring to explore countries like Afghanistan alone. Even breaking her leg in a road accident in Cuba hasn't put her off - as soon as it's mended she'll be straight back on her bike.

Naomi Irungu took up bikes two years ago when she met her motorcycle-mad husband. She had always wanted to try but was warned off by her family after her uncle died in a motorbike accident. Naomi says it can be exhilarating and scary riding through rush-hour traffic in Nairobi, dodging the matatus and the taxi-bikes that jostle for road space. She loves to get out of the city on longer rides and for her recent wedding she was picked up by a 15 strong motorcade of biker friends.

L-Image and credit: Ola Trzaskowska
R-Image and credit: Naomi Irungu

Two women from Poland and Kenya on their love of motorbiking

A conversation between two women about their paths to success

L-Image and credit: Ola Trzaskowska
R-Image and credit: Naomi Irungu

Body Hair20190506What does your body hair say about you? Can the decision to remove it be a sign of patriarchal oppression? Yassmin Abdel-Magied meets two women who decided to go against social norms and stop shaving and waxing their legs, underarms and pubic area. They discuss what's at stake for women in different parts of the world when it comes to body hair, and the unexpected reactions they got from their own family when they decided to let it grow.

Busra Erkara is a Turkish writer who works for Year Zero, a bilingual magazine based in Istanbul. She was initiated into waxing by her mother and grandmother at the age of 13, but began to question why women remove body hair when she encountered feminist narratives about hair removal in Sweden and in the US. She’s written openly about her own conflicted approach to body hair as a Middle Eastern woman. Busra will soon take on the role of Director of Content at Odunpazari Modern Museum in Eskisehir, due to open in the summer of 2019.

Emer O’Toole is an Irish writer and theatre scholar who has written extensively about body hair after her own decision to stop removing it as a feminist statement some eight years ago. She says it was hard to deal with the shame and embarrassment of being ‘hairy’ and even harder to deal with her mother's disapproval, but now she’s proud of what it says about her. Emer is Associate Professor of Irish performance studies at Concordia University in Montreal, Canada, and author of the book Girls Will Be Girls: Dressing Up, Playing Parts and Daring to Act Differently.

Image:
L: Busra Erkara Credit: Naima Green
R: Emer O'Toole Credit: Next Gen

Two women discuss the prickly issue of hair removal

A conversation between two women about their paths to success

Bodyguards: Jacquie Davis And Denida Zinxhiria2016042520160430 (WS)
20160501 (WS)
Meet the women who would take a bullet for their wealthy clients

A conversation between two women about their paths to success

Jacquie Davis began her career with the British police, but soon moved into security and close protection. This was in the 1970's when Jacquie says it was ""very lonely"" being the only woman in the industry. Today Jacquie runs the security and risk management firm Optimal Risk and her clients include the ultra-rich and famous; she's dealt with everything from hostage situations to screaming fans and celebrity tantrums.

Denida Zinxhiria grew up in Albania during a time of social upheaval where it was commonplace to hear bombs and bullets in the street. As a child she remembers her grandmother covering her to protect her from gunfire and says that incident sparked an interest in keeping people safe. Denida worked her way up through private security in Greece and now runs Athena Academy, a security company that trains female bodyguards.

Photo: Jacquiee Davis. Credit: Aaston Parrot.

Photo: Denida Zinxhiria. Credit: N/A.

Busting Period Taboos2019120920200420 (WS)
20200426 (WS)
Challenging period myths and making menstruation easier

A conversation between two women about their paths to success

Two women who've made it their mission to smash period taboos, and make it easier for girls to manage their menstrual health. Kim Chakanetsa speaks to campaigners from India and Tanzania.

When Aditi Gupta got her first period she was banned from sitting on the family sofa or touching certain foods. From the women in her family she also learned to feel shame and to hide her damp menstrual rags in dark places, exposing her to infection. As an adult she decided to help break the taboo, and create the Menstrupedia comic book, a global resource for parents and teachers to talk about periods comfortably with their girls.

Lucy Odiwa's first period arrived just as she was called on to answer a question in class. As she stood up her classmates began to snigger at the stain on her skirt. She says as well as being embarrassed and confused, she then often had to skip school when menstruating because she couldn't afford hygiene products. Now a successful businesswoman, she has developed a low-cost reusable sanitary towel.

(Image: Lucy Odiwa (L) Credit: UN Women/Amanda Voisard. (R) Aditi Gupta. Credit: Menstrupedia)

Campaigners For Gay Women's Rights20181105Campaigning for gay rights in Uganda and Sri Lanka - Kim Chakanetsa speaks to two women activists in countries where homosexual acts are punishable with a prison sentence.

Kasha Nabagesera has been described as 'the face of Uganda's LGBT movement'. Since her twenties Kasha has fought for the rights of her fellow lesbian, bisexual and transgender people, which has brought her into conflict with the authorities. She says she faces daily harassment and serious threats, and doesn't walk the streets alone for fear of attack, but it's worth it. Kasha now runs Kuchu Times, a multi-media platform for the sexual health and rights of queer Africans.

In Sri Lanka, consensual sex between women was only criminalised in 1995. Rosanna Flamer-Caldera is an activist who returned to Sri Lanka after living in San Francisco and founded an organisation called Equal Ground, which educates and lobbies on behalf of LBGT+ people. She says as a lesbian she has to be hyper-vigilant at all times, and can't really have a personal life. Rosanna wants to achieve decriminalisation of homosexuality in her country by 2020.

Image: (L) Rosanna Flamer-Caldera
(R) Kasha Jaqueline Nabagesera Credit: Christine Dierenbach

Women who are campaigning for LGBT+ rights in Uganda and Sri Lanka

A conversation between two women about their paths to success

Casting Directors2017101620171022 (WS)Top female casting directors in the UK and India chat to Kim Chakanetsa about fighting for the actors they want in a film, their proudest casting moments, and the painful job of telling someone they didn't get the part.

Nina Gold is the woman behind the casting of the HBO series Game of Thrones and the new Star Wars films. She has also cast Oscar-winning movies such as The King's Speech and The Theory of Everything as well as countless TV drama series in the UK and US. She says she loves to unearth and push forward new young talent. Her work has been recognised by BAFTA with a special award in 2016.

Nandini Shrikent is one of India's top casting directors. Based at the heart of Bollywood in Mumbai, she cast the lead actor for the multi-award winning film Life of Pi, as well as numerous home-grown movies including Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani and Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara. She says casting the smaller parts is actually the real test of skill - finding the perfect actor for a walk-on role can be tougher than casting a big romantic lead.

(L) Nina Gold (credit: Teri Pengilley) and (R) Nandini Shrikent (credit: Nandini Shrikent)

Two women who find the perfect person for the role in films and TV

A conversation between two women about their paths to success

(L) Nina Gold (credit: Teri Pengilley) and (R) Nandini Shrikent (credit: Nandini Shrikent)

Caught In A Digital Storm20180129Are women treated unfairly on social media, and is the situation worse for women of colour? Krupa Padhy meets two social activists who unexpectedly found themselves at the centre of a digital storm, and asks what happened next.

Munroe Bergdorf is a British model, DJ and social activist who came to public attention in 2017 when she was employed as the first transgender model in a L'Oreal cosmetics campaign. She was dropped by the company after a social media post in which she said all white people were guilty of racial violence, prompting a swift backlash. She says her words were taken out of context but she stands by them. Munroe received rape and death threats for weeks, but she fought back, has secured a new beauty contract and is now a public speaker on race issues.

Yassmin Abdel-Magied is a Sudanese-Australian engineer, writer and activist who was named Queensland Young Australian of the Year 2015. However just two years later she found herself facing a barrage of criticism after posting a seven word status online that was seen by many as disrespectful to fallen soldiers on Anzac Day. Although she apologised immediately, she says that didn't stop her becoming the most publicly hated Muslim in Australia, and the months of abuse only calmed down when she left the country for good.

(L) Munroe Bergdorf. Credit: Elvind Hansen
(R) Yassmin Abdel-Magied. Credit: Lucy Alcorn

Two women who found themselves living under a social media siege

A conversation between two women about their paths to success

Cave Women: Jill Heinerth And Elen Feuerriegel20160125Two women who go deep underground in the name of science and discovery

A conversation between two women about their paths to success

Jill Heinerth is the world's top underwater cave explorer. More people have walked on the moon than have ventured to some of the places she has dived. Originally from Canada, and now living in Florida in the US, Jill has broken records mapping whole water courses underground, and once had a narrow escape from cave-diving in an Antarctic iceberg. She takes photographs and video whilst underground, and says that she would never attempt a dangerous dive just for the thrill of it - there has to be a new discovery to pursue.

Elen Feuerriegel is a PhD student from Australia who was catapulted into one of the most exciting scientific discoveries of our time, when her caving experience and slim build led to her joining the Rising Star Expedition. This all-women team excavated over a thousand fossils from a deep cave system in South Africa, which at its narrowest point measures just 18 cm. It was announced in September 2015 that these bones were from a previously unknown species of human ancestor, Homo Naledi.

(Photo: (L) Jill Heinerth in diving gear, Credit: Wes Skiles. (R) Elen Feuerriegel holding MH1)

Champion Mums20190812World-class sportswomen combining motherhood with incredible athletic achievement. Kim Chakanetsa asks how they do it, what support they have behind the scenes, and what it means to them to be both a mother and a top athlete.

Jasmin Paris is a record-breaking British ultrarunner and the first woman to win the infamous Spine Race, a winter marathon along the UK's Pennine Way which is widely regarded as one of the world's toughest endurance races. At the time Jasmin was still breastfeeding her baby daughter, and she had to express milk along the way. And that's not the only demand on her time - she also works full-time as a vet at the University of Edinburgh.

Nicola Spirig is a 37-year-old professional Swiss triathlete, who gave birth to her third child in April this year, and was back competing just a few weeks later. Nicola won the gold medal in triathlon at the London 2012 Olympics, and came back after having her first child to win silver in Rio de Janeiro in 2016. Now she's aiming for Tokyo 2020. She says she couldn't do it without the support of her husband, who does the bulk of the childcare.

l: Nicola Spirig (Credit Swiss Triathlon)
r: Jasmin Paris (Credit Yann Besrest-Butler / Montane Spine Race)

Two women proving that motherhood is no barrier to sporting success

A conversation between two women about their paths to success

Kim Chakanetsa presents a conversation between two women from different cultures about their paths to success.

Cheerleading: So much more than shaking pompoms20201228

Pom Poms, short skirts, and chanting: this is what we think is cheerleading. Despite the physical demands of competitive cheerleading it isn’t officially recognised by some sports bodies. Kim Chakanetsa brings together two women who are challenging perceptions.

Gabi Butler is an American cheerleader who was the star of the Netflix documentary series, Cheer. Her athleticism, flexibility and considerable social media presence has made her a 'cheerlebrity'. Yet posting online since she was a teen has meant being a target for inappropriate comments. She has won the cheerleading world championships twice and says "if someone says, 'Winning isn't everything' they're lying."

Lilian Obieze is the founder of Lagos Nigeria Cheer and is on a mission to popularise cheerleading all over the African continent. In Nigeria she has had to change perceptions that cheerleading "is just about twerking." She started cheerleading programmes in schools 10 years ago, and since then has grown the programme from an entertainment sport to a competitive one. Her dream is for her athletes to compete internationally.

Produced by Jane Thurlow and Sarah Kendall

IMAGE DETAILS
Left: Lilian Obieze (credit Mtphotoz)
Right: Gabi Butler (courtesy Gabi Butler)

Two women discuss the physical prowess and dedication needed in the world of cheerleading

The show that amplifies women's voices, with Kim Chakanetsa

Cheerleading: So Much More Than Shaking Pompoms20201228Pom Poms, short skirts, and chanting: this is what we think is cheerleading. Despite the physical demands of competitive cheerleading it isn’t officially recognised by some sports bodies. Kim Chakanetsa brings together two women who are challenging perceptions.

Gabi Butler is an American cheerleader who was the star of the Netflix documentary series, Cheer. Her athleticism, flexibility and considerable social media presence has made her a 'cheerlebrity'. Yet posting online since she was a teen has meant being a target for inappropriate comments. She has won the cheerleading world championships twice and says "if someone says, 'Winning isn't everything' they're lying."

Lilian Obieze is the founder of Lagos Nigeria Cheer and is on a mission to popularise cheerleading all over the African continent. In Nigeria she has had to change perceptions that cheerleading "is just about twerking." She started cheerleading programmes in schools 10 years ago, and since then has grown the programme from an entertainment sport to a competitive one. Her dream is for her athletes to compete internationally.

Produced by Jane Thurlow and Sarah Kendall

IMAGE DETAILS
Left: Lilian Obieze (credit Mtphotoz)
Right: Gabi Butler (courtesy Gabi Butler)

Two women discuss the physical prowess and dedication needed in the world of cheerleading

The show that amplifies women's voices, with Kim Chakanetsa

Pom Poms, short skirts, and chanting: this is what we think is cheerleading. Despite the physical demands of competitive cheerleading it isn’t officially recognised by some sports bodies. Kim Chakanetsa brings together two women who are challenging perceptions.

Gabi Butler is an American cheerleader who was the star of the Netflix documentary series, Cheer. Her athleticism, flexibility and considerable social media presence has made her a 'cheerlebrity'. Yet posting online since she was a teen has meant being a target for inappropriate comments. She has won the cheerleading world championships twice and says "if someone says, 'Winning isn't everything' they're lying."

Lilian Obieze is the founder of Lagos Nigeria Cheer and is on a mission to popularise cheerleading all over the African continent. In Nigeria she has had to change perceptions that cheerleading "is just about twerking." She started cheerleading programmes in schools 10 years ago, and since then has grown the programme from an entertainment sport to a competitive one. Her dream is for her athletes to compete internationally.

Produced by Jane Thurlow and Sarah Kendall

IMAGE DETAILS
Left: Lilian Obieze (credit Mtphotoz)
Right: Gabi Butler (courtesy Gabi Butler)

Two women discuss the physical prowess and dedication needed in the world of cheerleading

The show that amplifies women's voices, with Kim Chakanetsa

Produced by Jane Thurlow and Sarah Kendall

Chess Grandmasters20180702What does it take for a woman to excel in the ruthlessly competitive, male-dominated world of chess? Kim Chakanetsa meets two outstanding female players from Hungary and China to find out.

Judit Polgar is the strongest female chess player of all time. As a child prodigy she broke Bobby Fischer's record to become the youngest grandmaster, aged 15. She went on to beat the World No 1 Garry Kasparov, after he had said women shouldn't play chess. Judit says she made a decision very early not to play in the Women's competition, because she wanted to play the best, and they were men. She remains the only woman ever to place in the top 10 players in the world, despite retiring 4 years ago.

Hou Yifan is widely considered to be the best woman playing chess today. She has been the Women's World Chess Champion three times, the youngest ever to win the title, as well as the youngest female player ever to qualify for the title of grandmaster. Yifan has now decided not to play in the Women's Championship anymore. She took time out of competing to study for a degree and is about to do a Masters at Oxford University, because she believes doing other things is beneficial to her and to her chess.

Image: (L) Hou Yifan. Credit: Getty Images
Image: (R) Judit Polgar. Credit: Timea Jaksa

Two women who have broken records and barriers playing chess

A conversation between two women about their paths to success

Child Stars: Mandisa Nakana Taylor And Mara Wilson20161031The star of the film Matilda talks to a trail-blazing South African youth TV presenter.

A conversation between two women about their paths to success

Can you beat the so-called 'curse' of the child performer? Maryam Maruf brings together two women who grew up on camera - the American star of the films Matilda and Mrs Doubtfire, and a South African youth TV presenter.

At six years old Mara Wilson was playing Robin Williams's daughter in Mrs Doubtfire, then she bagged the leading role in the film version of Roald Dahl's Matilda. For a few years she was the cutest little girl in Hollywood. Then as she hit puberty and did not become classically 'pretty', she discovered that the parts simply dried up. Mara chose not to re-enter the limelight as an adult, and is a writer and storyteller in New York. She's written a memoir called 'Where Am I Now?'

Mandisa Nakana Taylor shot to fame in South Africa aged 10, as one of a multi-racial cast of young presenters on the kids' show YOTV. For six years children raced home after school and watched her grow up on their televisions. Mandisa says it was great fun, and there were a lot of first kisses on set, but they were also expected to maintain an adult work ethic. Now a mother and student in the UK, she still appears on screen, this time on her own YouTube channel.

(Photo: (L) Mandisa Nakana Taylor. Credit: Vanity Studios. (R) Mara Wilson. Credit: Ari Scott)

Choirs20171030The joy of coming together through song - Kim Chakanetsa talks to two women who have created choirs that go beyond simply making music.

Mika Danny started the Rana Choir in 2008, with a clear mission to unite Arab and Jewish women in song. Mika lives in Jaffa in Israel and says that while women from Christian, Jewish and Muslim communities find it almost impossible to discuss what they call 'the situation' there, they have been able to come together 'as a family' through singing a repertoire that reflects all their different cultural backgrounds.

Esmeralda Conde Ruiz says her life is "Music, music all day long". Originally from Spain via Germany, she now leads many different amateur and professional choirs in London, and says she always wants to push people to do things they didn't know they were capable of - whether they are a small community choir from Borough Market or a 500-strong amateur group of singers performing at the Tate Modern art gallery.

Photo: (L) Mika Danny (credit: Noa Ben Shalom) and (R) Esmeralda Conde Ruiz (credit: MIO)

Two women who lead ambitious choirs in Israel and the UK

A conversation between two women about their paths to success

Choosing To Be Childfree20210125When a woman chooses not to have children, why is it still seen as a radical decision? Kim Chakanetsa talks to two women about their stories and the stigma associated with their choice to be childfree.

Doreen Akiyo Yomoah is a writer and blogs at Childfree African. Born in Accra, Ghana, she has lived in the US, Japan and Senegal and she is currently based in Geneva, Switzerland. She chose not to have kids in her early 20s and she thinks being childfree is part of a wider discussion about reproductive rights and feminism.

Nina Steele is the founder and editor of Nonparents.com. She is originally from the Ivory Coast and she is now based in the UK. When she discovered she couldn't have children, she decided to stay childfree. She says her website has become a resource for African childless and childfree women and men alike.

Produced by Alice Gioia.

IMAGE

L: Doreen Akiyo Yomoah (Credit: Lamine Bouan)
R: Nina Steele (Courtesy of Nina Steele)

Two women discuss why opting not to have children is still seen as a radical decision.

The show that amplifies women's voices, with Kim Chakanetsa

Choreographers: Aditi Mangaldas And Jasmin Vardimon20151207Growing up in an Israeli kibbutz taught choreographer Jasmin Vardimon all about group dynamics, but she came to dancing relatively late, aged 14. Now artistic director of the Jasmin Vardimon Dance Company in the UK, her visually stunning and exciting performances are inspired by universal themes such as brutality and justice, filtered through the personal experience of her and her dancers. Jasmin says that leading a production is like bringing up a child - at a key point you need to be able to let go and trust the dancers to do their best.

Aditi Mangaldas was trained in the classical Indian dance form of kathak from the age of five. Her Aditi Mangaldas Dance Company, Drishtikon Dance Foundation, now performs all over the world. With its fast footwork and rhythmic complexity, kathak gives Aditi a sense of feeling timeless, of being bound to the ground. She believes that there is room for the dance form to evolve and in some of her productions fuses kathak with contemporary dance. Aditi still performs on stage, and on those days says she has to become just one of the company.

(L) Aditi Mangaldas. Credit: Dinesh Khanna

(R) Jasmin Vardimon. Credit: Ben Harries

Dancing and directing - the art of the choreographer

Cities After Dark2017073120170806 (WS)Cities that come alive at night, with two women who know where to go and what to do. Kim Chakanetsa speaks to a DJ from Lebanon and a singer-songwriter from China who take her on a virtual tour of their favourite nightlife scenes.

Nicole Moudaber is a Nigerian-born Lebanese DJ and music producer. Nicole began exploring Beirut's nightlife as a promoter, hosting successful club nights for years before turning her hands to the decks. She has since been described as one of the best techno DJs on the scene, sharing her distinct beats with the nightlife scenes in New York, Ibiza and beyond.

ChaCha Yehaiyahan is regarded as the queen of the underground music scene in Shanghai, a city that is a far cry from the rural mountainous village she grew up in in southwest China. She left home at 16 with her sights firmly set on the bright lights of Beijing, and wound up in Shanghai, which she says has a nightlife scene unparalleled in China.

Image: (L) ChaCha Yehaiyahan. Credit: AJ Schokora
Image: (R) Nicole Moudaber. Credit: Woolhouse Studios

Two women known as the queens of their nightlife scenes

A conversation between two women about their paths to success

Image: (L) ChaCha Yehaiyahan. Credit: AJ Schokora
Image: (R) Nicole Moudaber. Credit: Woolhouse Studios

City Traders: Louise Dispo And Lucy Shitova2016062720160702 (WS)
20160703 (WS)
Profits, losses and bonuses - two female traders from Russia and the Philippines

A conversation between two women about their paths to success

Women make better city traders than men according to research, but most trading floors are dominated by men. Kim Chakanetsa explores why this might be and meets two traders from Russia and the Philippines who are helping to redress the balance.

Currency trading is Louise Dispo's area of the market. Originally from the Philippines, Louise work's in London now. She says she's used to being one of the only females on the trading floor and thinks it's the high pressure, risk and unpredictable hours that put other women off choosing this as a career. Chocolate, coffee and nuts get Louise through the day and she says the office is filled with high screens, people shouting and phones ringing.

Lucy Shitova has traded base metals, such as aluminium and steel, for 10 years. She began her career in Russia and also works in London now. Lucy says she was drawn to this profession because of the buzz, the ""pay-off"" and the fact it's like getting paid to gamble in a casino with someone else's cash. Lucy admits that it hits hard when you lose money, but you've got to be confident in your decisions and move on.

Image: City Traders Louise Dispo (L) and Lucy Shitova (R)

Credit: Louise Dispo and Lucy Shitova

Coaching National Teams: Tracey Neville And Desiree Ellis20191125Two exceptional sportswomen who've coached their national teams to victory in major tournaments. England's former netball head coach and South Africa's women's football coach speak to Kim Chakanetsa.

South African women’s football coach Desiree Ellis had a nine year international playing career, having to endure discrimination under apartheid and unemployment alongside pursuing her sports career. She says women’s football is now being taken seriously in her country and under her stewardship 'Banyana Banyana' qualified for the World Cup for the first time in 2019.

Former England netball head coach Tracey Neville represented her country as a player before taking on the task of managing the ‘Roses’ in 2015. She had a miscarriage a day after leading the team to Commonwealth gold in 2018. A year later she made the difficult decision to quit her dream job to start a family, and is now expecting her first child.

Image credits
L: Tracey Neville (Press Association)
R: Desiree Ellis (FIFA via Getty Images)

What's it like to coach your national women's sports team?

A conversation between two women about their paths to success

Cooking My Culture20190909Migrant cooks serving up stories of home - Kim Chakanetsa meets two remarkable women who have used cooking to forge independent careers and to open up conversations about culture.

Asma Khan is an Indian-born British chef whose popular London restaurant, Darjeeling Express, is entirely staffed by women. Asma herself only learnt to cook after she married in her early 20s and moved to the UK with her husband. She later started a supper club in her home, behind her family’s back, to support migrant women living in her area. Asma features on the acclaimed Netflix series, Chef’s Table. Her signature dish is biryani.

Rose Dakuo came to the UK from Ivory Coast as a refugee aged 17. She later became homeless with four young children, after separating from her partner. But through that experience, Rose found her voice, and she has since dedicated her life to sharing West African food with others in her community, particularly those in need. She is now a regular chef at the ‘Welcome Kitchen,’ a collective of refugee chefs who cook at supper clubs and events across London. Rose specialises in food from across West Africa. Her favourite is Cheb Jen, a Senegalese rice dish.

Two women using cooking to bring communities together

A conversation between two women about their paths to success

Creating Female Superheroes2019123020200608 (WS)Two women making the world of comic books more diverse.

A conversation between two women about their paths to success

Two women making comic books more diverse speak to Kim Chakanetsa about working in a male-dominated industry and why they're so keen to represent women and minorities in comic books.

G. Willow Wilson is a novelist and comic writer from the USA. She's best known for relaunching MS Marvel, starring Kamala Khan, a 16 year old Muslim female superhero, who takes over the mantle after Carol Danvers becomes Captain Marvel. Willow has fought back against claims that diverse characters damage comic book sales and continues to represent Muslim and female characters in her work.

Nicola Scott is an Australian comic book artist who has illustrated several well known female superheroes, including Wonder Woman and Birds of Prey featuring Harley Quinn, which will be adapted for film in 2020. She also co-created the Black Magick series, about young witches. She says women working on comics add layers of humanity and quality to female characters that men might miss.

IMAGE:
(L) G Willow Wilson, credit Getty/MichaelTullberg
(R) Nicola Scott, credit Nicola Scott

Kim Chakanetsa presents a conversation between two women from different cultures about their paths to success.

Creating Movie Worlds20180226Two women who shape the look of a film, from sets to props to locations - and have huge influence on our screens. But despite their success, this is still a field dominated by men.

Hannah Beachler has translated the African fantasy world of Wakanda onto the big screen in the much-anticipated new superhero movie, Black Panther. She is also the creative force behind the look of the Oscar-winning film Moonlight, and she has won awards for her work on Beyonce's visual album Lemonade. Hannah says sexism on set was so rife when she started out that she de-feminised her appearance, to avoid unwanted attention. Now she's in charge of her department however, she simply doesn't stand for any bad behaviour from anyone.

Sarah Greenwood has been nominated for two Academy Awards in 2018 for her work on the box office smash hits The Darkest Hour and Beauty and the Beast. Sarah is considered one of the UK's top production designers and she specialises in films set in the past, including Pride and Prejudice and Atonement. Having been Oscar nominated six times in her career, she says she now has the luxury of being able to make choices, and only work with people she admires.

Image: (L) Sarah Greenwood. Credit: Greg Doherty/Getty Images
Image: (R) Hannah Beachler. Credit: Chris Britt

Two women in charge of production design on major movie sets

A conversation between two women about their paths to success

Cricketers20170227Talented women cricketers from the West Indies and New Zealand chat to Kim Chakanetsa about how they've gone from playing cricket with the boys as kids to record-breaking achievements with their teams.

Merissa Aguilleira is from Trinidad and plays for the West Indies women's side. As well as a six year stint as team captain, Merissa contributed to their success in becoming Twenty20 World Champions in 2016. Her achievements seem all the more impressive when you realise that she only started playing 'real' cricket at 16, and initially her instinct was to run away from the hard ball! She talks about the importance of breaking down stereotypes by being unafraid to boast about women's achievements.

Sophie Devine is Vice Captain of the White Ferns, New Zealand's women's team. She also plays in the Australian Women's Big Bash League, and says the popularity of women's cricket there is going through the roof. As a Type 1 diabetic, Sophie says her condition has never been a barrier to sporting success, and she truly believes in the power of sport to change lives.

(L) Sophie Devine (credit: Stefan Gosatti/Getty Images) and (R) Merissa Aguilleira (WICB Media/Randy Brooks of Brooks Latouche Photography)

Star cricketers from New Zealand and the West Indies discuss the women's game.

A conversation between two women about their paths to success

Crime Writers2017032720170402 (WS)Two women trying to get into the mind of the serial killer talk to Kim Chakanetsa about the craft of crime fiction. We hear what they're most afraid of, how writing about grim subjects has altered their outlook on life and whether women are particularly good at this genre.

Patricia Cornwell is probably the best known female crime writer in the world. Credited with creating the 'forensic thriller', Patricia has sold over 100 million books across the globe and recently published the 24th book in her hugely popular Kay Scarpetta series. Patricia has also long been fascinated by Jack the Ripper, the infamous Victorian serial killer, and has written her own account of his possible identity.

Angela Makholwa is a former South African journalist who first got into crime writing after interviewing the real-life serial killer, Moses Sithole, in prison. Her debut novel Red Ink was loosely based on those experiences. She says the role of the writer is to confront the things we all want to run away from. She has since written two more novels and says she enjoys reading crime fiction from Scandinavia, given that she writes about such a radically different part of the world. Angela lives and works in Johannesburg.

(L) Image: Patricia Cornwell. Credit: Patrick Ecclesine.
(R) Image and credit: Angela Makholwa.

Two acclaimed female crime authors from the US and South Africa

A conversation between two women about their paths to success

Crowning The Queens20180813Can hats be liberating for women? Nelufar Hedayat brings together a hatmaker to the British Queen and a turban designer to Beyoncé.

Rachel Trevor-Morgan is a London based milliner who has been making hats for the Queen for over a decade. As well as royalty she also sells to top fashion retailers, and thinks it's a shame that we don’t wear hats as much as we used to. Rachel is not trying to push the boundaries of fashion with her hats - she says her mission is to make her clients look classically feminine and glamorous.

Donia Allegue Walbaum is a French luxury fashion designer whose turbans have been commissioned by Beyoncé, including for the video for her latest single. She's aiming to reinvent this age-old headpiece in a modern way, and says it's the ultimate accessory. Many of her clients also wear them to cover their heads for religious reasons, or even in the case of illness.

Image: Turban designer Donia Allegue Walbaum and milliner Rachel Trevor-Morgan donning their designs
(L) Donia Allegue Walbaum. Credit: Laurent Mauger
(R) Rachel Trevor-Morgan. Credit: Catherine Harbour

Two women who make dramatic headpieces for very high-profile clients

A conversation between two women about their paths to success

Daughters Of Political Icons20170626Growing up with a name that has resonance around the world - and a father with a towering reputation. That's been the experience of Samia Nkrumah and Noo Saro-Wiwa. We'll hear about the pride and burdens they carry with them, and how their fathers' untimely deaths have shaped their lives.

Samia Nkrumah is the daughter of Ghana's first president, Kwame Nkrumah - the man who led his country to independence in 1957, and became an international symbol of freedom as the leader of the first African country to shake off the chains of colonial rule. Samia was just 11 at the time of her father's death, and hadn't seen him for six years, after the family were separated following his overthrow. Still, Samia decided to follow her father into politics and currently chairs the Convention People's Party, a political party in Ghana founded by her father.

Noo Saro-Wiwa is the daughter of Ken Saro-Wiwa, the Nigerian writer and environmental activist who was killed in 1995 after leading peaceful protests against the oil industry in his home region of Ogoniland. Noo was a 19-year-old student at the time of his death. She went on to become a journalist and author based in the UK - she has written an account of her own journey around Nigeria called 'Looking for Transwonderland'.

Image: Samia Nkrumah (credit: Samia Nkrumah) (l) and NooSaro-Wiwa (credit: Michael Wharley) (r)

Two women whose fathers made an indelible mark on the political landscape in West Africa.

A conversation between two women about their paths to success

Image: Samia Nkrumah (credit: Samia Nkrumah) (l) and NooSaro-Wiwa (credit: Michael Wharley) (r)

Dementia Carers20190826What does good care look like? Kim Chakanetsa talks to two women who have dedicated their lives to looking after and advocating for people with dementia in different parts of the world.

Morejoy Saineti is a specialist dementia care nurse originally from Zimbabwe, now living in London. She has won numerous awards for her work after she pioneered a community palliative care service for people with dementia in the UK. After her own mother developed the condition, Morejoy also founded Africa Dementia Service to raise awareness of dementia in southern Africa. She has also partnered with Alzheimer's Society UK to tackle stigma in Zimbabwe as part of their Global Dementia Friends Network.

Rabiab Nantarak works at a care facility in a village near Chiang Mai in Thailand, looking after western patients who have been diagnosed with dementia. Rabiab is a trained nursing assistant and has worked in this role for five years, having previously worked in the tourism industry. She believes that the most important skills for any caregiver are patience and the ability to give people space. The care home where Rabiab works is featured in a new documentary by Kristof Bilsen, Mother, which gives a moving portrait of the lives of the carers and their patients.

L: Rabiab Nantarak (credit: Rabiab Nantarak) R: Morejoy Saineti (credit: Morejoy Saineti)

Two women discuss what good care means for people with dementia

A conversation between two women about their paths to success

Kim Chakanetsa presents a conversation between two women from different cultures about their paths to success.

Disability: Maysoon Zayid And Gloria Williston20160222Two successful women from America and Ghana who refuse to be defined by their disability

A conversation between two women about their paths to success

Maysoon Zayid is an Arab-American actor and writer with cerebral palsy. Brought up by parents who believed that nothing was impossible, she learnt how to walk by placing her heels on her father's feet. Combating unequal treatment in her profession, Maysoon went on to become a popular stand-up comedian, co-founded the New York Arab-American Comedy Festival and has performed in clubs in the US and the Middle East.

Gloria Williston was born with micromelia – one leg shorter than the other - and uses a prosthesis to keep balance when she walks. Growing up in Ghana she faced prejudice and stigmatisation but always kept a positive attitude. She completed her degree and now works at the Orthopaedic Training Centre in Nsawam. Gloria believes that the key factor in her success was her family's 'love all the way'.

Photo: Maysoon Zayid (L) Gloria Williston (R).

Disabled Women Challenging Stereotypes20181203Nelufar Hedayat unites two women with disabilities from Toronto and Mumbai, who are challenging misconceptions about their sexuality and what they’re capable of achieving.

Maayan Ziv is a fashion photographer and entrepreneur from Toronto, Canada. She uses a wheelchair and became frustrated with the lack of information about accessibility of venues in her city. Having discovered early on that technology can alter the day to day life of disabled people all over the globe, she decided to develop an app. It is called AccessNow and uses crowd-sourcing technology to create an accessible map of a city. It's now operational in 35 countries around the world.

Nidhi Goyal is an activist and comedian from Mumbai. At the age of 14 she began to lose her sight, which she maintains allowed her to ‘see more clearly’ the barriers that disabled people face. She is India’s first female disabled stand-up comedian, using humour to challenge the way people think about dating with disability and sexuality. She founded the non-profit Rising Flame which advocates for women with disabilities, and delivers disability and inclusion training to companies across India.

Produced by Katie Pennick for BBC World Service.

Image: (L) Nidhi Goyal Credit: Sahil Kotwani (R) Maayan Ziv

Two women challenging the way we think about disability in Canada and India

A conversation between two women about their paths to success

Kim Chakanetsa presents a conversation between two women about their paths to success.

Diving Into The Past2017072420170730 (WS)Two archaeologists take us on an underwater adventure to uncover secrets about our past. Between them they've explored wooden vessels dating back hundreds of years, discovered Roman statues in the Mediterranean and Chinese ceramics in the Gulf of Thailand, and even stumbled upon what may be an Aboriginal rubbish dump.

Pornnatcha 'Jo' Sankhaprasit is Thailand's first ever female underwater archaeologist. She grew up in the Thai mountains and didn't even see the sea until she was nine years old. She's always had a passion for history and adventure, and she was drawn to marine archaeology because sites are often far better preserved underwater than on land. However the water, and deep dives in particular, still scare her - and the breathing apparatus weighs more than she does! But it's all worth it when she gets to work on ancient wrecks like the well-preserved Chinese ship that sank in the Gulf of Thailand more than 500 years ago.

Sarah Ward is a renowned maritime archaeologist from Australia, who has a vast and varied experience in her field. She has worked on underwater archaeological sites from a Roman wreck off the coast of Turkey, to the Tudor flagship, the Mary Rose, and a warship that sank off the coast of Argentina in 1790. These days she works mainly on commercial maritime projects, carrying out detailed surveys and excavations of harbours, ports and other coastal sites.

(L) Image: Sarah Ward. Credit:Surface Supplied Diver Training
(R) Image: Pornnatcha Sankhaprasit. Credit: Ian McCann

Two women exploring underwater archaeological sites in Thailand and Australia

A conversation between two women about their paths to success

(L) Image: Sarah Ward. Credit:Surface Supplied Diver Training
(R) Image: Pornnatcha Sankhaprasit. Credit: Ian McCann

Divorce Lawyers20161219How to deal with the financial and emotional fallout when a couple split up

A conversation between two women about their paths to success

Sorting out the messy business of divorce, in France and India.

Veronique Chauveau is a divorce lawyer based in Paris, where she's been practising for more than 30 years. The bulk of her work is with the rich and famous, but she also finds time for a 'reality check' through taking on international child abduction cases. And she is an undisputed expert in jam making!

Vandana Shah is a divorce lawyer in Mumbai. She learnt about divorce the hard way, when she was thrown out of the family home, and spent the next 10 years battling to get a divorce. During that time she got herself a law degree, and she is now one of the foremost lawyers at the family court in Mumbai. She regularly writes for The Huffington Post, and her memoirs are called The Ex-Files. She also started 360 Degrees Back to Life, India's first support group for people going through a divorce.

(L-Image and credit: Vandana Shah.

R-Image and credit: Veronique Chauveau.)

Do Small Loans Really Work For Women?20190701Microlending is touted as a way to lift women out of poverty - with stories of small loans transforming lives in developing countries. But is that the reality? Kim Chakanetsa speaks to two women who lead microfinance organisations in India and the US.

Julie Hanna is an Egyptian-born entrepreneur and chair of the board of Kiva, a US-based non-profit organisation that allows people to lend money via the internet to people on low incomes in over 90 countries. Julie herself came to the US as a child refugee, fleeing civil wars in Jordan and in Lebanon, where her family were living. She says it shaped her as a person. In 2015, President Obama named her Presidential Ambassador for Global Entrepreneurship.

Vijayalakshmi Das is the CEO of Friends of Women's World Banking, India, which is based in Ahmedabad. The organisation looks to not only provide women in India with microloans but also, through a group structure, provide support, knowledge and education for women in poverty so that they're able to use their new access to finance in a positive way.

Image:
L - Image and credit: Julie Hanna
R - Image and credit: Viji Das

Two women who head up micro-finance organisations

A conversation between two women about their paths to success

Domestic Workers: Marissa Begonia And Siphokazi Mdlankomo2016100320161008 (WS)
20161009 (WS)
Life in service: the secret tales of domestic workers in the Philippines and South Africa

A conversation between two women about their paths to success

Siphokazi Mdlankomo comes from South Africa and Marissa Begonia from the Philippines but they have plenty in common. They have both dedicated a great deal of their lives to taking care of other people's households and children. They are Kim Chakanetsa's guests on this programme and they are discussing life as a domestic worker.

Marissa Begonia left her three young children to work overseas. It was a tough decision for her but she couldn't bear to see them going hungry at home in the Philippines. She found work initially in Hong Kong and then Singapore and finally London. Her choice has worked out for her, after years of providing for her children back home, she was finally able to bring them to join her in London. But the separation has taken its toll on all of them, and so has the work. Melissa has seen and heard of so much mistreatment among domestic workers that she decided to set up an organisation to protect the rights and welfare of others in her profession. The organisation is called Justice for Domestic Workers.

Until very recently Siphokazi Mdlankomo was working for a family in Johannesburg, South Africa but she's had to leave her job to focus full time on her new role on television and writing cookery books. She came to fame when she was runner-up in the South African reality TV show Master Chef. Her cooking has come a long way since she started her working life. She looks back fondly at the young Siphokazi, just starting out in her career, back then, she didn't know what garlic was, or fresh herbs or how to make a piece of toast.

Siphokazi and Marissa share their intimate, moving and sometimes funny stories of running someone else's household.

(Photo: Marissa Begonia (L) and (R) Siphokazi Mdlankomo)

Editors In Chief2017082820170903 (WS)Being in charge of Huffpost and The Guardian - Kim Chakanetsa brings together two women who are re-shaping their international news publications.

Lydia Polgreen is Global Editor in Chief of HuffPost. She took over from founder Ariana Huffington in 2016, after spending 15 years at the New York Times, where she had postings across Africa and Asia. The child of an Ethiopian mother and an American father, Lydia was raised in neither country, growing up mainly in Kenya and Ghana. She says moving around so much means she is now a self-made insider - precisely because she is an outsider everywhere.

Katharine Viner is Editor in Chief of Guardian News and Media, and is the first woman in the paper's almost 200-year history to hold this role. Katharine had her first article published in The Guardian newspaper when she was still at school, however she says the penny didn't drop that she was meant to be a journalist until several years later. She took charge of daily news operations across print and digital media in 2015.

Image (L): Katharine Viner. Credit: The Guardian
Image (R): Lydia Polgreen. Credit: HuffPost

Two women who run international news publications

A conversation between two women about their paths to success

Image (L): Katharine Viner. Credit: The Guardian
Image (R): Lydia Polgreen. Credit: HuffPost

Ending Child Marriage20180820Is it possible to end child marriage in a generation? Kim Chakanetsa brings together two women working to make it a thing of the past in Malawi and in the United States.

Memory Banda's sister was just 11 when she was forced to marry the man who'd made her pregnant. Determined not to have the same fate, Memory persuaded local leaders in Malawi to change their minds about this cultural practise and then - still a teenager - she successfully campaigned for the government to raise the marriage age to 18 across the country in 2015. Memory says that she faced a big backlash but she felt she had to speak out when she saw how traumatic the practice was for girls in her community.

Trevicia Williams came out of school one day and was told by her mother that she was going to be married. Trevicia was 14. Her prospective husband - whom she hardly knew - was 26. It took her three years to escape the marriage. Trevicia says education was her key to surviving the experience. Now a doctor of psychology, she empowers individuals and families to build strong healthy relationships and prevent social issues like child marriage. Trevicia's testimony was key to her state of Texas changing the law to outlaw marriage under the age of 18, in 2017.

(L) Dr Trevicia Williams (credit: Trevicia Williams)
(R ) Memory Banda (credit: Bensam)

Two women campaigning to end child marriage in the US and in Malawi

A conversation between two women about their paths to success

Endurance Cyclists2020040620200412 (WS)Riding across continents in some of the world's toughest cycle races.  Kim Chakanetsa talks to two women who've used their reserves of physical and mental strength.  

Fiona Kolbinger was the winner of the Transcontinental Race in 2019. She crossed Europe, from Bulgaria to France - a distance of 4000km - in ten days two hours and 48 minutes. She beat the second closest rider, a man, by almost six hours. She says when a part of her was in pain she focused on the bits of her body that had hurt yesterday but had got better, knowing that something different would hurt tomorrow!

Emily Chappell worked as a cycle courier in London before developing a taste for long distance adventures, cycling from Wales across Asia to Japan. In her first Transcontinental Race in 2015 she made it only halfway, waking up suddenly on her back in a field, floored by the physical and mental exertion. The following year she was the first woman to cross the line - two days ahead of the other female competitors. She says these cycling challenges make her feel powerful and confident in all aspects of life and more women should give it a go.

Image
(L) Emily Chappell (credit: Kristian Pletten)
(R) Fiona Kolbinger (credit: James Robertson)

Two women using reserves of physical and mental strength riding ultra-distance bike races

A conversation between two women about their paths to success

Endurance Sports: Megan Harrington-johnson And Manu Vilaseca2016050920160514 (WS)
20160515 (WS)
The women who are pushing their bodies to the limit by land and sea

A conversation between two women about their paths to success

Megan Harrington-Johnson doesn't let worry and doubt stop her when she wants to complete a 13km open-water swim. The South African endurance swimmer has swam in shark infested waters, even though she's petrified of them and has had a close shave with a Great White. Megan says she's often the only woman on the team, but thinks it's fear rather than ability that holds other women back from doing what she does. Sweating in the water is an issue and Megan talks about the importance of staying hydrated and eating lots of calories to get through a big swim.

Manu Vilaseca started by running 5km races and now does 160km ultra-marathons. The lengthy courses are rarely on flat terrain, they're normally up and down mountains and the conditions can be unpredictable, but Manu, who's from Brazil, says even when her mind is telling her to stop she knows how to talk herself round and get through. The competitions might be punishing on Manu's body, but she says she loves the feeling of total exhaustion and almost craves the pain she will feel afterwards so she knows she's pushed herself to the limit.

Photo: (L) Megan Harrington-Johnson. Credit: Charl Rorich.

Photo: (R) Manuela Vileseca. Credit: Bernardo Rodrigues.

Engineers: Marita Cheng And Nisrine Chartouny2016052320160528 (WS)
20160529 (WS)
Building robots and boring tunnels, female engineers from Australia and Lebanon

A conversation between two women about their paths to success

When Australian mechanical engineer Marita Cheng got to university, she was shocked to discover that only five out of 50 students on her course were female. She responded by starting Robogals - an organisation that goes into schools and teaches robotics to girls as a way of encouraging them into choosing engineering as a career. Having won multiple awards and starting her own robotics company, Marita is now an inspiring role model herself, and has developed a robot arm that can aid people with mobility issues.

Lebanese civil engineer Nisrine Chartouny oversees miles of tunnelling on London's ambitious Crossrail project. Her work requires precision, skill and very long hours. Nisrine joined her company Bechtel 10 years ago, and says she and her husband put off having babies for five years because she was enjoying her job so much. Now a mum of one, she was able to go back to work four days a week and wants the rest of the industry she is so passionate about to embrace flexible working, so that it can hold on to women like her.

(Photo: Marita Cheng (L). Credit: University of Melbourne, Australia. Nisrine Chartouny (R). Credit: Bechtel)

Falconers2017091820170924 (WS)
20190304 (WS)
The ancient art of falconry holds a magical appeal for our guests this week. They talk to Kim Chakanetsa about why they were drawn to this ancient tradition, the unique relationship they form with their birds, and the concerns of those who consider it cruel.

Helen Macdonald from the UK is the bestselling author of H is for Hawk, a moving account of the year she spent training Mabel the goshawk after her father's death. As a child Helen was obsessed by birds of prey and was determined to become a falconer - later she used her writing to bring the powerful relationship between humans, falcons and nature to a wider public. She's not currently working with a bird, but she dreams of flying merlin falcons.

Lauren McGough from Oklahoma in the US has become a world authority on the golden eagle - though growing up she didn't know falconry existed. She discovered the sport at the age of 14 and has been hooked ever since, travelling to Mongolia to learn more about eagle falconry from nomadic eagle hunters. She's currently based in South Africa, where she's working with a male crowned eagle called Dart.

Image: (L) Lauren McGough (credit Jennifer Campbell Smith) and (R) Helen Macdonald (credit: Mike Birkhead)

Two women who have mastered the ancient art of flying birds of prey.

A conversation between two women about their paths to success

Image: (L) Lauren McGough (credit Jennifer Campbell Smith) and (R) Helen Macdonald (credit: Mike Birkhead)

Image: (L) Lauren McGough (credit Jennifer Campbell Smith) and (R) Helen Macdonald (credit: Helen Macdonald)

Fantasy Writers: Karen Lord And Maria Turtschaninoff20160208Two fantasy authors talk about world-building, and the importance of being bored

A conversation between two women about their paths to success

Karen Lord's writing feeds off the real world but knits in magic, folktales and adventure to create a unique and original universe. She is the author of three books, and her latest is called The Galaxy Game. Karen has won numerous awards including the Frank Collymore Literary award, which recognises literary talent in Barbados. She says that she loves the place where she writes from, because the melting-pot nature of the Caribbean is a constant source of stories and inspiration.

Maria Turtschaninoff started writing fairy tales aged five, and now weaves historically inspired worlds of magical realism with elements of mythology. The prizes she's won for her work include the Finlandia Junior Prize, for Maresi, her first novel published in English. Maria says her 'cricket-mind' means she's easily distracted from writing, but her best ideas often come to her when she's bored. Surprisingly, she writes in Swedish, as she comes from the tiny Swedish-speaking minority in Finland.

(Picture: Fanstasy writers Karen Lord (Right) and Maria Turtschaninoff (Left))

Farmers: J㳀hanna Bergmann Þorvaldsd㳀ttir And Rashida Khan2015101220151017 (WS)Two women from Iceland and Australia discuss farming's toughest challenges

Jóhanna Bergmann Þorvaldsdóttir grew up on an Icelandic farm that has been in her family for three generations. She has always loved Icelandic goats - a rare and beautiful breed - and when she took over the family farm she decided to concentrate on raising them. Iceland did not have a big market for goat products but Jóhanna slowly built a customer base for her goats milk, cheese, wool and meat. After the country entered a financial crisis in 2008, Jóhanna ended up in danger of having to sell her farm. This would have been a great loss to her, but could have led to extinction for the Icelandic goat as Jóhanna's was the only commercial farm still breeding them. She saved her goats with the help of a crowdfunding website and, to her great surprise, thousands of 'Game of Thrones' fans.

Rashida Khan is a cattle producer and animal nutritionist. She runs a stud farm and a cattle station in Northern Australia. Rashida has Afghan and Aboriginal heritage and her family has worked with livestock in the Northern Territory for three generations. When the Australian government banned the export of live cattle to Indonesia following evidence of cruelty in the livestock industry there, Rashida and many like her were affected. She knew that many cattle workers live in remote, isolated places so she turned to social media to offer support to those struggling to adjust after the ban.

(Photo: Jóhanna Bergmann Þorvaldsdóttir (left). Credit: Audra Mulkern of the Female Farmer Project. (Right) Rashida Khan)

Fashion Bosses: Rubana Huq And Kim Winser20141117A Bangladeshi textile magnate and a British clothing retailer compare experiences

Bangladeshi clothing manufacturer Rubana Huq, who employs over 5000 women in eight factories, talks to British retailer Kim Winser who has been responsible for some major fashion brands.

What do two women leaders in the global fashion industry have to say to each other? From how they got into the world of fashion to factory-floor culture and leadership, Bangladeshi factory boss Rubana Huq and British fashion retailer Kim Winser compare their experiences.

Kim Winser has been described as one of Europe's most successful businesswomen. She spent 20 years with the British retailer Marks and Spencer, where a conversation with her boss in the elevator led to an interview to become the first woman in the company's commercial field and then its youngest divisional director. Kim is also credited with breathing life back into major fashion brands such as Pringle of Scotland and Aquascutum. She now runs her own fashion label called Winser London.

Rubana Huq is a prize-winning poet and the ""accidental"" Managing Director of the Mohammadi Group. Her company owns eight factories and employs 9000 men and women making garments for export. She is among only a handful of female entrepreneurs in the clothing trade in Bangladesh and wants to see more women leading change in the industry as it recovers from the tragedy of the Rana Plaza factory collapse in 2013.

(Picture: Rubana Huq (left); Kim Winser)

Fashion Designers: Anya Ayoung Chee And Christina Economou2016071120160716 (WS)
20160717 (WS)
Successful female fashion designers from Trinidad and Greece talk shop.

A conversation between two women about their paths to success

Clothes designers from Trinidad and Greece get together with Kim Chakanetsa, to talk about the killer combination of creativity and business sense you need to make it in the competitive world of fashion.

Anya Ayoung Chee is from the Caribbean nation of Trinidad and Tobago. Always interested in fashion, but too scared to study it at college, she started making her own outfits when competing to represent her country at Miss Universe. Anya later entered the US reality TV show Project Runway, and came out the surprise winner, having only learnt how to sew weeks before! She's had her own labels, but is currently leading a collective of 30 local designers with the aim of putting the Caribbean region firmly on the global fashion map.

Christina Economou is a rising star of the European fashion scene. She studied in Paris and won the 2011 International Award at London Graduate Fashion Week, then returned to her home city of Athens to fulfil her dream of launching her own luxury label. Christina has a love of bright colours and bold prints, and sources much of her production and fabric locally, for example in the historic Greek silk town of Soufli. She says fashion school did not prepare her for how to combine her design skills with running a business, so she's had to learn the hard way.

Image: Anya Ayoung Chee (l) and Christina Economou (r)

Credit: Joey Rosado (l) and Yiorgos Kaplanidis (r)

Fasten Your Seatbelts: Female Flight Attendants20190624What's it like to be a woman in the airline industry? Flying has undergone great changes in the past few decades, but Kim Chakanetsa asks how far perceptions of female cabin crew have really changed?

Heather Poole has worked for a major US airline for 20 years. She's also the author of the bestselling book, 'Cruising Attitude: Tales of Crashpads, Crew Drama and Crazy Passengers at 30,000 Feet.' Through social media and blogging she has exposed what's really going on in the minds of cabin crew.

Gretchen Ryan started working for South African Airways in 1983 and has just published a book about her experiences called 'Secrets of a Stewardess: Flying the World in the 1980s.' She describes a mad decade of travel during a time when flying was a luxury and to be an air hostess was seen by many as a glamourous life.

Presenter: Kim Chakanetsa.

L: Heather Poole (credit: Almeida)
R: Gretchen Ryan (credit: Callyn Jones)

Two women discuss what it's like to be a woman on the frontline of the airline industry

A conversation between two women about their paths to success

Female Computer Pioneers20180903The lost role of women in the development of the computer industry is brought into focus by an internet pioneer and a computer historian.

Radia Perlman is an American computer programmer often described as the 'Mother of the Internet' for her invention of the spanning-tree protocol, an algorithm which allowed early networks to cope with large amounts of data. She describes it as a 'simple hack' and it is still in use today.

Tilly Blyth is Head of Collections and Principal Curator at the Science Museum. She specialises in the history of computing and is particularly interested in the lost role women played within that history. She has curated an exhibition on Ada Lovelace, a 19th century trailblazer of science.

Image: (L) Tilly Blyth and (R) Radia Perlman
Credit: (L) Science Museum Group Collection and (R) Andrew Tanenbaum

Two women discuss the pivotal role female programmers play in computing

A conversation between two women about their paths to success

Female Film Composers20190408How to break the 'celluloid ceiling' in the movie industry, a term used to describe the under-representation of women in Hollywood? The numbers are particularly shocking when it comes to film soundtracks. In 2018, 94% of the music in Hollywood's highest grossing films was composed by men, according to the Center for the Study of Women in Television and Film at San Diego State University. Nelufar Hedayat asks two successful female composers why the numbers are so low and what can be done to close the gap?

Hildur Guðnadóttir is an Icelandic composer, cellist and singer who is at the forefront of experimental pop music. She has composed a number of film scores, including Sicario: Day of the Soldado and the 2019 Joker film, starring Joaquin Phoenix, both of which have been described as 'macho' big budget features. She says she got in through the back door, because of the particular experimental style she has developed, and was surprised by the response she got when she arrived in Hollywood.

Lolita Ritmanis is an Emmy Award-winning American composer, who is best known for the memorable themes she’s created for iconic superheroes, including for the animated series, Justice League. Lolita is the co-founder of the Alliance for Women Film Composers, which aims to increase the visibility of female composers in the film industry.

Image:
(l) Lolita Ritmanis. Credit: Thomas Mikusz
(r)Hildur Guðnadóttir. Credit: Antje Taiga Jandrig

Two women shaking up the male-dominated movie industry

A conversation between two women about their paths to success

Kim Chakanetsa presents a conversation between two women from different cultures about their paths to success.

Female Financiers20180716Can financial markets transform women's lives? Kim Chakanetsa unites two financiers from Nigeria and Bangladesh who are trying to increase wealth for women in very different ways.

Durreen Shahnaz was one of the first Bangladeshi women on Wall Street, and later founded Singapore-based Impact Investment Exchange (IIX) through which she set up the world's first social stock exchange. She recently launched a Women's Livelihood Bond, which will impact the lives of over 385,000 women across Southeast Asia. Durreen says she was advised along the way to change the name of the bond so it didn't include the word 'women'. She refused, poured her last savings into it, and was elated when it became over-subscribed.

When Arunma Oteh was head of Nigeria's Securities and Exchange Commission she took many powerful men to task over corruption and fraud, and faced a gendered backlash. She says people didn't like that the new Sheriff in town was a woman, but the public came to respect her results. Arunma is now Vice-President and Treasurer at the World Bank, where she convinces the private sector to invest in emerging economies. She says women are the real new emerging market, and if they earned as much as men, $160 trillion could be added to global wealth.

(L) Arunma Oteh (credit: Kevin Mazur/Getty Images for RFK Human Rights)
(R) Durreen Shahnaz (credit: TED)

Two women who are pushing the boundaries of global finance

A conversation between two women about their paths to success

Female Football Agents20190107Is being an agent to female soccer players different from representing men? Kim Chakanetsa speaks with two female football agents from the UK and France who have male and female clients. They handle everything from tough salary negotiations and sponsorship deals to the all-important image management.

Jennifer Mendelewitsch was the only woman out of 400 agents in France when she qualified 15 years ago. She has built a reputation as a fearsome negotiator and describes herself as part-mother part-friend to her clients, especially the young male players. She says her biggest challenge is getting them to understand the potential repercussions of over-sharing on social media for their future careers.

Georgie Hodge is a former player turned agent to the UK's emerging female football stars. She says while the salaries women players can command are still nothing like the men's, major sponsors are finally waking up to their value as brand ambassadors. Because the women's game is still building, Georgie says her players want to positively represent the whole sport, not just worry about their own careers.

(Image: (L) Jennifer Mendelewitsch and (R) Georgie Hodge)

Two women who represent top football players

A conversation between two women about their paths to success

Kim Chakanetsa presents a conversation between two women about their paths to success.

Female Friendship2019111820200525 (WS)
20200531 (WS)
How to make and how to keep good female friends

A conversation between two women about their paths to success

What's so important about friendships between women and how do they change over the course of our lives? Kim Chakanetsa talks to two women about making and keeping good friends. How do you maintain strong friendships when you're constantly on the move?

Uloma Ogba is founder and CEO of Launch Africa, which offers career advice and mentoring to people wanting to work in international development. She works with the United Nations in Rwanda and has also co-founded the non-profit, Give Girls a Chance, which aims to increase access to quality education for girls across Nigeria. Given her busy, international lifestyle how does she keep the friends she has and make new ones when she travels?

Kanwal Ahmed is a Pakistani entrepreneur and founder of Soul Sisters Pakistan, an online community which sets out to create a space where Pakistani women feel comfortable to speak their minds. 'I saw thousands of women coming together online, not even knowing each other, but standing up for each other and being there for each other.' More recently Kanwal has also launched a digital talk show, Conversations with Kanwal, about everything from love and loss to cyber harassment.

Image
L: Uloma Ogba (credit: Uloma Ogba)
R: Kanwal Ahmed (credit: Sarosh Pirwani)

Female Fury20190121What is making women angry, and can that rage be channelled for good? Kim Chakanetsa speaks to feminist writers from South Africa and the US.

US writer and media critic Soraya Chemaly says women across the world have a right to be angry. Their rights are undermined, they're routinely underpaid and belittled. But from an early age girls are also taught to suppress their anger and calm themselves down when fired up. She says women need to learn to embrace rage as a tool for positive change. Soraya recently published a book called Rage Becomes Her: The Power of Women’s Anger.

Dela Gwala is a South African activist and writer, who found feminism in the aftermath of being sexually assaulted. Her white-hot rage at the victim-blaming she faced fuelled her campaigning. It was only when that anger ran out a couple of years later that she says she realised she needed to confront and deal with her other emotions. Dela recently contributed to an anthology called Feminism Is: South Africans Speak Their Truth.

L - Dela Gwala (credit: Dela Gwala)
R - Soraya Chemaly (credit: Karen Sayre)

Two women explore anger as a gendered emotion

A conversation between two women about their paths to success

Kim Chakanetsa presents a conversation between two women about their paths to success.

Female Roadies2019080520200504 (WS)
20200510 (WS)
Two road crew for huge bands who defy the stereotype

A conversation between two women about their paths to success

Most people's idea of a band 'roadie' is a burly bloke in a black T-shirt, lugging kit around a stage, living hard and touring constantly. Kim Chakanetsa speaks to two women who have broken this mould, living on the road with music royalty, and making them look and sound amazing.

Known as the world’s first female roadie, Tana Douglas is something of a legend in her field. She started off working for the Australian rock band AC/DC when she was just 16. She went on to tour with huge international artists such as Elton John and Status Quo, specialising in lighting.

Sound engineer to the stars, Becky Pell, regularly plays huge arenas on sell-out tours for artists like Kylie Minogue and Westlife, and for three years has been in charge of the Pyramid Stage at Glastonbury, the world’s biggest festival. She says it's a myth that you need to be big and brawny to work on stage, it’s all about staying calm amid the chaos.

l: Tana Douglas (credit BBC)
r: Becky Pell (credit Becky Pell)

Feminism, Sex And Relationships20200928How does feminism influence our love lives? Is it possible to hold true to feminist principles of equality when dating apps reduce us to swipe-able products on a page? Kim Chakanetsa talks to two women who write about sex and dating.

Priya Malik is a columnist and spoken word poet, who writes about feminism, love, sex and dating. She moved to Australia with her husband but returned home to Mumbai after her divorce and is now in a relationship which has equality at its heart.

Annie Lord is a journalist who writes about sex and relationships for British Vogue. A committed feminist she admits it can be hard to hold on to those principles of equality in the world of dating.

Image
L: Priya Malik (credit - Priya Malik)
R: Annie Lord (credit - Annie Lord)

How does feminism influence women's love lives?

Kim Chakanetsa presents a conversation between two women from different cultures about their paths to success.

Feminist Publishers20180423Promoting women's writing around the world - Kim Chakanetsa brings together the heads of pioneering feminist publishing houses in Australia and India, and asks how they stay relevant in an age of self-publishing and e-books?

Susan Hawthorne runs Spinifex Press in Queensland. She and her partner Renate Klein set it up in 1991 as a response to what they saw as a dearth of diversity in Australian publishing. She says that despite the proliferation of online platforms for writers to publish their work in recent years, they still find they need a real publisher to select, edit and promote them. Susan finds her books in a variety of ways, but is frustrated by the mainstream publishing sector's focus on 'star authors'. Susan is also a writer and her new novel Dark Matters is about a lesbian who is tortured.

Urvashi Butalia co-founded India's first exclusively feminist publishing house in 1984, and now runs Zubaan books based in New Delhi. Her aim is to reflect the experiences of marginalised women and she says she is also seeing a resurgence of interest from young women - and young men - in the history of the women's movement in India. Urvashi is an award-winning author herself, whose best known book is The Other Side of Silence: Voices from the Partition of India.

Image and credit: (L) Urvashi Butalia.
Image: (R) Susan Hawthorne. Credit: Naomi McKescher

Two women who've carved out a space for female writers in India and Australia

A conversation between two women about their paths to success

Fighting Extremism: Hafsat Mohammed And Gulalai Ismail20160321Two women fighting terrorism and violent extremism in Nigeria and Pakistan

A conversation between two women about their paths to success

Hafsat Mohammed is a Nigerian peace activist who survived a Boko Haram attack on a bus and works to combat violent extremism in the country by engaging young people at the grassroots level. She brings Christian and Muslim communities together to find ways to stop young people joining radical groups. Hafsat says when she was growing up this was a peaceful part of the world and it makes her sad that there is so much hate and violence there now, so she's made it her mission to stop it, despite threats made against her.

Gulalai Ismail remembers being young and seeing graffiti chalked on the walls of her home town Peshawar, in north-west Pakistan, calling for young men to join violent extremist groups. As a teenager Gulalai started campaigning for the rights of women and today has broadened her activism out to include anti-radicalisation programmes, and projects dealing with HIV/AIDS education and safe abortion. Gulalai, who has won many awards, has been threatened because of the work she does and had to flee her home after an attack a few years ago.

(Image: Hafsat Mohammed on the Left, Gulalai Ismail on the Right)

Fighting For Racial Justice20180319At the Women of the World Festival in London, Kim Chakanetsa brings together two extraordinary women who have been instrumental in the fight against racism and police brutality.

In 2013, three women came together to form an active response to systemic racism in the US. They'd just learnt that the man who shot dead an unarmed black teenager called Trayvon Martin had been acquitted for the killing. They said simply: Black Lives Matter. One of them was Patrisse Khan-Cullors. Patrisse grew up in Los Angeles and became an activist at an early age having witnessed how her own family members had been treated at the hands of police. She has just published her memoir, 'When They Call You A Terrorist.'

Baroness Doreen Lawrence has campaigned for police reform ever since the murder of her son Stephen in London 25 years ago. He was stabbed to death at a bus stop in an unprovoked racist attack. Doreen's tireless fight for justice finally resulted in two of his killers being convicted, and in a public inquiry. This resulted in the landmark Macpherson Report, which identified institutional racism in the police service, and led to widespread police reform. Doreen Lawrence has become an important public figure in the UK and was made a life peer in the House of Lords in 2013.

Image: Doreen Lawrence, Kim Chakanetsa and Patrisse Khan-Cullors at the WOW Festival in London
Credit: BBC

Two women on their epic fight against racism in the UK and the US

A conversation between two women about their paths to success

Fighting For Women's Health20181001How do you improve women's access to good healthcare? Two female doctors talk to Kim Chakanetsa about the issues they face in two starkly different places - Somalia and the United States.

Paula Johnson is an American cardiologist who has dedicated her whole career to thinking about health from a woman's perspective, focussing on the different ways men and women respond to diseases. When Paula learnt that medical research and trials traditionally were only tested on men, she decided she had to fight for the inclusion of women. Paula believes the lack of testing on women, combined with sex differences, can lead to women not receiving effective diagnosis and treatment. Paula thinks that we should be focusing on women's health and well-being as central to women's equality.

Deqo Mohamed is a Somali doctor who helps run a 400-bed hospital in a refugee camp west of Mogadishu. It was her mother, the pioneering doctor Hawa Abdi, who opened a small clinic in the 1980s, which became a shelter for thousands of displaced people, the majority of them women and children. Today Deqo oversees a hospital, primary school and women’s education centre. She says she prioritises women's health because her female patients are often singly caring for their whole family. Deqo believes her gender helps her to connect with her female patients and negotiate with warlords.

L: Dr Deqo Mohamed (credit: Vital Voices Global Partnership)
R: Dr Paula Johnson (credit: Wellesley College)

Two doctors who are making women's health their priority

A conversation between two women about their paths to success

Fighting Revenge Porn2018021220200810 (WS)
20200816 (WS)
Can women stop their intimate photos being published online without their consent? Kim Chakanetsa brings together two women fighting back against so-called 'revenge' porn

Nyika Allen is President and CEO of the New Mexico Technology Council. In 2015, Nyika's ex-boyfriend began posting compromising photographs of her on Twitter. As they were viewed by complete strangers she was overwhelmed by shock and humiliation, but decided that she would not let him win. As well as getting the images taken down, and taking her ex to court, she successfully lobbied her state's politicians. With her help, New Mexico is now one of a growing number of US states to pass a law against revenge - or non-consensual - pornography.

Talent Jumo supports survivors of revenge porn in Zimbabwe, through her organisation Katswe Sistahood. She says the trauma of the experience is often made worse by the reaction of family who can reject their daughters for bringing shame on them. She believes society stigmatises women for this whereas men are celebrated for their virility. And bullying by ex-partners is grounded in the assumption that they won't speak out. She is helping women do just that, as well as helping to draft much-needed laws that can punish this new crime.

Image: (L) Talent Jumo. Credit: DCNGO. Courtesy of The Global Fund
Image: (R) Nyika Allen. Credit: Joel Bond

Two women fighting the online sharing of non-consensual pornography

Kim Chakanetsa presents a conversation between two women from different cultures about their paths to success.

A conversation between two women about their paths to success

Finding My Voice Through Art2017061220170618 (WS)The power of art to change lives. Two women talk to Kim Chakanetsa about how they use art to enable refugees, asylum seekers and young women to find their creative voice.

Isha Fofana is a Gambian artist who set up an art centre in her country to encourage young women to pursue their artistic talents. Although she showed an interest in art at a young age, she was not fully able to explore it until she was much older. Her canvasses are often large and extremely colourful, capturing the joy and power she sees in the women around her.

Zeina Iaali is a Lebanese-Australian artist who volunteers at the Refugee Art Project in Sydney, which supports refugees and asylum seekers to tell their stories through art. Her own artwork revolves around her experiences as a Muslim woman in Australia. She says art has the power to bring people together, and that's where magic happens.

Photo: (L) Zeina Iaali. Credit: Refugee Art Project. (R) Isha Fofana. Credit: Mama Africa)

Two artists who encourage others to pursue their creative talents

A conversation between two women about their paths to success

Two artists who encourage others to pursue their creative talents.

Photo: (L) Zeina Iaali. Credit: Refugee Art Project. (R) Isha Fofana. Credit: Mama Africa)

Finding The Funny In Feminism20161205Stand-up comedians Aditi Mittal and Zahra Noorbakhsh seek out the funny in feminism

A conversation between two women about their paths to success

Feminism is not known for being funny but we're hoping to change that on The Conversation this week as two feminist stand up comedians go head to head to explore the funny in feminism. They are Aditi Mittal, one of India's top stand-up comedians today and Zahra Noorbakhsh, one half of the internationally acclaimed podcast #GoodMuslimBadMuslim. Also starring a live studio audience of young and alarmingly intelligent people.

This programme was part of the BBC's 100 Women Season.

(L) Image: Zahra Noorbakhsh, Credit: Les Talusan.

(R) Image and credit: Aditi Mittal.

Firefighters20180326Fighting fires and stereotypes at the same time - Kim Chakanetsa speaks to two senior fire women in India and the UK.

Dany Cotton joined the London Fire Brigade at 18, just a few years after it opened up to women. She has worked her way up to be the force's first ever female Commissioner, and is now spearheading a campaign for the general public to stop using the term 'fireman' because it's sexist. Dany still regularly attends fires with her force, including at Grenfell Tower, where more than 70 people died in June 2017. She says it's the worst incident she has ever experienced in 30 years of firefighting, and she has never felt such an overwhelming sense of responsibility.

Meenakshi Vijayakumar is the Deputy Director of North Western Region at the Tamil Nadu Fire and Rescue Service. She was one of the first ever female divisional fire officers in India, joining in 2003. Meenakshi has been called out to over 300 fires in her career, as well as frequent floods and the devastating 2006 tsunami in the coastal city of Chennai. All the way she has battled a widely held belief among her own colleagues that women should not be firefighters, and says she has had to work twice as hard as a man. In 2013 she was awarded the President's Fire Service Medal for Gallantry for rescuing two people from underneath a collapsed building.

(L) Meenakshi Vijayakumar. Credit: Tamil Nadu Fire and Rescue Service
(R) Dany Cotton. Credit: London Fire Brigade

Two women who lead teams of firefighters into burning buildings

A conversation between two women about their paths to success

First Ladies20171127What exactly is the role of the first lady? It's an unofficial position, that comes with enormous expectations, and some obvious pitfalls. Kim Chakanetsa speaks to the First Lady of Namibia, Monica Geingos, and the former First Lady of Iceland, Jonina Leosdottir.

Monica Geingos is a lawyer and businesswoman who married Hage Geingob in 2015, shortly before he became President of Namibia. Monica has continued with many of her previous responsibilities, but she seeks to complement her husband's work by supporting socioeconomic projects in the country. She looks forward to the day when there are more female heads of state and spouses are no longer judged on what they wear or who they're married to.

Jonina Leosdottir is an Icelandic novelist and playwright, whose long-time partner, Johanna Sigurdardottir, became Prime Minister of Iceland in 2009. Jonina therefore became the world's first gay First Lady, and she had to make many personal sacrifices as her partner steered the country through economic crisis. Jonina carried on with her writing career, but says she hardly saw Johanna for five years. Now, however, she's (mostly) happy to have her back.

(L) Monica Geingos (credit: Paul Morigi/Getty Images)
(R) Jonina Leosdottir (credit: Elsa Bjorg Magnusdottir)

Two women whose partners became head of state in Namibia and in Iceland

A conversation between two women about their paths to success

Fisherwomen20180101Braving rough seas to make a living - it's not easy being a fisherwoman, but for our two guests it's about much more than the catch. They talk to Kim Chakanetsa about working in the open air, forming unique bonds with their crew and about their hopes for a sustainable future of fishing.

Claire Neaton is one half of Salmon Sisters, a commercial fishing and nautical clothing company, based in Alaska. She and her sister Emma grew up in the remote Aleutian Islands in Alaska, and learnt to fish at their father's side. She says their unusual upbringing taught them to be self-sufficient and to value their family ties - and that protecting and maintaining the pristine conditions around Alaska's waters is her top priority for the future.

Steinunn Einarsdottir is a fisherwoman based in the remote north-west of Iceland. Her parents were both at sea when she was a child, and she had to fend for herself when they were away. For many years, she has fished year-round, which is rare for women in Iceland, but now she's had her second child she's working in fish farming. She hopes to get back to life on the waves when her children are a little older, despite the fact that it always makes her seasick!

(L) Claire Neaton (credit: Camrin Dengel)
(R) Steinunn Einarsdottir (credit: Steinunn Einarsdottir)

Two women in Alaska and Iceland who make their living from the waves

A conversation between two women about their paths to success

Football Referees: Melissa Borjas Pastrana And Sandra Serafini2016070420160709 (WS)
20160710 (WS)
Women referees from Honduras and Canada on red cards and keeping emotions off the pitch

A conversation between two women about their paths to success

Kim Chakanetsa brings together top female football referees to discuss their passion for the game, the demands of rigorous fitness training and how they handle aggressive players.

Melissa Borjas Pastrana was inspired to follow in her uncle's footsteps to become a referee. Melissa, who lives in the Honduran capital, Tegucigalpa, referees men's games in Honduras and women's games at Fifa level. Melissa reveals how you have to be good at psychology to succeed as a referee, because you are managing 22 players on the pitch as well as the support staff and the fans in the stadium.

Sandra Serafini grew up in a football obsessed household in Canada and from a young age was a keen player. When she discovered that her talents lay more with officiating rather than playing she began to referee at men's and women's games at an amateur level, until eventually she turned professional and joined Fifa in 2006. For much of her career she has combined refereeing football matches with neurosurgery, her work as a neuroscientist helps her to understand why things can go wrong in a game and how to try and fix them. She now works with the Professional Referee Organisation where she coaches the next generation of female referees.

(Photo: Melissa Borjas Pastrana (L) Credit Omar Martinez. Sandra Serafini (R) Credit Dominic Chan)

Forced Marriage20170130Two women who've escaped forced marriage and now fight for the rights of other victims talk to Maryam Maruf about how they've coped after being ostracised by their families.

Most people look forward to their wedding day: not Jasvinder Sanghera. She grew up in a large Sikh family in Derby, UK and was set to marry a much older man. Instead, aged just 16, she ran away from her home. Her family disowned her - and refused her attempts at reconciliation. As a response, Jasvinder went on to found Karma Nirvana, a charity which supports victims of forced marriage and honour-based violence.

Fraidy Reiss didn't even have her own bank account when she left an abusive marriage at the age of 32. She'd been brought up in an insular Orthodox Jewish community in New York, and did not feel she had any real choice in who she married. When she left her husband she had to turn her back on her whole life. She set up a new home with her daughters, and decided to help other women from all different religious and cultural backgrounds to escape forced marriage. Her organisation is called Unchained at Last.

(L) Image: Fraidy Reiss. Credit: Julie N Samuels.
(R) Image: Jasvinder Sanghera. Credit: Karma Nirvana.

Two women who escaped forced marriage and set about helping others

A conversation between two women about their paths to success

Forensic Scientists: Senem \u0160kulj And Kornelia Nehse20160104The 'forensics' who identify bones from mass graves in Bosnia and solve murders in Berlin

A conversation between two women about their paths to success

Forensic Scientists: Senem Škulj And Kornelia Nehse20160104The 'forensics' who identify bones from mass graves in Bosnia and solve murders in Berlin

Senem Škulj is a senior forensic anthropologist for the International Commission on Missing Persons in Bosnia. Thousands of people lost their lives during the bloody conflict when Yugoslavia broke up in the early 1990s. Many bodies were thrown into mass graves and it's Senem's job to put a name to the bones that are found and to reunite the remains with relatives, so they can have a proper burial.

Kornelia Nehse is a hair and textiles expert, she began her career in the forensics department of the Berlin police 30 years ago. At first Kornelia went to the crime scene to collect evidence, but says it was difficult seeing murder victims, especially the vulnerable ones. Now her job is mainly inside the laboratory working with the tiny microscopic fibres that can help catch and convict an offender.

(Photo: Forensic scientists Senem Škulj (Left) and Kornelia Nehse (Right) at work.

Kornelia Nehse picture credit: Claudia Wendt)

Funeral Directors: Nomthetho Zote And Lauren Leroy2015092120150926 (WS)Running funeral homes in the US and South Africa and dealing death everyday.

Lauren LeRoy is a 25-year-old funeral director from New York State. She says she knew she wanted to do this job from the age of 12. Lauren works at a funeral home established by her great uncle, and explains that you have to be good at reading a situation to know how to deal with each grieving family. The worst part of the job for Lauren is the moment just before she closes the casket for the final time and the family are saying their last goodbyes, knowing they won't see their relative again.

Nomthetho Zote runs a funeral parlour in South Africa's Eastern Cape Province. The funeral business is in her blood too, she took over the home from her parents. When Nomthetho was growing up she says death was less common, people generally died of old age, but the high prevalence of HIV/ AIDS in the country has made death an every day thing. Nomthetho even gets calls at 3am from families asking for her help, and she says whatever time of day it is you always have to be patient and kind with grieving people.

(Picture: Nomthetho Zote (Left) and Lauren LeRoy (Right). Credit: Amanda Polanski)

Gamers And Geeks: Jenny Brusk And Angelica Lim2015091420150919 (WS)Jenny Brusk didn't know what she was letting herself in for when she enrolled in a university Masters course in computing in 1990. She went on to become Sweden's first female games developer but she was often mistaken for the company receptionist. The experience made her stronger. She says, ""rather than go hide somewhere in the office I would fill my space"". Jenny is now researching how game characters can be made more psychologically realistic by using natural speech, gossip and lies. She is also the founder of DONNA, an organisation which aims to attract more women into the games industry.

Roboticist Angelica Lim is a self-professed 'geek' who programmes robots to have more 'human' traits, like compassion and empathy. She has lived, baked biscuits and made music with a robot, all in the name of research. The goal is creating the perfect companion robot which might provide help and therapy to the elderly or provide assistance at home to anyone. At some points when she was sharing her home with the robot, Angelica found herself questioning the relationship asking, ""is it my servant or is it my kid?

(Photo (L): Jenny Brusk, credit: Torbjörn Svensson. (R): Angelica Lim, credit: Andy Heather)

A roboticist and a games developer on how and why they are making technology more human

Glossy Magazines20170206What does it take to run a glossy magazine? Two editors speak to Kim Chakanetsa about celebrities, gossip and the power of true life stories.

Betty Irabor launched her magazine, Genevieve, in Lagos 13 years ago, with the aim of inspiring other women to believe in themselves. Her publication is described as Nigeria's leading inspirational and lifestyle magazine. She's even got her daughter involved, first as a teen columnist, now as Assistant Editor. She says that in recent years the website has become more important than the printed edition. But it's still the Lagos elite that set the trends in her fashion pages.

Mamen Sanchez Perez is editor of Hola Mexico and deputy editor of Hola Spain, both part of the Hello Magazine family. She shares her memories of her grandparents, who first launched Hola Magazine in Barcelona in the 1940s, with the aim of bringing more respect and integrity to the gossip pages. That family ethos carries through to the present day - and Mamen's grandmother still plays an active role in the business.

Image: (L) Betty Irabor and (R) Mamen Sanchez Perez
Credit: (L) Genevieve Magazine and (R) no credit

Two successful editors reveal the challenges and triumphs of running a glossy magazine.

A conversation between two women about their paths to success

Graffiti Artists: Lady Pink And Olga Alexopoulou2016102420161029 (WS)
20161030 (WS)
Subway tunnels of 1970s New York and giant murals in Greece - Graffiti artists talk shop

A conversation between two women about their paths to success

How do you feel about graffiti and street art? Is it a democratic form of creative expression, or an eyesore, a public nuisance, that gets your blood boiling? These are questions that Kim Chakanetsa puts to her two guests today.

Olga Alexopoulou lives in Turkey but is originally from Greece. She has a master's degree in Fine Art from Oxford University but she likes to paint on walls, big walls. She is responsible for the biggest mural in Greece, all 350 square metres of it. Street art has been very visible during the recent crises in both Turkey and Greece and while Olga's work promotes peace she has also had to face down her critics.

Lady Pink has been described as ""the first lady of graffiti"". She was born in Ecuador but made a name for herself across New York by literally spray painting her name on the city's subway trains. She was one of very few women on the scene in the late '70s. She used to dress as a boy to avoid unwanted attention. Three decades on, she is now one of the leading figures in the street art scene.

(Photo: Olga Alexopoulou (L). Credit: Yannis Bournias. (R) Lady Pink. Credit: Lauren Thomas)

Gymnasts: Simone Biles And Nadia Comaneci2017091120170917 (WS)Legendary gymnasts Simone Biles and Nadia Comaneci get together with Kim Chakanetsa for a frank discussion of the highs and lows of their sport.

At the Montreal Olympics in 1976, aged just 14, Nadia Comaneci became the first gymnast in history to be awarded a perfect 10 for her routine on the uneven bars. Nadia went on to win 25 medals during her gymnastic career, including five Olympic gold medals. Originally from Romania, Nadia defected to the US in 1989 and now runs a gymnastics school in Oklahoma.

Simone Biles burst onto the Olympic gymnastics scene at the 2016 Rio Games, with her jaw-dropping trademark move The Biles, and took home four gold medals. Not bad for a 19 year old, who only got into the sport by accident when a coach at a local gym spotted her perfectly copying the older girls' moves, aged six. Simone is now the most decorated American gymnast of all time, holding 19 Olympic and World Championship medals.

(Photo: (L) Nadia Comaneci. Credit: Dennis Grombkowski/Getty Images. (R) Simone Biles. Credit: Alex Livesey/Getty Images)

Two women who redefined what's possible in gymnastics

A conversation between two women about their paths to success

Two women who re-defined what's possible in gymnastics

(Photo: (L) Nadia Comaneci. Credit: Dennis Grombkowski/Getty Images. (R) Simone Biles. Credit: Alex Livesey/Getty Images)

Hair Stylists: Sapna Bhavnani And Charlotte Mensah2016091220160917 (WS)
20160918 (WS)
An Indian hair stylist to the stars speaks to an award winning British afro hairdresser

A conversation between two women about their paths to success

Sapna Bhavnani is one of India's most celebrated hair stylists and is known for her own cropped hair and tattoos. Her Mumbai based salon, Mad-O-Wat, is the go-to place for Bollywood's A-list when their hair needs some attention. Clients include actors, politicians and sports stars like Indian cricket captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni. Sapna says her hair appointments can often turn into therapy sessions as her clients want to get their problems off their chest when they're sitting in her chair.

Charlotte Mensah developed a passion for hair styling while she looked after her little sister's hair after their mother died. Charlotte, who has twice been named British Afro Hairdresser of the Year, (by the British Hairdressing Awards) grew up in Ghana and moved to London when she was 11 years old. She goes back and forth to Accra and says it gives her a lot of inspiration for the styles she creates in the Hair Lounge, her Portobello Road salon, which specialises in afro hair. Charlotte promotes natural hair and says women are embracing this look.

Photo: (L)-Sapna Bhavnani. Credit: Sheetal Sherekar.

(R) Charlotte Mensah. Credit: John Rawson.

Head Gardeners20180604Planting, pruning and giving the orders - Kim Chakanetsa meets two female head gardeners who are challenging the idea that gardening is a hobby for women but a career for men.

Sharon Cooke runs Andromeda Botanic Gardens in Barbados, the only Royal Horticulture Society Partner Garden in the West Indies. The garden was created in the 1950s by award-winning horticulturist Iris Bannochie. After Iris died, the garden fell into decline, but Sharon is now restoring it to its former glory. Sharon says that when people ask to meet the Head Gardener, they usually expect a man, and are surprised to see that she is in charge.

Sandra Pella has been the Head Gardener at the public Toronto Botanical Garden in Canada since 2008. Sandra is self-taught, but came from a family of green-fingered farmers. She quit her job at a bank and made the change from gardening as a hobby, to gardening as a profession. She says that because of her gender, people sometimes don't believe she is strong enough to use a wheelbarrow or climb a ladder.

(L) Image: Sandra Pella. Credit: Paul Zammit
(R) Image and credit: Sharon Cooke

Two women in charge of popular botanical gardens

A conversation between two women about their paths to success

Heavy Metal: Doris Yeh And Sasha Zagorc2016053020160604 (WS)
20160605 (WS)
Female heavy metal musicians from Taiwan and Slovenia.

A conversation between two women about their paths to success

Kim Chakanetsa quizzes two heavy metal bass guitarists about their roles in their bands, how they learnt to head-bang, and juggling the music with their day jobs.

Doris Yeh tours all over the world with best-selling Taiwanese metal band Chthonic. She says she only got into heavy metal by accident, but now loves it. Being the only woman in the band can have its down-sides - at performances her male colleagues used to expect her to get changed in the toilet while they occupied the one dressing room! However, Doris learnt to assert herself, and says when she gets on stage and starts playing, she is just excited to be able to treasure that moment with the audience.

Slovenian Sasha Zagorc formed the heavy metal/hard rock band Hellcats with her sister ten years ago. She's always been a metal-head so just wears her own black leather clothes in their videos and on stage. Initially the band had to deal with quite a lot of criticism as the first all-female band on the Slovenian metal scene, but they just kept going and now have fans all over the world. For Sasha having a band provides much needed relaxation, and she loves going on tour with her best friends.

(L) Photo: Doris Yeh. Credit: CHTHONIC.

(R) Photo: Sasha Zagorc. Credit: Simon Podgorsek.

Hiv-aids Doctors2017080720170813 (WS)Two doctors at the epicentre of the AIDS crisis - Glenda Gray and Wafaa El-Sadr - have worked tirelessly to care for those affected by the virus, to combat its spread, and to get the drugs to those who need it.

Glenda Gray is a South African paediatrician and world-renowned scientist who currently directs the HIV Vaccine Trials study, which is the largest of its kind ever conducted in South Africa. Thanks in part to her work on mother-to-child transmission, the number of babies born with HIV has dropped dramatically from 600,000 a year to 150,000. Glenda herself grew up under Apartheid in a family of activists, and carried on her fight for social justice into medical school and beyond.

Wafaa El-Sadr is director of ICAP based at Columbia University in New York. Born in Egypt to a family of physicians, Wafaa was working as a young doctor in Harlem, when the first AIDS cases began to appear in the 1980s. She didn't know she was witnessing the start of an epidemic that was to sweep across the globe. Wafaa helped develop a treatment programme that is now used as a model around the world.

Image: (L) Glenda Gray (credit: JP Crouch Photography) and (R) Wafaa El-Sadr (credit: Michael Dames)

Two women at the forefront of global efforts to combat HIV-AIDS.

A conversation between two women about their paths to success

Image: (L) Glenda Gray (credit: JP Crouch Photography) and (R) Wafaa El-Sadr (credit: Michael Dames)

How Language Defines Us As Women20190708The way we talk about gender is evolving, but what impact do words have? Kim Chakanetsa meets two women at the forefront of the study of language and asks them whether the language we speak can impact on the way we think.

Lera Boroditsky is a cognitive scientist, who moved from her native Belarus to the USA at the age of 12. She has long been fascinated by how the mind works and studies how language shapes the way we think. She argues that words can impact our thinking about gender. Lera is currently Associate Professor at the University of California, San Diego.

Sophie Bailly is Professor of Language Sciences at the University of Lorraine in Nancy, France, a country where debates about language have long been polarised. Earlier this year, the Académie Française, the guardian of the French language, gave the go-ahead for female versions of certain job titles to be used, which represented an important step for French feminists.

Produced by Jo Impey for the BBC World Service.

(l) Sophie Bailly (credit: David Mayer) and (r) Lera Boroditsky (credit: Lera Boroditsky)

Two women explain what gendered language is and why it matters

A conversation between two women about their paths to success

How Motherhood Changed Me As A Film Maker20191104Two prize winning documentary makers from Syria and China tell Kim Chakanetsa about using their own lives to explore the issues facing their home countries.

Waad Al-Kateab has documented her life on camera in war torn Aleppo, Syria. Whilst conflict, death and cruelty raged around her, she fell in love, got married and had a baby daughter. She captures stories of loss, laughter, sacrifice and survival in her film ‘For Sama’. A love letter from a young mother to her daughter, the film won the Golden Eye Documentary Prize in Cannes.

Nanfu Wang was born under the one-child policy in China during the 1980s. After moving to the United States and getting pregnant with her first child in 2017, Wang returned to China in an effort to explore the direct effects of the 'population war' on her family and the wider community. The resulting documentary, One Child Nation, won the Grand Jury Prize for Documentary Feature at the 2019 Sundance Film Festival.

Image
L: Waad Al-Kateab (credit: Waad Al-Kateab)
R: Nanfu Wang (credit: Sundance)

Documentary makers who use their own lives to explore issues facing their countries

A conversation between two women about their paths to success

How Motherhood Changed Me As A Film-maker2019110420200601 (WS)Documentary makers who use their own lives to explore issues facing their countries

A conversation between two women about their paths to success

Two prize winning documentary makers from Syria and China tell Kim Chakanetsa about using their own lives to explore the issues facing their home countries.

Waad al-Kateab has documented her life on camera in war torn Aleppo, Syria. Whilst conflict, death and cruelty raged around her, she fell in love, got married and had a baby daughter. She captures stories of loss, laughter, sacrifice and survival in her film For Sama. A love letter from a young mother to her daughter, the film won the Golden Eye Documentary Prize in Cannes.

Nanfu Wang was born under the one-child policy in China during the 1980s. After moving to the United States and getting pregnant with her first child in 2017, Wang returned to China in an effort to explore the direct effects of the 'population war' on her family and the wider community. The resulting documentary, One Child Nation, won the Grand Jury Prize for Documentary Feature at the 2019 Sundance Film Festival.

(Image: Waad al-Kateab (L) Credit: Waad al-Kateab. (R) Nanfu Wang. Credit: Sundance)

How To Be A Good Man2020033020200405 (WS)Two women from South Africa and Australia discuss ‘toxic masculinity’ with Kim Chakanetsa. How can we raise boys to be in touch with their emotions and to become men who respect women?

Clementine Ford is an Australian feminist whose books Fight Like A Girl and Boys Will Be Boys challenge traditional gender stereotyping. She regularly receives death and rape threats from people who accuse her of being a man-hater. She actually believes that a patriarchal society can be as damaging for men as for women. With a young son herself, she wants to see boyhood redefined to include sensitivity, kindness, respect and nurture.

Sisonke Msimang is a South African writer whose work focuses on race, gender and democracy. Having lived in many different countries, she says that all societies allow and even expect men to be violent and predatory. She wants to dismantle this, but believes the term toxic masculinity is not helpful if you want to take the majority of people with you. Sisonke's memoir is called Always Another Country.

IMAGE
Clementine Ford (credit Clementine Ford)
Sisonke Msimang (credit Nick White)

What is toxic masculinity and how can it be challenged?

A conversation between two women about their paths to success

How To Be Happy20210104With so much happening that’s out of our control, what can we do to be happier, calmer and more content? Kim Chakanetsa gets tips and advice from South Korea and Denmark.

In her book The Power of Nunchi, Euny Hong writes about what she calls a South Korean ‘super power’. She says we could all live happier lives by developing this knowledge of how to 'read' a room or someone else's feelings and that we'd all get along better if we learned to listen more.

Denmark is considered to be one of the happiest countries in the world. The author of Happy as a Dane, Malene Rydahl believes there are aspects of their culture that we can all use to improve our chances of happiness. She has advice and tips on how we can all learn to be a little more Danish in our outlook and be happier as a result.

Produced by Jane Thurlow

IMAGE
L: Euny Hong (courtesy Euny Hong)
R: Malene Rydahl (credit malenerydahl.com)

Tips from Denmark and South Korea on how to improve our feelings of happiness

The show that amplifies women's voices, with Kim Chakanetsa

I Was Put Into Care20190128What’s it like to grow up away from your family? Two women who spent part of their childhoods in care tell Kim Chakanetsa how they look back on that time, and how the experience has shaped them as adults.

As a child, Rukhiya Budden experienced terrible neglect and abuse growing up in an orphanage in Kenya. Today she campaigns for orphanages to be abolished worldwide, as she believes such institutions can never provide the level of care that children really need.

Following her mother’s death, Hayley Kemp was left at a children's home by her father, who had told her they were going to the dentist’s; she was eight years old. She remembers her year in the home as the happiest time in her childhood. She says that growing up in care has drawn her to work with refugees, as she finds it easy to empathise with their sense of displacement.

(L) Image and credit: Hayley Kemp
(R) Rukhiya Budden (credit: Hope and Homes for Children)

Two women who spent part of their childhoods in institutions

A conversation between two women about their paths to success

Kim Chakanetsa presents a conversation between two women from different cultures about their paths to success.

Kim Chakanetsa presents a conversation between two women about their paths to success.

Injured By Implants20200217Life-changing pain from supposedly routine implant operations. Kim Chakanetsa speaks to two women who were injured by medical devices, and have gone on to campaign for concerns about them to be taken seriously in the UK and US.

Kath Sansom set up Sling The Mesh in 2015, ten weeks after having a trans-vaginal mesh implant for stress urinary incontinence (SUI), which immediately caused her excruciating pain and debilitation. It was removed seven months later, but Kath is still dealing with the physical and mental after-effects, and fights on for others left in chronic pain by mesh operations. In July 2018 the UK Government temporarily paused the use of vaginal mesh for SUI cases in England, while they carry out a safety review. This is due to report in Spring 2020.

Angie Firmalino's permanent birth control implant caused heavy bleeding, fatigue, and sharp stabbing pains. Removing it left fragments of metal and plastic in her body, which continue to cause her health problems. Angie founded the Essure Problems online support group to share her story and warn other women of the risks. It grew to tens of thousands of members who took their concerns to the authorities. In 2018 the device was withdrawn voluntarily by the manufacturer, who say they stand by Essure’s safety and efficacy.

IMAGE
L: Angie Firmalino (credit: Angie Firmalino)
R: Kath Sansom (credit: Kath Sansom)

Two women's stories of medical devices gone wrong

A conversation between two women about their paths to success

Inside Soap Operas: Simone Singh And Sarah Mayberry2015082420150829 (WS)What it's like to work on soap operas in India and Australia, on and off set.

Simone Singh is an award winning Indian television and film actress. She became a household name for playing the title role in the popular serial drama Heena. The audience was sympathetic to the heroine of this show, but Simone says even when she played a ""baddie"" she doesn't lose fans because ""they remember your past work, they love you anyway"".

Sarah Mayberry works on Australia's longest running soap opera, Neighbours, as a script writer and story liner. She describes the storyline meetings as intense, where the team ""absolutely bare their souls"" when using personal experience to brainstorm ideas. Sarah has worked on Neighbours for 16 years and says they ""spread the villainy across the sexes"".

(Picture: Simone Singh - Left and Sarah Mayberry - Right)

Interpreters2017051520170521 (WS)Female interpreters discuss being voices for vulnerable people. Kim Chakanetsa brings together two women, one who interprets for medical patients, and one who helps refugees apply for asylum. They talk about the pressures and the joys of what they say is an under-valued job.

Teodora Manea Hauskeller is a Romanian who works as a medical interpreter in the UK, easing understanding between doctors and patients who don't speak English. She is present in the room when potentially scary diagnoses are being given, and says the responsibility and emotion of this kind of work can be quite tough, but it can also be very rewarding.

Mariam Massarat is an Iranian-American interpreter, who specialises in translating for Farsi-speaking asylum seekers and refugees in the US. She gets to know her clients and puts them at their ease before they go into the asylum interview, and then she acts as their voice for up to six hours. If the interview is successful, and they are granted asylum, she loves to hear what they go on to do in their new lives.

Image: Mariam Massarat (L) and Teodora Manea Hauskeller (R)

Two female interpreters on the challenges of being someone else's voice.

A conversation between two women about their paths to success

Intimacy On Screen20210208Whether it’s a stroke of a cheek or a sex scene, filming intimate content for movies and TV is a delicate business. When badly handled, it can even cause the actors harm. Kim Chakanetsa talks to an Indian movie director and to a pioneering intimacy coordinator about ensuring actors feel safe on set while filming simulated sex scenes. Also: has the #MeToo movement fuelled a demand for better boundaries, and how is the industry responding?

Ita O'Brien is a British movement director and intimacy coordinator for film, TV and theatre. She worked on the set of I May Destroy You, Normal People, Gentleman Jack and Sex Education. She has developed the 'Intimacy on Set' guidelines for those working with intimacy, scenes with sexual content and nudity.

Alankrita Shrivastava is an Indian screenwriter and director. Her 2017 movie, Lipstick Under My Burkha, was initially banned in India for containing 'contagious sexual scenes'. She explains the challenges of shooting sex scenes in Bollywood, where nudity isn't allowed, and how to put women's desire at the centre of the narrative.

Produced by Sarah Kendal and Alice Gioia for the BBC World Service.

IMAGE DETAILS
Left: Alankrita Shrivastava (credit Komal Gandhi)
Right: Ita O'Brien (credit Nic Dawkes)

Two women challenging the way actors and directors approach intimate scenes on camera

The show that amplifies women's voices, with Kim Chakanetsa

Investigative Reporters: Khadija Ismayilova And Sacha Pfeiffer20161114Female journalists determined to publish the truth whatever the price

A conversation between two women about their paths to success

Azeri journalist Khadija Ismayilova became the subject of an international release campaign last year when she was arrested and detained by her government, and her cause was taken up by human rights lawyer Amal Clooney. Khadija had been delving into the President's family businesses, and published allegations of extensive embezzlement of oil funds. She spent 18 months in prison before being given early release in May 2016, but says she is determined to continue her investigations.

Sacha Pfeiffer is an American newspaper journalist and was a member of the now world-renowned 'Spotlight' team on the Boston Globe. She and her colleagues spent years building up evidence and personal testimony of sexual abuse at the hands of Catholic priests, and the systematic cover-up of this by the Church. The resulting story caused shock-waves when it was published and the investigation was dramatised in the film Spotlight, which won the Best Film Oscar in 2016. Sacha was played by Rachel McAdams.

(L) Photo: Khadija Ismayilova. Credit: Aziz Karimov.

(R) Photo and credit: Sacha Pfeiffer.

Is Bad Data Killing Women?20200224The impact of leaving women's bodies out of research ranges from phones that are too big for female hands, to women being more likely to die if they're in a car accident. Kim Chakenetsa talks to two women investigating the data gender gap and how to resolve it.

Caroline Criado Perez says a ‘one-size-fits-men’ approach to design, technology and research has resulted in a myriad of instances where women have been overlooked: from cars that are safer for men driving them to stab vests that don't work as well for women's bodies. In her book, Invisible Women: Exposing Data Bias in a World Designed for Men she examines the impact on women of a world that has largely been built for and by men and looks at why data and statistics are far from 'gender-blind'.

Lauren Klein says part of the solution lies in the lessons learned by intersectional feminism. The Associate Professor at Emory University has co-authored a book called Data Feminism with Catherine D’Ignazio. It looks at data science and data ethics and their impact on parts of society that are often overlooked and discriminated against.

IMAGE
L: Caroline Criado-Perez (credit: Rachel Louise Brown)
R: Lauren Klein (credit: Tamara Gonzalez)

We look at the impact of a gender data gap and a \u2018one-size-fits-men' approach to design.

A conversation between two women about their paths to success

Is Mountain Climbing Worth The Risk?20190930Mountain climbing is a notoriously high-risk, high-reward activity. Yassmin Abdel-Magied asks two pioneering female climbers who've scaled the world's highest peaks, if the danger and death toll affect women's participation.

Masha Gordon is a Russian explorer who has broken the speed records for the Seven Summits Challenge (climbing the highest peak on each continent) and the Explorer's Grand Slam (the Seven Summits plus reaching the North and South Poles). Masha had a highly successful career in finance and only started climbing in her mid-30s whilst on maternity leave. She is the founder of Grit & Rock, a UK charity which gives teenage girls from deprived backgrounds the opportunity to complete a year-long mountaineering programme.

Samina Baig is the first Pakistani woman to summit Mt Everest, and to complete all Seven Summits. She grew up in a one-room house in her mountain village, where she would often see groups of foreigners coming to climb the surrounding peaks but she never saw any Pakistani women among them. In 2010, aged 19, she decided to change all that and soon had a mountain named after her.

Image
L: Samina Baig - credit Mirza Ali
R: Masha Gordon - credit Eric Larsen

Two record-breaking female mountaineers discuss the risks and the rewards.

A conversation between two women about their paths to success

Is Tidying A Feminist Issue?20190429Women are still the ones expected to be on top of household organisation, so does that make tidying up a feminist issue? With the 'decluttering' trend going global, Yassmin Abdel-Magied discusses with two women from Kenya and Belgium, who help people to organise their stuff professionally.
 
Annelies Mentink became a professional organiser in 2016, following burnout from a stressful job in the banking industry and post-natal depression. 'I discovered that helping people to sort stuff was a real job and I love doing it.' She has since published a bestselling book in Flemish, Cleaning Up Makes You Happy! and started her own training academy for budding declutterers.

As the youngest of 13 children, Faith Kaimba always had to be extremely organised with her own stuff. So it was a natural leap for her to go into the growing decluttering business in Kenya. She now trades as Faith the Organizer, and says because the modern African woman is expected to do it all, they need someone like her to help them reduce the household chaos.

L: Faith Kaimba (credit: Dennis Kibaara)
R: Annelies Mentink (credit: Wilfried Verreck Fotografie)

Two women who sort out other people's stuff for a living

A conversation between two women about their paths to success

Jazz Musicians: Melissa Aldana And Nomfundo Xaluva2016092620161001 (WS)
20161002 (WS)
Award-winning female jazz musicians from Chile and South Africa chat

A conversation between two women about their paths to success

Growing up in Santiago Melissa Aldana learnt to play the tenor saxophone or 'horn' at her father's knee, though he took some convincing that she would stick with it. She did, and went on to become the first ever female instrumentalist to win the prestigious Thelonious Monk Jazz Award in 2013. Melissa is now the leader of a successful jazz trio based in New York, and loves her work, but is concerned that a musician's life on the road will be hard to square with starting a family when the time comes.

South African musician Nomfundo Xaluva is winning awards for putting a new twist on her country's very strong jazz tradition. As well as singing and composing, Nomfundo says she is one of very few female black pianists in South Africa, and so feels responsible for being a role model to young girls. Being Xhosa, from the Eastern Cape, music forms a huge part of her culture, and she tries to incorporate this into her work, often singing in her mother tongue. Nomfundo reckons jazz is slowly becoming hip again, and she is excited to be a part of that.

L-Photo: Melissa Aldana.

R-Photo: Nomfundo Xaluva.

Award-winning female jazz musicians from Chile and South Africa chat

Jobs For The Girls?20190916Why are so many women not in work? Kim Chakanetsa brings together women from Jordan and South Africa - countries with two of the highest female unemployment rates in the world - to discuss the barriers women face getting into the workplace and how they could be overcome.

Ghadeer Khuffash says that in Jordan, most women graduate not expecting to go into work. It's not just because jobs are scarce, it's also because they and their families aren't comfortable with them being in mixed sex workplaces. Ghadeer aims to provide more economic opportunities for women through her work with the nonprofit Education for Employment.

In South Africa, in the midst of a jobs crisis, female unemployment is even higher than male. Pearl Pillay says that on top of the economic barriers, women are also overlooked, exploited and harassed in their attempts to find work. Pearl runs Youth Lab, a think tank that aims to give young South Africans a say in the policies that affect them, and she believes the whole conversation about jobs should be refocused on aspirations and fair wages.

Image: L: Pearl Pillay (credit Drew Precious) R: Ghadeer Khuffash (credit EFE)

Experts explain why female unemployment is so high in Jordan and South Africa.

A conversation between two women about their paths to success

Jockeys: Michelle Payne And Jadey Pietrasiewicz2016041120160416 (WS)
20160417 (WS)
Female jockeys who have made an impact on the male dominated world of horse racing

A conversation between two women about their paths to success

Michelle Payne is the first ever female jockey to win the Melbourne Cup­ and is the youngest of ten children of Paddy and Mary Payne who grew up in central Victoria, Australia. Mary died in a motor vehicle accident when Michelle was only six months old, leaving Paddy to raise the children as a single father. Michelle entered racing aged 15, the eighth of the Payne children to do so. She won in her first race at Ballarat, riding 'Reigning' a horse trained by her father. Michelle’s book “Life as I know it ? is published by Melbourne University Press.

Jadey Pietrasiewicz grew up in a small town in The Netherlands and started horse racing by accident at 14. Jadey started off as an amateur and turned professional in 2013. She won the HH Sheikha Fatima Ladies World Championship in Abu Dhabi in November 2014 and has ridden worldwide on both Thoroughbreds and Arabians (100+ wins). She is currently riding in Australia, based with Ellerton Zahra Racing.

(L) Michelle Payne. Credit: Racing Victoria.

(R) Jadey Pietrasiewicz. Credit: Wouter Tijtgat.

Journalists: Ameera Ahmad Harouda And Alina Gracheva20151130Gaza's first female news fixer and a camera woman from Moldova

As a child, Ameera Ahmad Harouda wanted to be the first female Palestinian fighter pilot, but as an adult she became a pioneer in the news field instead; starting work as Gaza's first female news fixer in 2005. Ameera's work begins when the violence escalates, and she's now the 'go to' person for many international journalists who need to hire a fixer to help them get into Gaza and gain access to stories and people.

Al Jazeera camera woman Alina Gracheva grew up in the former Soviet state of Moldova. She's covered some of the biggest news stories in recent history - the war in Chechnya, the fall of the Taliban in Afghanistan and the invasion of Iraq, but it was the Beslan school siege in 2004, that had the biggest effect on her. Alina says that instead of focussing on the bombs and bullets, camera women can give a different perspective, ""they are more likely to notice a mother in the corner, or a child with dirty fingers"".

(Picture: Ameera Ahmad Harouda (Left) and Alina Gracheva (Right))

Life In Extreme Conditions2017102320171029 (WS)Pushing the limits in the name of science: Two women who have lived and worked in some of the most extreme conditions on earth talk to Kim Chakanetsa about the challenges of cold and dry conditions, the bonds they form on base, and what draws them back to these remote places.

Carolyn Graves is a Canadian meteorologist currently working for the British Antarctic Survey. In 2016 she travelled to the Halley Research Station in Antarctica. She was planning to spend a whole year there, carrying out meteorological observations and monitoring all the technical equipment. But after just six months the entire team were forced to abandon base, over fears of a growing crack in the ice shelf.

Violette Impellizzeri is an Italian astronomer who currently works at the ALMA observatory in Chile's Atacama Desert. She travels to base camp, which is 3,000m above sea level, about once every six weeks. The conditions are extreme - dry and remote - but the clear skies are ideal for the telescope, which provides unique research opportunities for scientists around the world.

L-Image and credit: Violette Impellizeri at the ALMA observatory, Atacama Desert, Chile. Credit: Cristian Pontoni.
R-Image: Carolyn Graves launching a balloon at the Halley Research Station in Antarctica. Credit: Kevin Hallam.

Two women who have lived and worked in some of the most extreme climates on earth

A conversation between two women about their paths to success

L-Image and credit: Violette Impellizeri at the ALMA observatory, Atacama Desert, Chile.
R-Image: Carolyn Graves launching a balloon at the Halley Research Station in Antarctica. Credit: Kevin Hallam

Life In The Circus: Anastasia Iv And Sarah Schwarz2015083120150905 (WS)Running away to the circus: a Polish hair-hanger and German wire walker discuss their act

Anastasia IV from Poland joined the circus at eighteen. She performs one of the most risky and unusual acts in the circus: hair-hanging. Anastasia endures pain in her scalp and neck as she swings around the auditorium suspended by a metal ring which is plaited into her hair. She says it's 'the closest you can get to actually flying like a bird'

Sarah Swarz grew up in a circus family in Germany and started performing at the age of ten. She trained as a wire walker, contortionist and acrobat. She and her husband live in a trailer and travel with their Piglet Circus where her pig Max, is the 'boss of the show' - he can use a microphone and is trained to undo her clothes for a striptease routine.

Anastasia IV (r) (credit: Circus of Horrors)

Sarah Schwarz (l) (credit: Jessica Ford)

Living With Elephants: Saba Douglas-hamilton And Sangduen 'lek' Chailert2015092820151003 (WS)Two elephant conservationists share tales of their intelligence, empathy and tempers

Sangduen 'Lek' Chailert comes from the small hill tribe village of Baan Lao in northern Thailand. At a young age she heard the screams of an elephant that was being forced to work in terrible conditions for the logging industry. Lek felt compelled to help it. Although she had no training she bought some medicine and soon she was being called upon to treat other local elephants. She later formed the Save Elephant Foundation to advocate for the rights of these animals in Thailand and the Elephant Nature Park, a protected area where rescued elephants receive protection and form new herds. Lek says that rebuilding an elephant's trust in humans can be a challenge - 'they never forget' - but she's found a novel technique: singing them lullabies.

Saba Douglas-Hamilton was born in Kenya where her father worked as a prominent elephant conservationist. In fact she says she was 'baptised in elephant's breath' as her mother introduced her to wild elephants when she was a baby. Today she works for the charity her family started, Save the Elephants, which researches their behaviour and works with local people to promote human-elephant co-existence. She once feared for her life when she woke in the night to find a wild bull elephant towering over her mattress. Unperturbed by this, she says 'I find elephants endlessly fascinating…We recognise in them, and they recognise in us, a parallel intelligence'.

(L) Saba Douglas-Hamilton. Credit: Sam Gracey

(R) Sangduen 'Lek' Chailert. Credit: Save Elephant Foundation

Love At First Knit20201214
Love At First Knit20201214Knitting is sometimes dismissed as a gentle domestic activity, but this craft has a rich history of activism. It also helps keep your mind sharp and make you feel more relaxed. Kim Chakanetsa meets two knitting enthusiasts to unravel the social and cultural history of the craft.

Loretta Napoleoni is an Italo-American economist who usually writes about the financing of terrorism. She is also an avid knitter and in her latest book, The Power of Knitting, she looks at how knitting became a tool for women to fight discrimination and promote social change - from the spinning bees of the American Revolution to the knitting spies of WWI and WWII.

Hélène Magnússon is a knit designer based in Iceland. She grew up in France where she was a lawyer. In the 1990s she quit her high-flying career to move to Iceland, using knitting to explore the culture and history of Iceland and to make friends, until it eventually became her main profession. For her, the benefits of knitting go far beyond a finished scarf: when she was diagnosed with Asperger’s syndrome, she realised that, throughout her life, she had been using the craft to cope with social situations she found stressful. You can find more about her work at icelandicknitter.com

Producer: Alice Gioia

Image:
L: Loretta Napoleoni - credit Roberto Vettorato
R: Hélène Magnússon – courtesy of Hélène Magnússon

Two knitting enthusiasts unravel the social and cultural history of the craft.

The show that amplifies women's voices, with Kim Chakanetsa

Make-up Artists20170306Two leading female make-up artists speak to Kim Chakanetsa on the power of powder to create looks, moods and characters.

Alex Box is a British internationally-renowned fashion make-up artist. Her work is artistic, colourful and unique. Alex's background is in fine art, and she uses that as an inspiration to constantly push the boundaries of her work.

Charu Khurana is the first official female make-up artist in Bollywood. She spent years fighting against an informal ban on women working in the film industry across India. Charu is now one of the few professionals in her field to be trained in handling prosthetics.

Image: (L) Charu Khurana (credit: N/A) and (R) Alex Box (credit: Elizabeth Hoff)

Two female make-up artists on how paint, powder and oil can create characters.

A conversation between two women about their paths to success

Making Sex Work Safer: Daisy Nakato And Catherine Healy2016090520160910 (WS)
20160911 (WS)
Sex workers turned campaigners from Uganda and New Zealand

A conversation between two women about their paths to success

Two women whose aim is to make sex work safer in Uganda and New Zealand join Kim Chakanetsa to exchange experiences.

Daisy Nakato is the founder of WONETHA, a sex workers' rights and support organisation in Kampala, Uganda. She says she chose to go into sex work at 17, but did face many challenges including violence from clients and running from the police. She is now building a better relationship with the police, which she hopes will lead to a reduction in violence against sex workers, but for her decriminalisation is the ultimate goal. Daisy is also HIV positive, and her project encourages sex workers to get tested and then supports them in controlling the spread of the disease.

New Zealander Catherine Healy went from teaching in a school to sex work in a massage parlour in her thirties. She says this was an empowering choice for her, but she was appalled at the lack of any protections for her profession, which was then illegal. So she formed the New Zealand Prostitutes Collective and led a long campaign to decriminalise all forms of sex work. This law was passed in 2003 and gives full employment rights to sex workers, and Catherine says the police are now partners in keeping sex workers safe.

Martial Artists: Norma Foster And Nat㡀lia Falavigna20151102Norma Foster from Scotland discovered karate in her teens when her male friends began taking classes and using Japanese words that were strange to her. She decided to start learning herself but when it came to competitions she found herself the only woman in the room. She wasn't deterred and after spending eight years in Tokyo studying karate she now has a sixth degree black belt. Norma became the first female referee at the World Karate Federation, but her career was not without obstacles: on one occasion a competition was shut down because a member of the referee committee claimed that women were not allowed to judge male athletes. Now she wants to increase the number of women referees at all levels of the sport.

Natália Falavigna from Brazil knew she wanted to be an Olympic athlete from the age of four. She tried several sports before finding taekwondo. When her teacher told her he could make her a world champion she realised she'd found what she wanted to do for the rest of her life. She enjoys the 'explosive' nature of taekwondo which involves high-energy kicking and spinning, and the challenge of mastering her emotions during a fight. In 2004 she achieved her dream of competing in the Olympics, coming fourth place. Then in 2008 she won bronze at the Summer Olympics, becoming the first Brazilian to win an Olympic medal in taekwondo.

Picture: Norma Foster (Right) and Natália Falavigna (Left)

Picture credits: Peter Stoddart (Right) /Fausto Roim (Left)

A Scottish karate referee and a Brazilian taekwondo champion share their experiences

Matchmakers20180305Is there a secret formula for finding love and marriage? Two modern-day matchmakers working within the Jewish community and the Hindu community share their unique insights into dating and relationships.

Aleeza Ben Shalom is a Jewish-American matchmaker based in Philadelphia, USA, who describes herself as a love coach for marriage-minded singles. Her approach is not necessarily to find someone a match herself, but to give them the tools they might need to find a potential partner, mainly through a series of coaching sessions. She works within the Jewish community, and enjoys matching older singles through her business Marriage Minded Mentor.

Geeta Khanna is an Indian matchmaker based in Delhi who tries to bridge the divide between the expectations of traditional parents and the modern desires of her clients. While many Indians are now using dating apps like Tinder and Shaadi, Geeta thinks there is still room for her personal services. Her agency Cocktail Matches serves an affluent Hindu community. She says she works with people of all ages, but in India it can be hard to find a match if you've been divorced.

(L) Aleeza Ben Shalom (credit: Yehudis Goldfarb)
(R) Geeta Khanna (credit: Vijay Kumar Gupta)

Two women who've dedicated their lives to helping people find love and marriage

A conversation between two women about their paths to success

Maths Is Fun2017070320170709 (WS)Calculator tricks and baking cakes - how two female mathematicians help people have fun with maths.

Eugenia Cheng's aim is to rid the world of 'math phobia' and she uses baking to explain complex mathematical ideas to the general public, via her books and YouTube channel. For instance, she makes puff pastry to reveal how exponential growth works. Eugenia has taught Pure Mathematics at universities in the UK, France and US and is currently Scientist in Residence at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Her most recent book is called Beyond Infinity: An Expedition to the Outer Limits of the Mathematical Universe.

Sara Santos engages the unsuspecting public in maths through a kind of street performance. Originally from Portugal, Sara now runs a company called Maths Busking in the UK, and tours festivals, schools and corporate events wearing a yellow top hat and doing maths for people's amusement. Her 'tricks' include tying people up with ropes and guessing their birthdays. Sara says the idea that only very clever people are good at maths is rubbish; anyone can do it.

(L) Image and credit: Eugenia Cheng
(R) Image: Sara Santos. Credit: Paul Clarke

Two women who transmit their love of maths to others

A conversation between two women about their paths to success

(L) Image and credit: Eugenia Cheng
(R) Image: Sara Santos. Credit: Paul Clarke

Mechanics: Patrice Banks And Sandra Aguebor2016061320160618 (WS)
20160619 (WS)
20200824 (WS)
20200830 (WS)
Patrice Banks says she was an 'auto airhead' before she fell in love with fixing vehicles. She was an engineer for a big chemicals company, but despite her passion for problem solving she avoided her own car maintenance and preferred to pay a man to do it. The Philadelphia born mechanic discovered that many other women felt the same way and decided to do something about it. Patrice started work in a garage, went back to school and set up Girls Auto Clinic to help women feel more connected with their cars.

Nigerian Sandra Aguebor got her first job in a car repair shop aged 13 and has never looked back. Sandra did not let the jokes and jeers about being a girl doing this job get to her. Now Sandra is famous for being Nigeria's first female mechanic and has run her own garage, Sandex Car Care, for 20 years. She also leads the Lady Mechanic Initiative, which trains women to work with cars.

(Photo: (L) Patrice Banks. Credit: Girls Auto Clinic. (R) Sandra Aquebor. Credit: Lady Mechanic Initiative)

Nigeria's first 'lady mechanic' with an 'auto airhead' turned car mechanic from the US

Kim Chakanetsa presents a conversation between two women from different cultures about their paths to success.

A conversation between two women about their paths to success

Kim Chakanetsa presents a conversation between two women from different cultures about their paths to success.

Migrants: Cynthia Masiyiwa And Mahboba Rawi2015081720150822 (WS)Mahboba Rawi was a teenager when the Soviet-Afghan War broke out. She led protests against Soviet control in her high school. After she was nearly arrested, she decided to flee the country. Along with millions of others, Mahboba made the ten day walk to the border with Pakistan, not knowing whether she would ever see the relatives she was leaving behind again. Eventually, she married an Afghan-Australian man and settled with him in Australia. Life took another tragic turn when her son drowned in an accident. His death moved her to set up her own charity, Mahboba's Promise which supports impoverished children and widows in Afghanistan.

Cynthia Masiyiwa left Zimbabwe ten years ago when the country was in political and economic crisis. Worried for her future, her parents sent her to live with her sister in the UK. Cynthia thought the UK would be a ""land of opportunities"", but she quickly experienced several setbacks. She disliked the cold climate, the ""frosty"" behaviour of Londoners - and then her mother died. As the only black student in her class, Cynthia was shocked to experience racism; in fact she jokes that running from bullies helped her become a 'champion sprinter'. Later she gained the confidence to challenge the prejudices of her peers and eventually her classmates became her allies. Now she works for Citizens UK helping other young migrants to navigate the immigration system and even persuading the government to improve it.

(Photo: Cynthia Masiyiwa. Credit: Cynthia Masiyiwa)

(Photo: Mahboba Rawi. Credit: Rob Tuckwell Photography)

Leaving Zimbabwe and Afghanistan, two migrants discuss belonging to two cultures.

Missing Relatives: Luz Villamil And Visaka Dharmadasa2015100520151010 (WS)Visaka Dharmadasa is a celebrated Sri Lankan peace activist whose son went missing in action in 1998, while fighting for the Sri Lankan army against Tamil Tiger rebels. She won a landmark case against the government to get DNA checks done to trace missing soldiers and she works with mothers from both sides of the conflict, Tamils and Sinhalese, for a peaceful future. Visaka's work and her belief that her son is still alive keep her sane; she still keeps the chocolates in the freezer, that she bought for him 15 years ago, waiting for his return.

Luz Villamil is Colombian Palestinian. Her father was kidnapped by Farc left wing guerrillas in 1998, but released after 81 days. Luz's family's joy was short lived as two years later her brother went missing from a Colombian seaside resort. His disappearance has remained a mystery and they have no clues, only rumour and speculation. Luz hopes her brother is hearing the messages her family sends out on a Colombian radio show that features relatives of kidnapped and missing people.

Left: Luz Villamil, Credit: Angelika Bakou

Right: Visaka Dharmadasa. Credit: None

A sister and a mother explain why grief is constant when a relative goes missing

Models Breaking Boundaries20170320Models challenging perceptions of female beauty talk to Kim Chakanetsa about how the industry is becoming more diverse, why they decided to take up modelling in the first place, and how to maintain that all-important inner confidence.

Alex Bruni, originally from Italy, did not start modelling until she was in her late 40s. It was when people began to compliment her on her long, grey hair that she first decided to give it a go. Now nearly 60, she has a successful career as an older model and is keen to put a positive spin on ageing. She tells us to 'embrace the grey'.

Mahalia Handley describes herself as a plus-size or curvy model. As a mixed-race, 'chubby' child in small-town Australia, Mahalia rarely saw images of women who resembled her. But she was determined to become a model. Now, aged 24, she has worked for the likes of Vogue, Selfridges and Cosmopolitan. She hopes to be the role model that she never had.

Image: (L) Alex Bruni. Credit: Wendy Carrig.
Image: (R) Mahalia Handley. Credit: Pepo Fernandez.

Two women who are shaking up the modelling industry and our perception of beauty

A conversation between two women about their paths to success

Motherhood, Multiplied20190722Raising four or six babies at once - what's it like? Kim Chakanetsa brings together two women in very different situations who are experiencing motherhood in its most concentrated form.

In April 2012, Lauren Perkins gave birth to sextuplets in Texas, following fertility treatment. Her six children - Andrew, Benjamin, Caroline, Leah, Allison and Levi - are now seven years old. Lauren says the first year was a blur of feeding and laundry and now the family exist in a kind of controlled chaos. Her biggest challenge is balancing the needs of their daughter, Leah, who has severe disabilities, with those of the rest of the family.

Inga Mafenuka is a single mum to baby quadruplets, who were born in Cape Town, South Africa in July 2018. Inga was 22 when she became pregnant naturally, and she gave birth to the two boys, Bubele and Buchule and two girls, Bunono and Bungcwele. To support the family, Inga has taken on a part-time job in retail, and is also continuing her IT studies, which were broken off by the pregnancy, but they are struggling for space in their two-bedroom house in the township.

Sadly, following the broadcast of this programme, Inga Mafenuka’s baby son, Bubele, died on August 1st 2019.

Produced by Jo Impey for the BBC World Service

L: Lauren Perkins (credit: Lisa Holloway)
R: Inga Mafenuka (credit: Armand Hough African News Agency)

Two women discuss the challenges and rewards of raising multiple babies

A conversation between two women about their paths to success

Mothers Fighting For Clean Water20180709Their children became sick, and they wanted to know why. Nelufar Hedayat brings together two women who identified toxic water supplies that were poisoning their children and their communities.

Phyllis Omido is a Kenyan activist who won the Goldman Environmental Prize in 2015. Phyllis was working for a smelting factory in Mombasa, when she found out that her breast milk was giving her baby lead poisoning. She then discovered that the toxic waste had entered the local water supply and was affecting the health and lives of 3000 people living nearby. She fought for the closure of the factory and is now suing for compensation for the villages.

LeeAnne Walters led a grassroots citizens' movement in Flint, Michigan in the US and exposed a water crisis. She wanted to know why her twins had a rash and hair loss and why their water had turned brown. LeeAnne started gathering evidence and proved that since the water supply had been changed, rates of lead poisoning had increased. She also won the Goldman Environmental Prize in 2018 for her campaign that convinced the state to stop using unsafe water.

(L) LeeAnne Walters (credit: Michael Gleason Photography/Goldman Environmental Prize)
(R) Phyllis Omido (credit: Phyllis Omido)

Two women who fought lead poisoning in Kenya and the US

A conversation between two women about their paths to success

Mountaineers: Shailee Basnet And Katja Staartjes20160111Mountaineers from Nepal and Holland who have set records on the world's highest peaks.

A conversation between two women about their paths to success

Shailee Basnet grew up in the shadow of the Himalayas in Kathmandu, but never thought of mountaineering herself. In her twenties she answered an advert for Nepali women to tackle Everest, and has never looked back. Shailee is now the leader of the first all-women team to successfully complete the Seven Summits Challenge - climbing the tallest mountain on every continent.

Katja Staartjes became the first Dutch woman to summit Everest in 1999, and has also done more dangerous climbs of over 8000 metres in Pakistan and Tibet. Katja says she loves putting everything she needs on her back, and setting off into the mountains. Her latest project is opening up the Western part of Nepal to trekking and tourism, by extending the Great Himalaya Trail.

Main image: Shailee Basnet (lhs) (credit Shailee Basnet); Katja Staartjes (rhs) (credit Katja Staartjes).

Mums: Online And Influential20190513What happens when you share your family life online with millions of other mothers? And what responsibilities does it come with? An Indian blogger and British vlogger who both focus on motherhood discuss with Krupa Padhy.

Louise Pentland is a parenting vlogger who was recently named as Britain's top 'mumfluencer' by Mother & Baby magazine. Her YouTube channel has more than 2.4 million subscribers who watch her sharing her life with her two daughters Darcy, eight, and Pearl, one. She says no-one tells new mothers how lonely it can be, and while not shying away from the worst bits, her main aim is to bring positivity to her audience. Louise is also a successful fiction writer and her new novel is called Wilde About the Girl.

Shweta Ganesh Kumar is the founder of the blog The Times of Amma – amma being the term for mother in several South Asian languages. It has been listed amongst the top ten Indian mom blogs to follow on multiple parenting sites, as has Shweta's Instagram account. Shweta started blogging to connect with other mothers, particularly ex-pat ones like herself. Her message is simple - it's OK to not be perfect. Shweta is a writer too, and her books include The Beginner’s Guide to the Indian Mom Blogging Universe.

Image:
L: Louise Pentland credit Nicky Johnston
R: Shweta Ganesh Kumar credit Sagar Rajgopal

Two women who vlog and blog about their families online

A conversation between two women about their paths to success

Musical Theatre20161226Two female directors shine a spotlight on musical theatre in Nigeria and Pakistan

A conversation between two women about their paths to success

Treading the boards with two musical theatre directors from Nigeria and Pakistan. Kim Chakanetsa discusses the hunt for local talent, the emotional journey of opening night and running a tight ship in rehearsals.

Nigerian theatre director and producer Bolanle Austen Peters has re-ignited Nigeria's passion for their culture through her highly successful musicals focused on local stories using local stars. She says ""The talent is latent, people have it but they just need the right platform to bring it out and the individual who's going to push them"". And Bolanle has done just that through her production company Terra Kulture.

Nida Butt is a theatre director, producer and choreographer from Pakistan and is responsible for revolutionising the Pakistani musical theatre scene by introducing live music and orchestras to the stage. She is the owner of Made for Stage theatre productions which has put on performances from Grease! to Nida's own original production of Karachi the Musical. Nida says ""We were teaching ourselves, learning ourselves, and doing it ourselves"".

Image: (L) Nida Butt and (R) Bolanle Austen Peters, Credit: Nida Butt (n/a) and Bolanle Austen Peters (Reze Bonna)

Musicians2017071720170723 (WS)Anoushka Shankar on sitar and Kasiva Mutua on drums...two celebrated female musicians talk to Kim Chakanetsa about their paths to mastering instruments more traditionally played by men.

Anoushka Shankar's father, the legendary Indian sitar player Ravi Shankar taught her to play the instrument from the age of 9. She first performed in public with her father at 13 and got a recording contract as soon as she finished school. She says growing up surrounded by music actually meant she had a complicated relationship with it, involving both love and fear. Despite that she decided to embrace the sitar on her own terms and is now heralded as probably the best female player in the world, making nine solo albums and receiving six Grammy nominations for her work. Anoushka says she's now experimenting with her music in ways she wished she had done 20 years ago.

Kasiva Mutua is a Kenyan percussionist who discovered her love for drums at a young age, finding rhythms in her grandmother's stories and in the everyday sounds around her. She pursued drumming in secret throughout her teenage years before deciding to make a career of it - much to the dismay of her family and the wider community; female drumming in Kenya is considered taboo. Determined to follow her passion Kasiva is now an internationally touring drummer and part of the African music initiative The Nile Project. She says she had to fight to play - but it's all been worth it.

(L) Image: Kasiva Mutua on drums at the Miami Dade NP Concert in 2015 US Tour. Credit: Jim Virga
(R) Image: Anoushka Shankar with sitar. Credit: Jamie-James Medina / Deutsche Grammophon

Two women who have mastered instruments traditionally played by men

A conversation between two women about their paths to success

(L) Image: Kasiva Mutua on drums at the Miami Dade NP Concert in 2015 US Tour. Credit: Jim Virga
(R) Image: Anoushka Shankar with sitar. Credit: Jamie-James Medina / Deutsche Grammophon

My Dad Was A Serial Killer20171218Finding out your father is a serial killer, and living with the consequences. Kim Chakanetsa brings together two women from the US and Australia who share this unusual experience, and asks why they both decided to speak publicly about it.

Jenn Carson is a teacher in California and the daughter of Michael 'Bear' Carson, who committed three murders in the US between 1981 and 1983, alongside his second wife Suzan. Jenn was told about her father's crimes when she was nine years old, and says the discovery led to long-term nightmares and depression. She has only seen her father once since then, and recently campaigned - alongside his victims' families - for his parole to be refused.

Elisha Rose is an Australian lawyer who discovered by watching the news when she was 13 that her father Lindsey had murdered five people. Elisha used to visit her father in prison until she realised that he was never going to take real responsibility for his crimes. She says that while she will never obtain closure from him, having this experience has been a driver to make her own life meaningful and purposeful, and to do good in the world.

(L) Image: Elisha Rose. Credit: Australian Story.
(R) Image and credit: Jenn Carson

Two women whose fathers committed multiple murders share their stories

A conversation between two women about their paths to success

My Family's Hidden History2019040120200518 (WS)
20200524 (WS)
Two women determined to piece together their families' secrets

A conversation between two women about their paths to success

Discovering how your family was caught up in major historical events...two women from India and Singapore tell Kim Chakanetsa why they started digging into family secrets, how these stories were lost or deliberately forgotten, and the role that gender played.

Aanchal Malhotra's grandparents fled what is now Pakistan in the chaos of Partition in 1947. Until she began to research her book Remnants of Partition: 21 Objects from a Continent Divided, she never knew their traumatic migration stories. They had buried them deep. Aanchal managed to persuade her grandmothers to reveal their secrets using the few objects they managed to bring with them. Aanchal is an artist and oral historian.

Sim Chi Yin's grandfather was caught up in two different conflicts, the Malayan Emergency and then the Chinese Civil War. He was executed by nationalists in China in 1949. When Chi Yin discovered this history, taboo in her family for decades, it became the starting point for her photographic project One Day We'll Understand. She has since gone on to gather oral histories from the remaining leftist rebels of the Malayan conflict. Chi Yin is a photographic artist and nominee member of Magnum Photos.

L Sim Chi Yin (credit: Keyyes.com/Joel Low)
R Aanchal Malhotra (credit: Aashna Malhotra)

My Son Was Shot2017040320170409 (WS)Two mothers who lost their sons to gun violence meet up with Kim Chakanetsa in New York. This is the first of a month-long series of Conversations with women in the United States, from Alabama to San Francisco.

Nicole Hockley's son Dylan was six when an armed man burst into Sandy Hook Elementary School in December 2012, killing 26 children and adults. It remains the deadliest school shooting in US history. Nicole says the fabric of the universe was torn apart that day and she has been trying to repair it ever since. Her organisation Sandy Hook Promise is now spreading school violence prevention programmes nationwide. She says these are "not about the gun" - they are about trying to stop the violence before guns are ever involved.

Just a few weeks before the tragedy at Sandy Hook, Lucy McBath's 17-year-old son Jordan Davis was shot dead at a gas station in Jacksonville, Florida. Jordan was African American and the shooter was a middle-aged white man. Lucy believes race and America's gun laws both played their part in her child's murder, and she now speaks out in his memory. She is faith and outreach leader for Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America, and Every Town for Gun Safety.

Image: (L) Lucy McBath and (R) Nicole Hockley
Credit: n/a

Two mothers who have turned their personal tragedies into a fight for change.

A conversation between two women about their paths to success

My Time In Public Office2017092520171001 (WS)Two former politicians reveal the realities of life in public office. They talk to Kim Chakanetsa about why they went into politics, what impact they had and why a thick skin is absolutely critical.

Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala is a Nigerian economist who served two terms as finance minister of Nigeria from 2003 to 2006 and from 2011 to 2015, having previously been a managing director at the World Bank. But holding political office was never part of her plan. Instead she was appointed to the role by the then president. She became the first female finance minister in Nigeria. She says her father had always impressed upon her the importance of doing one's duty for one's country, but now she's left politics she enjoys the freedom of having more control over her life. She currently chairs the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunization (GAVI).

Lindiwe Mazibuko is a South African politician and former parliamentary leader of the Democratic Alliance. Lindiwe was elected to parliament aged 29, and was seen as a rising star of the party, but faced misogynistic attacks as her profile grew. She resigned her position in 2014, saying she wanted to pursue postgraduate studies at Harvard University in the US. She's now writing a book about young people and public office, but hopes to return to front-line politics in a few years' time.

Image: Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala. Credit: Shaun Curry/AFP/GETTY IMAGES
Image: Lindiwe Mazibuko. Credit: Rodger Bosch/AFP/GETTY IMAGES

Two women speak openly about their experiences of parliament and politics

A conversation between two women about their paths to success

Image: Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala. Credit: Shaun Curry/AFP/GETTY IMAGES
Image: Lindiwe Mazibuko. Credit: Rodger Bosch/AFP/GETTY IMAGES

Nannies: Tatiane Dias De Oliveira And Philippa Christian2016071820160723 (WS)
20160724 (WS)
Children's nannies from Brazil and Australia discuss the highs and lows of the profession

A conversation between two women about their paths to success

A celebrity nanny from Australia and a Brazilian nanny who works in the US tell Kim Chakanetsa what it's like to look after other people's kids 24/7.

Australian nanny to the stars Philippa Christian has worked for actors, singers and Middle Eastern royalty. Even though she won't name names the 'Nanny Confidential' author reveals what it's like to work for Hollywood employers. Philippa loves the challenge of helping 'difficult' children, and there are definite perks, including the pay, but the downsides include rarely getting a day off, being routinely spied on, and having to avoid being 'papped' holding the baby on family outings.

Tatiane Dias de Oliveira who is from Brazil chose nannying over teaching, because she says it is far more satisfying to watch one child grow with her full attention, than try to divide herself between a class full of kids. Thaty has now been a nanny for the past 17 years. Currently based in Boston, she is passionate about training and advising other nannies, who she says can often be in vulnerable situations with their employers, and lack the confidence to negotiate good terms and conditions.

Image: Tatiane Dias de Oliveira (l) and Philippa Christian (r)

Negotiating Peace2017112020200713 (WS)
20200719 (WS)
What happens when women try to hammer out a peace deal? How does it differ from the way men do it? According to the United Nations, fewer than 3% of signatories to peace agreements are women. We meet two women who hope to change that. They made history in Northern Ireland and in Colombia by bringing the gender issue to the forefront of the peace process.

Monica McWilliams is a Northern Irish peace negotiator who played a key role in the Good Friday Agreement of 1998, which brought an end to the Troubles. Monica co-founded the Northern Ireland Women's Coalition in order to get female representatives at the negotiating table. She was subsequently involved in the implementation of the agreement as head of the country's Human Rights Commission. She now advises women around the world on how to negotiate peace deals in countries such as Syria and Myanmar.

Hilde Salvesen was part of Norwegian team which facilitated the recent peace negotiations in Colombia between the government and Farc rebels - the first of its kind to include a gender subcommittee to address the needs of women in the peace process. Hilde developed her strong understanding of Latin America when she travelled there as a student, and witnessed conflict first-hand in Guatemala and El Salvador. She currently works at the Norwegian Centre for Human Rights, part of the University of Oslo.

(L) Image and credit: Monica McWilliams
(R) Image: Hilde Salvesen. Credit: uio

Two women who shaped the peace agreements in Colombia and Northern Ireland

Kim Chakanetsa presents a conversation between two women from different cultures about their paths to success.

A conversation between two women about their paths to success

Nuns: Mother Hildegarde And Sister Tracy Kemme2016101020161015 (WS)What goes on behind the closed doors of a convent? Two nuns from Australia and US explain

A conversation between two women about their paths to success

Nurses On The Frontline2020051120200517 (WS)What's it like to care for the sickest Covid19 patients?

A conversation between two women about their paths to success

Kim Chakanetsa presents a conversation between two women from different cultures about their paths to success.

Nurses risking their lives to treat coronavirus patients. Hospitals around the world - and in particular Intensive Care Units - have been described as the frontline of the pandemic. It's there that the sickest Covid19 patients are looked after round-the-clock by highly specialised nurses. Kim Chakanetsa talks to two of them at the height of the current outbreak.

Hannah Gray is a 23-year-old nurse working in an Intensive Care Unit at a major London hospital. Her unit has rapidly expanded to accommodate extra patients, and all the staff are getting used to working in full PPE or Personal Protective Equipment. Hannah has been documenting her experiences on her blog, The Corona Lisa.

Bianca Dintino is a 26-year-old critical care nurse based at Tufts Medical Center in Boston. She was among the first to volunteer to work with coronavirus patients when they started arriving at her hospital in mid-March. She describes the camaraderie that has developed among her co-workers.

Image:
(l) Bianca Dintino (credit: Anne Marie)
(r) Hannah Gray (credit: Simi Sebastian)

Nurses: Rose Kiwanuka And Subadhra Devi Rai20151123Subadhra Devi Rai started her nursing career in a busy intensive care unit of a hospital in Singapore. She has also dedicated her life to working with those in desperate need in countries where her skills are in short supply, including Thailand, Nigeria and Laos. Subadhra, who's now a senior lecturer in health studies, recently won the Florence Nightingale International Foundation's International Achievement Award.

Rose Kiwanuka isn't saving lives but helping patients as they die, she was Uganda's first palliative care nurse in the early 1990s. Rose, who is the national coordinator of the Palliative Care Association, has the momentous task of making patients and their families, in urban and rural communities, as comfortable as possible about death.

(L) Rose Kiwanuka, Palliative Care Nurse, Uganda. Picture Credit: Alan Hofmanis

(R) Subadhra Devi Rai, Nurse, Singapore. Picture credit: Nanyang Polytechnic

Caring around the clock for the sick and the dying in Uganda and Singapore

Ocean Champions20200302Our oceans are threatened by plastic pollution and overfishing. Kim Chakanetsa speaks to two pioneering women who are working to sustain our seas.

Asha de Vos is a marine biologist who founded Oceanswell, Sri Lanka's first marine conservation and research organisation. Asha's particular research interest is blue whales. She says every stretch of coastline needs its own local hero, and it doesn't have to be a scientist.

Emily Penn is a British oceans advocate and skipper who founded eXXpedition - a series of all-female sailing voyages around the world. These trips always include a group of non-sailors from different countries, and their aim is to raise awareness and find solutions for the impact of single use plastic on the ocean.

Image
L: Emily Penn (credit: Emmanuel Lubezki)
R: Asha de Vos (credit: The Schmidt Foundation)

Our seas generate most of the oxygen we breathe - how can we save them?

A conversation between two women about their paths to success

Olympians: Dame Kelly Holmes And Aya Medany2016080820160813 (WS)
20160814 (WS)
Two female sports stars on how they achieved their Olympic dreams in the UK and Egypt.

A conversation between two women about their paths to success

Kim Chakanetsa brings together two athletes from the UK and Egypt who know what it's like to stand on the start line and have the whole world watching you.

Dame Kelly Holmes became the first British female athlete to win a double gold at a Games when she won the 800m and 1500m in Athens, in 2004. Her talent was spotted by a PE teacher at school and her Olympic fire was sparked at the age of 14 watching Team GB win in Moscow. Kelly's fought the physical and mental strains of injury to become the best in the world at her sport and since retirement has tried to support other athletes achieve their dream.

Modern pentathlete Aya Medany made her Olympic debut in the Athens 2004 Olympic Games, aged 15. She was the youngest on the Egyptian team and youngest to ever compete in her event, which is made up of fencing, running, swimming, shooting and horse riding. Aya also took part in the Beijing 2008 Games and London 2012. She's now retired but has travelled to Rio with the Egyptian team to stand in the IOC Athletes Commission election and mentor some of the young sports stars who are competing at their first Olympics.

Image:

left Gold medallist Kelly Holmes of Great Britain (credit: Scott Barbour/Getty Images)

right Aya Medany of Egypt riding Udea at the 2012 London Olympics (credit: Alex Livesey/Getty Images)

Opera: Danielle De Niese And Pretty Yende2015101920151024 (WS)Sopranos from the US and South Africa talk vocal strength, languages and being a diva

Lyric soprano Danielle de Niese was a star performer at Last Night of the Proms 2015. It was another milestone in this Australian-born American star's glittering career. Growing up, Danielle won various talent and television competitions and debuted at New York's prestigious Metropolitan Opera House when she was 19 years old. She says she knew she wanted to sing opera from the age of eight. Described as ""opera's coolest soprano"", Danielle is best known for her performances of Handel, Mozart, baroque music, as well as her reality TV shows, including The Diva Diaries.

South African soprano Pretty Yende discovered opera by chance. She was 16 years old and watching a television advertisement for an airline, which featured The Flower Duet, from the opera Lakme by Léo Delibes. Pretty fell in love with the sound and instantly wanted to imitate it. She went to be classically trained at Cape Town University and then got a place at the Accademia Teatro alla Scala, in Milan. In 2011 Pretty won first prize in Placido Domingo's Operalia competition and two years later she shot to fame when, at short notice, she had to stand in to perform Countess Adele in Rossini's opera, Le Comte Ory. This was Pretty's Metropolitan Opera House debut.

(Picture: Opera singers Danielle de Niese (left) and Pretty Yende. Credits: Chris Dunlop/Kim Fox)

Parkour Women: The City Is My Playground2018122420200706 (WS)Gaining freedom and strength from your everyday environment. The sport of parkour involves moving around urban obstacles as quickly as possible. Athletes run up walls, scale fences, and jump between roofs. Two female parkour enthusiasts tell Kim Chakanetsa what this sport gives them in areas where women can feel unsafe in the streets.

Reem El-Taweel is a parkour athlete from Egypt, living in Dubai. She says when she was living in Egypt it was tough to train because of the street harassment she faced. When she first started she was the only girl, but now more girls are getting into it. She moved to Dubai to follow her dreams and become an assistant parkour coach. She says as a hijabi athlete she is also breaking a stereotype.

Silke Sollfrank is a professional parkour athlete from Munich. Her gymnastic background allowed her to quickly develop her own playful style of movement, which has attracted a lot of attention in the parkour scene. She has more than 20k followers on Instagram and landed a spot on Netflix's intense obstacle course series Ultimate Beastmaster, where she was the last female finalist. Silke is the only female athlete in her parkour team.

Left: Reem El-Taweel (credit: Katy Vickers)
Right: Silke Sollfrank (credit: Matthias Voß)

Two female parkour athletes who perform urban acrobatics

Kim Chakanetsa presents a conversation between two women from different cultures about their paths to success.

A conversation between two women about their paths to success

Kim Chakanetsa presents a conversation between two women about their paths to success.

Passionate About Democracy20200203The relationship between women and democracy in Brazil and Bhutan - Kim Chakanetsa talks to two women with a passionate interest in their country's political system.

Petra Costa's parents were dissidents under the military dictatorship in Brazil, and she was two when democracy returned. Petra filmed with the first female President Dilma Rousseff, as she was impeached in 2016, and followed the rise of the populist right-wing President Bolsonaro. In her Oscar-nominated Netflix documentary The Edge of Democracy, Petra asks if Brazilian democracy will survive, and how women will fare.

Namgay Zam is a respected journalist in the small Himalayan country of Bhutan, which only transitioned from absolute monarchy to democracy a decade ago. The number of women MPs has increased in that time but Namgay says there is still a long way to go before women are respected and recognised fully in the political system.

Image
L: Namgay Zam (credit: Bhutan Street Fashion)
R: Petra Costa (credit: Netflix)

What impact does democracy have on women and vice versa?

A conversation between two women about their paths to success

Perfume Makers2017050820170514 (WS)How do you capture and bottle a scent? Two perfume makers from France and Malaysia talk to Kim Chakanetsa about how they've trained their noses to smell over 1,000 different raw ingredients. They explain why a scent made for the European market wouldn't sell so well in Japan, and which smells they simply cannot stand.

Shyamala Maisondieu is a fine fragrance perfumer originally from Malaysia, who now works for Givaudan in Paris, one of the world's largest perfume manufacturers. Shyamala says her childhood in south-east Asia influenced the scents she is drawn to, from frangipani blossoms to jasmine and ginger. She has dreamed up fragrances for brands such as Tom Ford and Comme des Garçons.

Caroline Gaillardot is a perfumer who specialises in creating scents for beauty care products, including shampoos, shower gels and deodorants. She was born in Grasse, France, which has long been the centre of the perfume world, although she says she wanted to become a perfumer simply because she always loved to smell. She now works for Mane in southern France, which is one of the global leaders in the industry.

L-Image and credit: Shyamala Maisondieu
R-Image and credit: Caroline Gaillardot

Two women from France and Malaysia who create fragrances

A conversation between two women about their paths to success

Philanthropists: Amy Rao And Tsitsi Masiyiwa2016060420160605 (WS)
20160606 (WS)
20160611 (WS)
20160612 (WS)
Do women make better philanthropists and what motivates them to give cash away?

A conversation between two women about their paths to success

Kim Chakanetsa travels to the Global Philanthropy Forum conference in California to speak to two philanthropists and finds out why they give so much money away.

Amy Rao grew her Silicon Valley tech company, Integrated Systems Archive, during the dotcom bubble of the 1990s and says she started giving large amounts of money to causes close to her heart as soon as she launched the business. Amy grew up in a household where helping others and entrepreneurship were a priority, even when they were broke her parents still helped those less fortunate in the community. Today, Amy's philanthropy is focussed on human rights and the environment and she is the chair of the Human Rights Watch Voices for Justice events in San Francisco and Silicon Valley, and is on the board of the Schmidt Family Foundation, as well as being the president of the 11th Hour Project.

It took determination and defiance for Tsitsi Masiyiwa and her husband Strive Masiyiwa to build their telecoms empire following a lengthy legal battle with the Zimbabwean government who had a monopoly. Tsitsi also grew up in a community where helping others was important. She says as soon as she realised they might make money with their company, Econet, she committed to giving some of it away because ""you can only sleep in one bed, drive one car and have one home"". Today Tsitsi is the co-founder and co-chair of the Higherlife Foundation, which has sent tens of thousands of children to school and university in southern Africa.

(Photo: From left, Amy Rao, Kim Chakanetsa and Tsitsi Masiyiwa. Credit: Noah Stout of Stout Film)

Photographers: Farzana Wahidy And Xyza Bacani20160215Two women who use photography to expose hidden lives in Afghanistan and Hong Kong

A conversation between two women about their paths to success

Farzana Wahidy grew up under the repressive Taliban regime in Afghanistan and as a young girl was banned from studying. Encouraged by her father she attended an underground school, and even set up her own at the age of 14. She later became the first Afghan female photographer to work for international press agencies AFP and AP. Farzana's photos range from street violence to leisurely meals and festivities, from scenes of war brutality to veiled moments of happiness. One of her unique techniques is shooting photos from behind a burkha.

Xyza Bacani's black and white photographs uncover the hidden world of domestic workers and victims of human trafficking. She can relate to their plight very well. Originally from the Philippines, she later moved to Hong Kong where together with her mother she looked after six children. Through her poignant images she wants to bring the lives of domestic workers to light. Xyza's work has been published in Vogue Italia and she's now showcasing her first solo exhibition in Manila.

(L) Farzana Wahidy. Credit: Meg Prudhomme.

(R) Xyza Bacani. Credit: Jan Gonzales.

Pianists20170109Two world-renowned pianists from Venezuela and Georgia talk to Kim Chakanetsa about their personal and musical journeys.

Gabriela Montero grew up in Venezuela and could pick out a tune on a toy piano before she could speak. She made her concert debut aged eight and has gone on to become an award-winning and best-selling performer, who played at the inauguration of President Obama in 2009. Gabriela now lives in Spain but in recent years has begun to compose her own music, and is using her artistic voice to highlight the terrible problems facing her native Venezuela.

Georgian pianist Khatia Buniatishvili began her musical studies at the age of three. Hailed as a child prodigy she began touring internationally aged 10, and hasn't stopped since. However she says she was never pressured to have a career in music - it's simply what she loves to do. As well as gaining a reputation for a dramatic playing style, Khatia's revealing outfits have also attracted attention. She says she will continue to wear what she wants on stage, and that these comments are attempts to belittle her intellect and musical talent by focusing on her image.

(Photo: (L) Khatia Buniatishvili. Credit Gavin Evans, and (R) Gabriela Montero. Credit Shelley Mosman)

Two child prodigies turned world-class pianists on their personal and musical journeys

A conversation between two women about their paths to success

Planet Friendly Fashion Founders20201102Can fashion change the world? The clothing industry is one of the most polluting on earth, and is known for some of the worst working conditions for women and girls. Is there another way? Kim Chakanetsa speaks to two women from the UK and Australia who've done things differently.

Safia Minney MBE is the British founder of the pioneering sustainable and ethical fashion brand People Tree and the website Real Sustainability. After almost 30 years in the industry, she now lobbies for regulation in fashion and a change in how we approach clothes.

Hanna Guy is the Australian co-founder of Cambodian brand Dorsu, which creates sustainable and ethically made basics from deadstock fabrics. Working from Kampot alongside her business partner Kunthear Mov, she's developed safe and supportive employment for local women.

Image
L: Safia Minney (credit Odi Caspi)
R: Hanna Guy (credit Hanna Guy)

What's important when we buy clothes? We talk to two women who want to change attitudes

The show that amplifies women's voices, with Kim Chakanetsa

Kim Chakanetsa presents a conversation between two women from different cultures about their paths to success.

Plastic Surgeons: Dr Prisca Hwang And Dr Lina Triana20160118The plastic surgeons who put patients under the knife in South Korea and Colombia

A conversation between two women about their paths to success

Dr Lina Triana is one of Colombia's top plastic surgeons and was the first woman to become president of the country's Plastic Surgery Association. Lina's father is a plastic surgeon and at first he tried to dissuade his daughter from following in his footsteps, saying this wasn't the right job for a woman to do as it doesn't allow for being a good wife and mother. But Lina proved him wrong and now works alongside her father's clinic doing aesthetic procedures including body contouring, breast augmentations and facelifts.

Dr Prisca Hwang works for the Korea University Ansan Hospital in Seoul. Like Lina she does aesthetic surgery, which is big business in her city, but also performs reconstructive surgery. This might include working on cancer patients, car crash victims and congenital deformities. Prisca says she makes it clear to patients who want cosmetic surgery that a nose job won't change their lives, and that it's important that she spots any underlying psychological issues.

Photos: (L) Dr Prisca Hwang and (R) Dr Lina Triana

Poets: Imtiaz Dharker And Phillippa Yaa De Villiers2016040420160409 (WS)
20160410 (WS)
South African and British Asian poets translate tough life experiences into their work

A conversation between two women about their paths to success

Phillippa Yaa de Villiers is an award winning South African writer and performance artist. Phillippa, who is mixed race, was adopted as a baby by a white couple but did not learn of her adoption until she became involved in anti-apartheid politics whilst attending University. Negotiating this newfound racial identity has informed much of her writing. She discusses her inspirations and the journey to becoming a writer, why she found it hard to initially call herself a poet and how South Africa is a country blossoming with poetry.

Imtiaz Dharker is a poet, artist and film maker. Born in Pakistan, Imtiaz was brought up in Scotland before she eloped to India aged 20, becoming estranged from her family. She feels that it is important that poets don't get too comfortable in any one place and describes forging her life in 'the cracks in-between'. Imtiaz picks up words that inspire her poetry from her surroundings, sometimes overheard, she jots these down on a paper napkin or whatever is to hand. She now lives in the UK and in 2014 she was awarded the Queen's Gold Medal for Poetry. Her advice to aspiring poets is to read a lot and find your own voice.

Image credit

(l) Imtiaz Dharker (Melanie Brown/BBC) and (r) Phillippa Yaa de Villiers

Police: Al Beli Afifa And Rebekah Jones20160307Police officers on working undercover and tackling gender crime in Bangladesh and Grenada

A conversation between two women about their paths to success

Al Beli Afifa is an Additional Superintendent at Dhaka Metropolitan Police, the largest unit of the Bangladesh Police. Al Beli joined the police partly to serve the women in her community as she felt they were less able to access justice. She has specialised in combating crimes against women, in particular sexual violence. In 2013, Al Beli became the first woman in Asia to receive the International Association of Women Police Excellence in Performance Award.

Rebekah Jones is an Inspector with the Royal Grenada Police Force. Since joining the force in 1997 Rebekah has been involved in a wide range of operations including a lengthy investigation that required her to go undercover to bring down a group involved in financial crime. She specialises in tackling domestic violence, a crime she says is prevalent but still too little understood in Grenada. In 2014, Rebekah received a scholarship from the International Association of Women Police.

Private Detectives: Maureen Nzioki And Akriti Khatri20151214Maureen Nzioki is a private investigator based in Nairobi in Kenya, a country where this industry is well established. She says she never feels guilty for trailing a suspected cheating spouse, because she is only following instructions from their husband or wife, whose trust they have broken. Although Maureen loves her job, it has made her cynical about relationships, and she now finds it hard to trust any potential partner.

Akriti Khatri runs her own private detective firm in Delhi, and after a decade in the business puts her success down to a combination of confidence, chattiness and patience. Critics say agencies like Akriti's are unregulated, employ illegal surveillance techniques and routinely invade people's privacy, but she says she is providing a useful service, preventing bad marriages from ever taking place, and catching cheats in love and business.

(Picture: Private Detectives Maureen Nzioki (Left) and Akriti Khatri (Right))

Going undercover with female private investigators in India and Kenya.

Professional Gamblers: Cat Hulbert And Celina Lin2016051620160521 (WS)
20160522 (WS)
20200803 (WS)
20200809 (WS)
Cat Hulbert started gambling for a living 40 years ago. A blackjack player in her 20s, she became so skilled at winning money from casinos, she was soon very unpopular with them all around the US. Cat took up poker in the 1980s, and was one of the first women to break into the ranks of professional card players. The Game Show Network called her "the best female gambler on earth." Now retired, Cat says she is not sure that she would legalise gambling in a state that did not have it, as it can ruin so many lives.

Celina Lin, who has been described as 'China's Queen of Poker', was born in Shanghai and moved to Australia as a child. Always a gaming enthusiast, she got into poker by accident, but quickly became a skilled online player and has been employed by the company PokerStars for the last eight years. She is now based back in China, playing high-level poker tournaments in the casino city of Macau. Celina has won the prestigious Red Dragon cup twice, and views poker not as a game but as an extremely demanding mind sport.

Image: Celina Lin (L) and Cat Hulbert (R) (Images courtesy of Celina Lin and Cat Hulbert)

'The best female gambler on earth' and 'China's Queen of Poker' reveal their secrets

Kim Chakanetsa presents a conversation between two women from different cultures about their paths to success.

A conversation between two women about their paths to success

Cat Hulbert started gambling for a living 40 years ago. A blackjack player in her 20s, she became so skilled at winning money from casinos, she was soon very unpopular with them all around the US! Cat took up poker in the 1980s and was one of the first women to break into the ranks of professional card players. The Game Show Network called her ""the best female gambler on earth."" Now retired, Cat says she is not sure that she would legalise gambling in a state that did not have it - as it can ruin so many lives.

(Photo: Cat Hulbert (left) and Celina Lin (right)

Professional Gamers20180409Professional female gamers excelling in a male-dominated environment. Emily Webb unites one of the UK's most successful live streamers, and a champion e-sports player from Canada to discuss their gaming highs, lows and strategies for dealing with trolls.

Leahviathan has amassed almost 150,000 followers on the gaming website Twitch, streaming footage of herself playing video games such as Destiny 2 and Overwatch. Leah plays for six hours at a time, and makes her living from people subscribing to her channel and giving her tips. She says despite having a lot of support online, there are also people trying to bring you down just for being a woman, but she finds ignoring them is usually the best strategy.

Stephanie Harvey - or missharvey as she's known in the gaming world - plays the game CounterStrike in front of thousands of fans at huge arena events, and has played in female teams that have won major international e-sports competitions six times. Stephanie also co-founded the website misscliks.com in reaction to what she saw as a lack of support and promotion for women in gaming. She says the situation has improved a lot in the last five years, and she now takes a different approach to trolls, persuading them to be better people, which actually works.

Image and credit: (L) Stephanie Harvey
Image and credit: (R) Leahviathan

Two women who play video games for a living

A conversation between two women about their paths to success

Psychotherapy Pioneers: Orbach And Perel2019102120191027 (WS)While therapy was once considered the reserve of the rich, it's now part of many people's lives as they deal with trauma, relationship breakdown, and behavioural problems. But it remains relatively exclusive and incredibly private. Kim Chakanetsa is joined by Susie Orbach and Esther Perel, who are both trying to demystify the process without compromising confidentiality.

Susie Orbach is a British psychotherapist and writer. Her first book, Fat is a Feminist issue was a ground breaking global bestseller that looked at the psychology of dieting and over-eating in women. She co-founded the Women’s Therapy room which helps vulnerable women through mental health crises. Her radio and podcast series In Therapy is a dramatised re-imagining of her conversations with patients. 

Esther Perel is a Belgian psychotherapist who is credited with changing the way we think and talk about relationships through her books, podcasts and talks. She is host of the highly successful podcast, Where Should We Begin?, which takes listeners inside the therapy room with anonymous couples as clients.

(Image: Esther Perel (L) Credit: Ernesto Urdaneta. (R) Susie Orbach. Credit: Andrew Crowley)

Two world renowned psychotherapists on how they are opening up the treatment room

A conversation between two women about their paths to success

Putting Women's Stories Centre Stage20191111Bringing women's stories to the West End and Broadway stage - Kim Chakanetsa unites two playwrights who are on a mission to amplify female voices.

Morgan Lloyd Malcolm wrote the sell-out play Emilia, an all-female production which re-imagines Shakespeare's mysterious 'Dark Lady' and offers a feminist rallying cry. After appearing at Shakespeare's Globe Theatre and in the West End, it has now been optioned for a film. Morgan is frustrated however at the relative lack of opportunities for female playwrights. 'There are so many women who aren’t getting to tell their stories and I’m doing my best to crack open the door.'

Katori Hall is the US award-winning writer behind Tina - the critically acclaimed Tina Turner musical, as well as The Mountaintop and Our Lady of Kibeho. Katori began writing because she couldn't find a play that had a scene for two young black women, so decided 'I have to write those plays, then. I have to carry that baton forward and write us into existence, because if I don’t who else will?' She went on to become the first black woman to win the Olivier Award for Best New Play.

Image
L: Morgan Lloyd Malcolm (credit: David M. Benett/Getty Images)
R: Katori Hall (credit: Noam Galai/Getty Images)

Two leading playwrights who focus on the female experience.

A conversation between two women about their paths to success

Kim Chakanetsa presents a conversation between two women from different cultures about their paths to success.

Reality Stars: Karen Igho Rakos And Alexandra Zazzi20151221Reality stars from Nigeria and Sweden on being locked in a house and stuck on an island

Karen Igho Rakos was joint winner of Big Brother Africa in 2011, and was the first Nigerian woman to win the competition. The reality star claims she was ""one of the most hated"" people on the planet when she entered the house because of her bold personality, but says viewers fell in love with her ""good heart"". Karen won $200,000, but reveals that dealing with fame has been tough.

Alexandra Zazzi hit the reality TV scene when the concept was still in its infancy. She won Sweden's Expedition Robinson, also known as Survivor in 1998, winning $17,000. Alexandra says that back then no one knew the power of this type of television, and that it could catapult contestants to instant fame; for her it was about the challenge of living on a desert island and having to find her own food and shelter.

(L) Karen Igho Rakos. Credit: JD Barnes.

(R) Alexandra Zazzi. Credit: Peter Jademyr.

Record-breaking Runners20210118Two of the most decorated female sprinters on the planet, from the US and Jamaica, talk to Kim Chakanetsa about smashing records, the impact of pregnancy, and calling out sex discrimination in their sport.

Allyson Felix is an American sprinter who one year after giving birth to a premature baby, beat Usain Bolt’s record for winning the most world championship gold medals. After Allyson exposed her sponsor Nike for asking her to take a 70% pay cut on a new deal post-pregnancy, the brand changed its policy on pregnant athletes.

Jamaican sprinter Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce has won more 100m world titles than any other athlete in history, male or female. After taking a break from athletics to have a child, she became the world's fastest woman for the fourth time in 2019, bagging two gold medals at Doha.

Both athletes are aiming to add to their medal tally at the postponed Tokyo Olympics in 2021.

Produced by Jane Thurlow

IMAGE DETAILS
Left: Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce (credit Will Twort)
Right: Allyson Felix (credit Wes Felix)

Allyson Felix and Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce on gold medals, pregnancy and discrimination

The show that amplifies women's voices, with Kim Chakanetsa

Redesigning The World With Covid-1920201026What’s the best way to design ‘pandemic-resilient’ cities? Covid-19 has changed the way we move in public spaces, and social distancing has become the rule to live by. Kim Chakanetsa and her guests imagine what the world will look like in the future.

Toshiko Mori is a New York-based Japanese architect, founder of Toshiko Mori Architect and Professor at the Harvard University Graduate School of Design. She is the first woman to be tenured there. Growing up in Japan, she witnessed the country’s recovery after World War Two. She firmly believes that architecture can transform communities, and that crises are an opportunity to build better places.

Maliam Mdoko is the first female President of the Malawi Institute of Architects and she works with Press Trust, a charity building schools, hospitals and housing facilities. Maliam is already working on redesigning the way people move inside buildings, and she thinks women need to be the driving force behind this huge cultural and societal change.

IMAGE DETAILS
L: Maliam Mdoko (Courtesy of Maliam Mdoko)
R: Toshiko Mori (Credit: Ralph Gibson)

Producer: Alice Gioia

What's the best way to design \u2018pandemic-resilient' cities?

Kim Chakanetsa presents a conversation between two women from different cultures about their paths to success.

Running A Museum2017082120170827 (WS)Two women who run museums that document the lives and legacies of iconic figures of twentieth century history: Anne Frank and Nelson Mandela.

Garance Reus-Deelder is Managing Director of the Anne Frank House in Amsterdam, which welcomes 1.3 million visitors every year and faces numerous challenges due to the cramped nature of the space. Garance herself was born in the Netherlands but grew up in Zambia, where she remembers visiting memorials rather than museums. She first went into business before joining the museum in 2012. She describes the power of objects to tell stories, and how to handle the legacy of a young girl.

Wayde Davy is Director of Mandela House in Soweto, and Deputy Director of the Apartheid Museum in Johannesburg. She herself had little exposure to museums as a child under apartheid - but she later became fascinated with how they work, and believes that museums have the power to educate people about the past and provide a forum for everyone to air their views in what is still a divided society.

Image: (l) Garance Reus-Deelder and (r) Wayde Davy
Credit: (l) Anne Frank House/Cris Toala Olivares and (r) n/a

Two women in charge of museums in Amsterdam and Johannesburg.

A conversation between two women about their paths to success

Image: (l) Garance Reus-Deelder and (r) Wayde Davy
Credit: (l) Anne Frank House/Cris Toala Olivares and (r) n/a

Running Hotels: Hasmik Asatrian And Yin Myo Su20160314Two women running hotels in remote locations in Armenia and Myanmar

A conversation between two women about their paths to success

Hasmik Asatrian runs the Basen Hotel in Sisian. The business was owned by her husband's family, but Hasmik took over the management and day-to-day running in 2010. She transformed a rundown, Soviet-style complex with communal bathrooms and a leaky roof into a modern hotel that attracts tour groups and independent travellers who come to Armenia to discover the country's ancient history and culture. Hasmik's success won her Armenia's Young Businesswoman of the Year award in 2013.

Yin Myo Su runs the Inle Princess hotel, located on the shore of Inle Lake, in Myanmar. Su was raised in the hotel industry and says she was trained to work in it from an early age - her earliest memories are being taught how to cook, clean and entertain the guests. She says her strangest request was when a guest asked for his wife to be woken up by a flock of ducks quacking outside her window. Su won the Goldman Sachs and Fortune Global Women Leaders Award in 2013.

Left: Hasmik Asatrian / photo credit Sirun Snetcunc

Right: Yin Myo Su / photo credit Moethida Aye

Schools For Girls20170116Two women fighting to educate girls in Afghanistan and Kenya talk to Emily Webb about the ingenious ideas they've come up with to deal with opposition from men in the community.

Imagine searching classrooms for bombs before the start of every school day: that's the reality for Razia Jan who decided to open a school for girls in a village in rural Afghanistan. Razia had lived a comfortable life in the US for over 30 years, but after the fall of the Taliban, she decided to return to her home country, and was shocked by what she saw. Despite strong local opposition, she is now educating hundreds of girls who were previously denied any schooling.

Kakenya Ntaiya dreamt of becoming a teacher, but she had to make an unimaginable deal with her father to stay in education. She went onto gain a PhD in education, and having graduated, she returned to her own Maasai village in Kenya to set up a primary boarding school for girls. She hopes that her students will be the leaders and decision-makers of the future.

(L) Image: Kakenya Ntaiya. Credit; Kakenya's Center for Excellence.
(R) Image: Razia Jan. Credit: Razia's Ray of Hope.

Two women overcome hurdles to give girls an education

A conversation between two women about their paths to success

Selling Sunset: How I Find Homes For The Rich And Famous20210201The business of selling multi-million dollar homes: Kim Chakanetsa speaks to two women working in Dubai and LA's competitive real estate markets about what it takes to make it.

Amanza Smith is a real estate agent and interior designer. She's part of the team featured in the reality TV show Selling Sunset - a real estate agency for eye-popping high-end residential properties in Los Angeles. She says that while growing up poor 'sucks at the time', it's helped make her determined not to fail and has given her an ability to work really hard at everything she does.

Lebanese born Zeina Khoury lives in Dubai and is the CEO of High Mark Real Estate Brokers, a specialist luxury property sales and management company in the United Arab Emirates. The agency buys and sells exclusive properties, including opulent apartments in the Versace Palazzo Dubai, for clients based around the world.

Produced by Jane Thurlow

IMAGE DETAILS
Left: Zeina Khoury (courtesy Zeina Khoury)
Right: Amanza Smith (credit Michael Bezjian/Getty Images)

Infinity pools and marble bathrooms \u2013 what does it take to sell homes to the super-rich?

The show that amplifies women's voices, with Kim Chakanetsa

Kim Chakanetsa presents a conversation between two women from different cultures about their paths to success.

Sexuality And The City2017041020170416 (WS)LGBT women from different generations in San Francisco talk to guest presenter Lauren Schiller about their sexuality, the city and the changes they've seen in society over the years.

Kate Kendell has been described as America's 'Head Lesbian'. She is Director of the National Center for Lesbian Rights, which fights for the legal rights of LGBT people. She grew up in a Mormon family in Utah, and says that when she moved to San Francisco in 1994 her life went 'from monochrome to Kodachrome.' Kate was heavily involved for the fight for equal marriage in California, and married her own long-time partner Sandy in 2008. They have three children.

Robyn Exton founded a dating app for lesbian, bisexual and queer women in London in 2013, but two years ago she relocated to San Francisco to be closer to her investors. She also relaunched the app under the name Her - and it's now available in 55 countries. For Robyn, San Francisco has much to offer as a tech hub, but less in terms of the nightlife and parties she enjoys. She says the city is no longer the gay mecca it once was - and she is sad about the demise of the lesbian bar.

Image: (L) Robyn Exton. Credit: Helena Price.
Image: (R) Kate Kendell. Credit: NCLR.

Two LGBT women from different generations talk about their experiences of San Francisco

A conversation between two women about their paths to success

Singing My Way To Stardom20201012Pop singers from Afghanistan and Northern Ireland tell Kim Chakanetsa what it's like to perform in, coach and judge major singing competitions.

Aryana Sayeed is the biggest female pop star in Afghanistan. She’s been a judge on one of the country’s biggest TV shows, Afghan Star and a coach on The Voice of Afghanistan. The multi-award winning performer was born in Kabul and raised in Switzerland, later moving to the UK. Aryana is also a women's rights activist, and wants to deliver a message of peace, love, and empowerment through her music.

Janet Devlin was a quarter-finalist in the UK singing competition The X Factor. At just 16 years old and from a small town in Northern Ireland, she didn’t love the attention that came with it and struggled against her inner critic on stage. She talks about the importance of being open about her mental health issues and addictions, and how the support of a female fanbase has brought greater confidence.

IMAGE DETAILS
L: Janet Devlin (credit - Emma-Jane Lewis)
R: Aryana Sayeed (credit - Neelio Paris)

How appearing on televised singing competitions was a path to success.

Kim Chakanetsa presents a conversation between two women from different cultures about their paths to success.

Snake Rescuers: Dr Madhurita Gupta And Julia Baker20160229Two women whose world revolves around snakes as they rescue them in India and Australia

A conversation between two women about their paths to success

Dr Madhurita Gupta grew up in a research institute in Rajasthan. Her father was a scientist and she was exposed to different species of wildlife from an early age. She held her first snake, a sand boa, aged 15 and describes the experience as 'divine'. She says she still gets goose bumps when she holds one of the reptiles because of excitement, not fear. Madhurita is now the chief vet at an animal clinic in Mumbai and runs a snake rescue service. She says she can get up to 10 calls a day, but only goes out to relocate a snake if it is inside someone's property.

Julia Baker grew up in England and Germany before settling in Australia in her 20s. She started her career as a five-star pastry chef, but a life-changing experience led Julia to follow her passions and become a snake catcher. Julia has her own reality TV show called Snake Boss, or Snake Sheila, which follows her as she rescues snakes from people's properties and relocates them in the bush nearby. According to Julia fear is the biggest threat to snakes, as it can quickly turn to hatred and lead to people mistreating them, so she does what she can to educate people about the reptiles.

(Photo: Dr Madhurita Gupta (L), Julia Baker (R) Credit: Deb Nash)

Social Media Influencers20180618We meet two women who earn a six-figure salary by sharing their lives, fashion tips and their most personal moments on social media. Kim Chakanetsa delves into this digital world of influencers and finds out how to be successful in marketing online.

French-Cameroonian Freddie Harrel left her career in banking to start a fashion blog. She also writes about her own personal struggles and hopes to inspire other women to embrace their natural selves.

Anum Bashir from Qatar blogs under the persona 'Desert Mannequin' and wants to challenge the pursuit of perfection and the popularity of cosmetic surgery in the Middle East.

Image: (L) Freddie Harrel Credit: Tom Harrel
Image and credit: (R) Anum Bashir

Two women who have a made a business from sharing their lives on social media

A conversation between two women about their paths to success

Social Media Poetry Stars2019120220200615 (WS)
20200621 (WS)
Are poets who start out on social media given the respect they deserve?

Kim Chakanetsa presents a conversation between two women from different cultures about their paths to success.

A conversation between two women about their paths to success

Poets Leticia Sala and Nikita Gill on being taken seriously by the establishment after launching their careers on social media. They talk to Kim Chakanetsa about overcoming snobbery around the title 'insta-poet' and balancing being able to share their work with millions of people with the immediacy of follower feedback.

Nikita Gill is a British-Indian writer and artist. Born in Belfast, she spent the majority of her childhood in New Delhi. She had poems published in papers and magazines as a teenager but went on to study a 'more practical' degree. She began posting her poetry on Tumblr in 2015 and later on Instagram, where she now has over half a million followers. She's since had five books of poetry published.

Leticia Sala is a Spanish poet and writer. A law graduate, she always assumed she couldn't earn a living as a professional poet, but then started getting huge feedback on poems she wrote and posted on social media in her spare time. She very quickly signed a book deal and has a huge online following in Europe and Latin America.

Image credits
L: Leticia Sala (Paloma Lanna)
R: Nikita Gill (BBC)

Space Scientists20161212Two women who reach for the stars, the planets, and the comets.

A conversation between two women about their paths to success

Space Scientists from the UAE and the UK discuss the missions they're involved in and what they mean to them.

Sarah Amiri is the lead scientist for the UAE's Mars Mission. Their plan is to send an unmanned spacecraft, the 'Hope', to reach Mars in 2021, where it will provide unprecedented data on the Martian climate, and also send a message to the youth of the region that there are paths available to them in science, rather than radicalism. Sarah says the people working on the Hope mission are all under 35, and 34% of them are women.

Monica Grady is a prominent British space scientist, known for her work on Beagle 2 and the international Rosetta mission, which aimed to find out where life on Earth came from. In 2014, when the robot probe Philae successfully landed on a comet, a video of Monica's hugely excited reaction went viral on the internet. She says it's no wonder she was so happy - this mission had been part of her life for 30 years.

Image: (LHS) Sarah Amiri and (RHS) Monica Grady

Credit: n/a

Speaking Up About Racial Injustice20201005Two women talk to Kim Chakanetsa about their anti-racism campaigns in Lebanon and Netherlands and the emotional toll of speaking out.

Jessica de Abreu is an activist and co-founder of The Black Archives in Amsterdam. As part of the Kick Out Zwarte Piet group she protests against the annual tradition in the Netherlands where children and adults alike dress up with black face to celebrate Santa’s helper ‘Black Pete’. In the past protesters have been attacked and ignored by a country that has long seen this as harmless fun. Massive turnouts at recent BLM inspired protests could suggest a turning of the tide.

Ubah Ali is from Somaliland and currently studying at the American University of Beirut. She talks about Lebanon's ‘kafala’ system, which excludes the predominantly Black migrant workforce from labour laws. She says she’s regularly mistaken for a domestic worker and fights to challenge preconceptions about Black women.

IMAGE DETAILS
L: Ubah Ali (credit - Ubah Ali)
R: Jessica de Abreu (credit - Marcel Wogram)

Women in Lebanon and the Netherlands talk about their anti-racism campaigns

Kim Chakanetsa presents a conversation between two women from different cultures about their paths to success.

Speech Writer To The President20161128Sarada Peri and Garentina Kraja on being a wordsmith to their country's leader

A conversation between two women about their paths to success

Two women who get inside Presidents' heads, tell Kim Chakanetsa how they turn their bosses' thoughts and ideas into powerful oratory.

Sarada Peri is Special Assistant and Senior Speechwriter to President Obama. She says a good speech writer is like a ghost, and that her job is really to inhabit the President's mind on any given topic. For her, the goal isn't to emulate what he sounds like, it's to understand how he thinks. This is then represented on the page or teleprompter; with Sarada ever conscious that a single line from any one of his speeches could be lifted out of context and tweeted around the world in seconds.

When the first female President of the Republic of Kosovo came into office in 2011, it was Garentina Kraja who she turned to for her speech writing prowess, as well as her policy expertise. Together Garentina and President Jahjaga wrote a speech about the women who were raped in Kosovo during the war, and who felt they'd been ignored and forgotten since. It helped to change the whole national conversation on the subject. Garentina passionately believes in the power of words and story-telling to persuade hearts and minds.

Image: (LHS) Sarada Peri speechwriter to President Obama and (RHS) Garentina Kraja speechwriter to the former President of the Republic of Kosovo

Credit: N/A

Squash Stars: Maria Toorpakai And Nicol David2016041820160423 (WS)
20160424 (WS)
Pioneering squash players from Pakistan and Malaysia swap notes

A conversation between two women about their paths to success

Maria Toorpakai grew up in the traditional tribal region of Waziristan, and from an early age decided she would rather play with the boys than stay inside with the girls. So she burned her 'girly' clothes and cut her hair short so she could run and jump and wrestle outside. When her family moved to Peshawar Maria picked up a squash racket for the first time, and by the age of 16 was Pakistan's number one player. Her success led to death threats however, and she was forced into hiding and playing only in her bedroom. Maria now lives and trains in Canada. Her book A Different Kind of Daughter: The Girl Who Hid From the Taliban in Plain Sight (with Katharine Holstein) is out now.

Malaysia's Nicol David has dominated women's squash since 2005. She was the World No 1 woman player for an unprecedented 9 years. Nicol says her greatest win was her first world title when she was 22 in Hong Kong, which came as a complete surprise. She started playing squash with her sisters to work out her hyperactivity, and quickly became a junior champion. She says squash is like 'physical chess' - you are always thinking ahead by two or three moves.

Standing Up To Bullying: Zainab Chughtai And Lauren Paul2016091920160924 (WS)
20160925 (WS)
Two women trying to stop girls being bullied in the US and Pakistan.

A conversation between two women about their paths to success

Kim Chakanetsa meets two women who are taking on the challenge of combating bullying in Pakistan and the US.

Zainab Chughtai says the bullying she endured as a young girl inspired her to go into schools to try and stop other school children experiencing what she did. The emotional impact was so severe on Zainab, she says it's affected her personal relationships as an adult. Her campaign, Bully Proof, travels across Pakistan providing workshops to school children which create a safe space for them to open up about bullying - whether they are the victim, or the perpetrator.

Lauren Paul was the target of bullying by a group of girls at school in California. It was so traumatic it led to depression, an eating disorder and even an attempt to take her own life. She says every single woman can recall a moment when their relationship with other girls had a negative effect on them. This is why she co-founded 'Kind Campaign', an organisation which goes into schools across the US working with girls of all ages in the hopes of spreading a positive message, and stamping out girl-against-girl bullying.

(Photo: Left to right, Zainab Chughtai. Credit: Hamza Bajwa. Lauren Paul. Credit: Brandon Kidd)

Star Chefs20180723The professional kitchen is often seen as a place where bravado, machismo and sexism are standard. Kim Chakanestsa brings together two top female chefs to ask why there are so few women in the industry - and what if anything is holding women back?

Dominique Crenn is a French chef living and working in San Francisco. She has two Michelin stars at her restaurant 'Atelier Crenn' - the first woman in North America to do so. In 2017 she also won the Best Female Chef in the World award - although she called the very idea of the accolade 'stupid' and questioned whether it was really the best way to promote women in the industry. In her own kitchen Dominique aims to support women by creating an environment in which people feel secure and where bullying is not tolerated.

Skye Gyngell won a Michelin Star unexpectedly, when she was running a garden centre café in leafy south-west London. But she says the honour was a mixed blessing and meant customers turned up with unrealistic expectations. She's now moved on to start her own restaurant called Spring. Skye was classically trained as a chef in France, before working in fine-dining restaurants in London. She says her early experiences of the professional kitchen were sexist and terrifying, but that she loves cooking and hopes that by promoting more women the industry will change.

Image: (L) Dominique Crenn by Matt Edge (R) Skye Gyngell by Carol Sachs

Two female chefs who have both won Michelin stars

A conversation between two women about their paths to success

Startups Saving Lives20191007How to turn a healthcare vision into reality - Yassmin Abdel-Magied speaks to two entrepreneurs from Vietnam and Nigeria who spotted an issue in medical care in developing countries and set about trying to solve it.

Nga Tuyet Trang is a Vietnamese entrepreneur who discovered that newborn babies in Vietnam were dying of treatable conditions because of broken medical equipment. At the age of just 25, she founded a company to provide simple, cost-effective devices to maternity units, called the Medical Technology and Transfer Service (MTTS). Through her leadership, the social enterprise has delivered thousands of machines to hospitals around the world, and treated more than a million babies.

Temie Giwa-Tubosun is a Nigerian-American health manager and founder of LifeBank, a business working to improve access to blood transfusions in Nigeria. Her aim is to end the shortage of blood supplies by increasing the efficiency of distribution and by educating people about the importance of blood donation. The idea came about after the birth of her first child, when she found out that many women in developing countries die in childbirth as a result of postpartum haemorrhage. In 2014, Temie was named one of the BBC’s 100 Women.

L: Temie Giwa-Tubosun (Credit: LifeBank)
R: Nga Trang Tuyet (Credit: MTTS)

Two women whose medical startups have saved thousands of lives.

A conversation between two women about their paths to success

Storm Chasers20180122Two women who are spellbound by the power of storms talk to Kim Chakanetsa about why they are drawn to danger, what it feels like to be trapped inside a Category Four hurricane and the thrill of the chase.

Karen Kosiba is a scientist based at the Center for Severe Weather Research in Boulder, Colorado. She chases extreme weather events to study the wind structure inside tornadoes and to measure the winds in hurricanes. She is mostly focussed on the data she collects from the relative safety of a radar truck, but sometimes she gets a chance to look out of the window and marvel at the sheer force of nature.

Sarah Alsayegh is a photographer from Kuwait who started out taking photos of Kuwait City, seeking out the most dramatic sunsets, looming skies and dust storms as backdrops to her images. She also became the first Arab woman to travel to the area known as tornado alley in the US. She says people are often taken aback to see a woman chasing storms, but she loves the way they make her feel - like a tiny human being amidst the vastness of the natural world.

Image (L) Karen Kosiba (credit: Gino De Grandis)
Image and credit: (R) Sarah Alsayegh

Two women who are drawn to the thrill of extreme weather events

A conversation between two women about their paths to success

Strong Women20170313Two of the strongest women in the world join Kim Chakanetsa to explain what it's like to be able to out-lift most men.

Kristin Rhodes has muscled her way to America's Strongest Woman status seven times. A mother and child-care provider from San Diego, for the last decade she has reigned supreme nationally, and has set three women's world records for strength. When she started out, she was competing in parking lots and winning just a handshake - now she performs in big venues to huge crowds. Kristin is proud to have been instrumental in getting the women's game the recognition she believes it deserves, and to have inspired other women to become stronger themselves.

Andrea Thompson is a relative newcomer to strength competitions, having only started weight-lifting two years ago when a coach spotted her in the gym in Suffolk. She's already been declared Britain's Strongest Woman and is hoping to add more medals this year. Andrea says she has always been big, and initially began exercising to lose weight after having her children, but now she has so much muscle she weighs more than she did before. However, finding out the feats her body is capable of has amazed her, and she now loves her larger build.

(L) Image: Kristin Rhodes. Credit: Strongman Corporation.
(R) Image: Andrea Thompson. Credit: Strongman Corporation.

Women who can pull trucks, flip tractor tyres and lift the equivalent of a pygmy hippo

A conversation between two women about their paths to success

Surfers: Cori Schumacher And Ishita Malaviya20151109India's first female professional surfer talks to former world champion Cori Schumacher

Cori Schumacher was surfing before she was born - her mother, also a professional surfer, carried on surfing while she was pregnant. Cori got her first board when she was five and was competing by eight. She quickly came to love the sport and her dedication led her to become a three-time world champion. However, she came to have reservations about aspects of surf culture and the pressure placed on female athletes to be attractive and thin. She now campaigns to raise the status of women's surfing and to make surf culture more inclusive.

Ishita Malaviya grew up in Mumbai where there was very little surf culture. Many Indians, she says, have a fear of the sea. Ishita first learnt to surf at university. She and her boyfriend saved up to buy a second-hand board which they shared - one of them would practise in the waves while the other cheered from the beach. Now Ishita has been recognised as India's first female professional surfer. She runs a school where she 'spreads the stoke of surfing' to other Indians.

(Photo: (Left) Cori Schumacher. Credit: Maria Cerda. (Right) Ishita Malaviya. Credit: The Shaka Surf Club)

Surrogacy20171225A surrogate mother and a mother who used a surrogate - Kim Chakanetsa explores the ethics and emotions of carrying a child for someone else, with two women from the United States and the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Krystal Wallace is from Texas and already had two children of her own when she saw a TV programme about surrogacy and thought it could be for her. After a rocky start, she has now been a gestational surrogate for three different childless couples. She hates the term 'womb for rent', preferring to call it 'extreme babysitting'. Krystal says seeing the parents' faces when they meet their child is the most amazing feeling for her, and she doesn't feel any sense of loss when they take the baby home.

Jeanne Kapongo is from DRC and now lives in South Africa. She and her husband dreamed of having a big family but it took them ten years to fall pregnant with their first child. She says that she would not have felt complete without a second child, but after four more miscarriages they decided to opt for surrogacy. Jeanne says she was lucky to find a surrogate mother she connected with straight away, although it was a nerve-wracking process, as in South Africa the surrogate has the right to terminate the pregnancy for any reason.

Image: (L) Krystal Wallace and (R) Jeanne Kapongo
Credit: Krystal Wallace and Marie Claire

Two women from DRC and the US share their surrogacy stories

A conversation between two women about their paths to success

Surviving An Economic Crisis: Iliana Fokianaki And Bettina Rosenqvist2015090720150912 (WS)Two women from Greece and Venezuela swap stories of living through a financial meltdown

Iliana Fokianaki is from Athens and is an art curator, critic and journalist. She also runs a non-profit contemporary art gallery which opened its doors in the Greek capital last year. Iliana describes seeing people rummaging through bins on a daily basis, which didn't happen before the crisis. She is in her mid-thirties and reveals that even though she would like to have a child, she can't because she can't afford to.

Bettina Rosenqvist is from Caracas and recently opened a new juice bar despite the financial situation. She says that queuing for hours at the supermarket for essential products and dealing with constant price rises has become the norm. Bettina won't visit the cinema anymore as she's scared to sit in dark places because she feels muggings have increased in the Venezuelan capital as people get more desperate.

Survivors Of Sexual Assault20190415Breaking the silence on sexual assault. Two women tell Kim Chakanetsa how they worked through the trauma of sexual violence, and then decided to speak out to help others.

Brisa De Angulo supports young survivors of sexual abuse in Bolivia, through her charity A Breeze of Hope. At the age of 15, she herself was raped by a member of her extended family, but when she tried to report the crime to the authorities she was ostracised and belittled. At just 17, Brisa decided to set up an organisation which provides medical, social and legal services to fellow young rape victims, so they didn't have to go through the ordeal she did.

Winnie M Li is an author, activist and founder of the Clear Lines Festival. Winnie was working as a film producer in the UK before her career was disrupted, at the age of 29, when she was raped by a stranger. This prompted a long period of recovery, followed by a change in career. Winnie decided to focus on addressing the issue of sexual assault through the media, the arts and academia. Her debut novel, Dark Chapter, which was based on her experience of sexual violence, won The Guardian’s Not The Booker Prize 2017.

L Winnie M Li (credit: Grace Gelder)
R Brisa De Angulo (credit: Parker Palmer)

Two women who are breaking the silence on sexual violence

A conversation between two women about their paths to success

Swimmers20180219Two swimming stars look back on their extraordinary careers and talk frankly about sexism in the sport, how they overcame major challenges to keep competing and how they dealt with their period ahead of a race.

Natalie Coughlin is among the greatest female swimmers in history, with 12 Olympic medals to her name. However when she was a teenager, and already a rising star in the pool, she suffered a severe shoulder injury which put her off competitive swimming altogether. It was only at university when she met her first female coach, Teri McKeever, that she once again felt inspired to go for gold. Natalie went onto become the only US woman to earn six medals at one Olympics. And at 35 years old she still hasn't officially retired.

Natalie du Toit is a Paralympic champion from South Africa who refused to be defined by the scooter accident that left her an amputee at the age of 17. Before the accident she had been dreaming of competing in the Olympics and was tipped for success. Three months after she lost her left leg at the knee, she was back in the pool, determined to see what she could achieve. Not only has she now won 13 Paralympic golds but she also competed at the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing. She retired from the sport in 2012.

(L) Natalie Coughlin (credit: Aaron Okayama)
(R) Natalie du Toit (credit: Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)

Two female swimming champions discuss sexism, success and mental strength in the sport

A conversation between two women about their paths to success

Tackling The Gender Pay Gap20180611Why do women earn less than men across the world, and what can be done to narrow this gender pay gap? Two experts from Italy and Kenya give their ideas on how to make the workplace more equal and pay women what they are worth.

Paola Diana (@paoladiana_) is the founder of PariMerito or Equal Merit, an organisation through which she lobbied the Italian government to pass new equality laws in the workplace, including one requiring company boards to have at least 30% women. Paola started her own businesses as a single mother of two, and believes real change will only come from all nations having more women at the top of politics, business and industry. She is also the author of 'Saving The World - Women: The Twenty First Century's Factor for Change'.

Dr Njoki Ngumi (@njokingumi) is a writer, physician and feminist thinker who has held positions in private and public health care sectors in Kenya. She is now coordinating learning and development for the NEST Collective, a Kenyan multidisciplinary artistic squad. She also works at HEVA Fund, Africa's first creative economy catalyst fund. In her experience, official gender gap statistics fail to reflect the reality of most women's work in Kenya, which tends to be informal, and in low wage manual jobs. Thus she says the biggest change would come from improving pay and conditions for domestic workers.

(L) Image and credit: Paola Diana
(R) Image and credit: Dr Njoki Ngumi

Two women who are determined to close the gender pay gap

A conversation between two women about their paths to success

Tattoo Artists2017100920171015 (WS)Women who ink and get inked talk to Faranak Amidi about why they were drawn to the world of tattooing, how they developed their signature styles, and why getting a tattoo of your partner's name is a big no-no!

Claudia de Sabe is an Italian tattoo artist, who works at Seven Doors Tattoo in London. She got into the culture as a teenager when she was listening to punk music and hardcore bands. Her first tattoos were on her ankles and she says she still likes being able to hide them away discreetly. She's gained a big Instagram following with her detailed and eye-catching designs that combine both western and oriental styles.

Wendy Pham is an Australian tattoo artist, who runs her own tattoo studio in Berlin called Taiko Gallery. She is heavily influenced by the Japanese cartoons she watched as a child - you can expect to see animals wearing kimonos and eating bowls of noodles in her colourful, fun designs. In fact, on social media she's known as 'wen ramen.' She got her first tattoo at the age of 18, but she says she hated it, and so she always makes sure her clients are certain about what they want before she puts ink to skin.

Image and credit: (L) Wendy Pham
Image and credit: (R) Claudia de Sabe

Two women who apply ink to skin - and have gained a cult following in the process

A conversation between two women about their paths to success

Image and credit: (L) Wendy Pham
Image and credit: (R) Claudia de Sabe

Taxi Drivers: Iris Javed And Karin Holmstr㶀m20151116'You can never tell what type of person is getting into your car' says Iris Javed who has been driving a taxi in New York City for over twenty-two years, 'and once they're in your car you have to deal with it'. Iris, who drove an 18-wheel truck before scaling down to a taxi, has had her fair share of drunk and troublesome passengers - and even one who got into her car completely naked.

Karin Holmström has been driving a taxi in Stockholm for twenty years. She says driving is only a tiny part of the job - 'you more or less have to be a mother, a priest and a psychologist'. She's doled out relationship advice and consoled the lonely and although she welcomes all kinds of passengers, Karin has one hard and fast rule about fast food - 'they will never eat hamburgers and hotdogs in my car. I'm not a restaurant!'

(Picture: Iris Javed (Left) and Karin Holmström (Right - Credit: Stockholm Taxis)

Taxi drivers discuss life behind the wheel in New York and Stockholm

The 2018 Nobel Science Women20190225Two female scientists won Nobel Prizes in 2018, which was unprecedented in a single year. They join Kim Chakanetsa to discuss the whirlwind that followed their wins, their ground-breaking research, and how they believe more women can be recognised for their work.

At a glittering ceremony in Stockholm in December 2018, Canadian Donna Strickland became the first woman for 55 years to be awarded the Nobel Prize for Physics. One of the world’s leading laser physicists, based at the University of Waterloo, she was recognised for her co-invention of Chirped Pulse Amplification, a technique that has since been used as part of laser eye surgery and in the creation of smartphone screens. Donna is honoured to become one of just three women to ever win this award, but says she can't speak for all women.

At the same ceremony, Frances Arnold became the fifth woman, and the first American woman, to win the Nobel Prize for Chemistry. From her lab at Caltech, Frances pioneered the directed evolution of enzymes, which has led to a wide range of more cleanly and cheaply made products, from laundry detergents to biofuels and medicines. She says that change for women in science cannot come fast enough, and she hopes that these two wins are 'the beginning of a steady stream' of recognition for female scientists.

L-Image: Donna Strickland Credit: University of Waterloo
R-Image: Frances Arnold Credit: Caltech

Two women whose ground-breaking scientific research won them Nobel Prizes in 2018

A conversation between two women about their paths to success

The Beauty Of Ageing2019052020200629 (WS)
20200705 (WS)
Two women discuss how to grow old with purpose, passion and good humour

Kim Chakanetsa presents a conversation between two women from different cultures about their paths to success.

How to subvert the negative stereotypes about older women? Kim Chakanetsa brings together two women - both in their late 70s - to discuss how to grow older with purpose, passion, and a certain playfulness.

Chilean author Isabel Allende is one of the most acclaimed writers in the world. Her novels, which draw on her own eventful life, tell stories of love, exile and loss, and have sold more than 70 million copies and have been translated from Spanish into 42 languages. Now aged 76, she has spoken openly about how to live passionately at any age.

Also aged 76, Lynne Segal is a British-based feminist academic who has grappled with the paradoxes, struggles and advantages of ageing in her book, 'Out of Time: The Pleasures and Perils of Ageing'. Originally from Australia, Lynne is also a seasoned feminist and social activist and is Professor of Psychology and Gender Studies at Birkbeck College, London.

Produced by Jo Impey for BBC World Service.

Image:
(L) Lynne Segal (credit Andy Hall/Getty Images)
(R) Isabel Allende (credit Lori Barra)

A conversation between two women about their paths to success

The Changing Face Of Women In Music Videos20181022Traditionally made by men and often criticised for sexism and colourism, Kim Chakanetsa asks two top female directors if the portrayal - and the power - of women in music videos is now changing.

Kemi Adetiba is the only high-profile female video director on Nigeria's thriving music scene, working with artists such as Tiwa Savage, Wizkid and Falz. Now branching out into feature films, she still directs videos on request. She says she wants young girls to know that she is competing in a male-dominated field, and succeeding.

Kinga Burza is an Australian director who made the video for Katy Perry's controversial debut single I Kissed a Girl a decade ago, and has worked with a slew of successful young female artists since, including Lana del Rey, Aurora and Dua Lipa. She says more women are now getting into the business but she was in a tiny minority when she started out.

Producer: Sarah Crawley

(L) Image: Kemi Adetiba. Credit: J. Countess/WireImage/Getty Images
(R) Image & credit: Kinga Burza

Two women who direct music videos for big name stars

A conversation between two women about their paths to success

The Changing Role Of Charity20170904Running an international charity in today's changing world is the task taken on by our two guests, who talk to Kim Chakanetsa about how their organisations are adjusting to the changing demands of those in need.

Winnie Byanyima is Executive Director of Oxfam International, which works to alleviate global poverty. Born in Uganda, Winnie has been a trailblazer and an activist from the beginning - as a student protester she was forced to flee the country at the age of 17. Later, she became a parliamentarian under Yoweri Museveni, and went on to hold high-level roles at the African Union and the UN. She joined Oxfam in 2013 and she's currently overseeing the ambitious relocation of its international headquarters from the UK to Kenya.

Brita Fernandez Schmidt is Executive Director of Women for Women International UK, a charity which supports women in eight countries affected by war and conflict. They offer a year-long course to marginalised women, with the aim of giving them access to life-changing support and skills. Brita herself was born in Germany but grew up in Venezuela, where she witnessed poverty at first hand, and remembers being particularly struck by how poverty disproportionately affected women. She says she always had a burning sense of justice - and that when she sees something that's not right, she can't leave it be.

Image: (l)Winnie Byanyima and (r) Brita Fernandez Schmidt
Credit: (l) Oxfam and (r) Monia Antonioli

Two women on the challenges of running international development organisations.

A conversation between two women about their paths to success

Image: (l)Winnie Byanyima and (r) Brita Fernandez Schmidt
Credit: (l) Oxfam and (r) Monia Antonioli

The Conversation Goes To School In South Africa2015102420151025 (WS)To celebrate the programme's first birthday, Kim Chakanetsa is at Parktown High School for Girls in Johannesburg, bringing 22 students who are in their final year and about to set out into the world, together with two dynamic southern African women who share a passion for connecting people through technology.

Khosi Zwane-Siguqa is Head of Content for the communications app WeChat Africa. She dropped out of a law degree to become a community journalist, a move her father was not happy about - but she says she has made him proud by going on to have a stellar career, becoming the youngest ever editor of South Africa's iconic Drum magazine. Her move into tech came recently, and she is now using her story-telling skills to create engaging and relevant content for one of Africa's newest digital platforms. She says her approach to content is all about community, and she is passionate about finding African solutions to African problems through technology.

Emma Kaye is founder and CEO of Bozza, an online platform that links local artists and musicians with a global audience, and enables communities to tell their stories from the inside out. A serial entrepreneur, Emma says she and risk have always been good friends - she jumps in, and only does the things she loves. After trail-blazing in South African films and animation, she realised that the next big screen in Africa was going to be the mobile phone, so went into developing apps and content. Frustrated by how few story-tellers were getting exposure, she did something about it, and her platform is now helping 10,000 artists across Africa to be their own boss.

The girls about to finish high school share their hopes and ideas for their futures, ask searching questions and seek advice from Khosi and Emma, on how to grow their confidence and achieve their dreams.

Picture: Kim Chakanetsa with Emma Kaye, Khosi Zwane-Siguqa and pupils at Parktown High School for Girls, Johannesburg, South Africa

On the programme's first birthday, Kim and guests visit a girls' school in Johannesburg

The Conversation Goes To School In South Africa20151026To celebrate the programme's first birthday, Kim Chakanetsa is at Parktown High School for Girls in Johannesburg, bringing 22 students who are in their final year and about to set out into the world, together with two dynamic southern African women who share a passion for connecting people through technology.

Khosi Zwane-Siguqa is Head of Content for the communications app WeChat Africa. She dropped out of a law degree to become a community journalist, a move her father was not happy about - but she says she has made him proud by going on to have a stellar career, becoming the youngest ever editor of South Africa's iconic Drum magazine. Her move into tech came recently, and she is now using her story-telling skills to create engaging and relevant content for one of Africa's newest digital platforms. She says her approach to content is all about community, and she is passionate about finding African solutions to African problems through technology.

Emma Kaye is founder and CEO of Bozza, an online platform that links local artists and musicians with a global audience, and enables communities to tell their stories from the inside out. A serial entrepreneur, Emma says she and risk have always been good friends - she jumps in, and only does the things she loves. After trail-blazing in South African films and animation, she realised that the next big screen in Africa was going to be the mobile phone, so went into developing apps and content. Frustrated by how few story-tellers were getting exposure, she did something about it, and her platform is now helping 10,000 artists across Africa to be their own boss.

The girls about to finish high school share their hopes and ideas for their futures, ask searching questions and seek advice from Khosi and Emma, on how to grow their confidence and achieve their dreams.

Picture: Kim Chakanetsa and guests with South African school girls

On the programme's first birthday, Kim and guests visit a girls' school in Johannesburg

The Conversation: Bbc 100 Women2020112820201130 (WS)Celebrating the BBC 100 Women list 2020, Kim Chakanetsa and a panel of inspirational and influential women discuss whether some changes made because of Covid-19 restrictions could be seen as positive. They answer questions about bringing communities together, supporting lonely people and increasing flexibility for more inclusive employment.

Shani Dhanda is an award-winning disability specialist and social entrepreneur from the UK. She founded the Asian Woman Festival and Asian Disability Network. The pandemic has proved that flexible and home working is viable, and she wants to make sure our new online solutions are here to stay so that the world remains accessible to us all.

Karen Dolva has been seeking technological solutions to involuntary loneliness since 2015. A co-founder of No Isolation based in Norway, she’s helped develop a telepresence robot for children with long-term illness, and KOMP, a one-button screen for seniors. With reports from around the world of people feeling increasingly isolated because of Covid restrictions – should tech like this be used more widely?

Yvonne Aki-Sawyerr, became Mayor of Freetown, Sierra Leone in 2018 with an inclusive vision of the city's renewal and a three-year plan to "Transform Freetown" and tackle environmental degradation and facilitate the creation of jobs in the tourism sector. #FreetownTheTreeTown was launched this January and already over 450,000 seedlings have been planted to address flooding, soil erosion and water shortages faced by the city. She says we can turn frustration and dissatisfaction into positive change. What can we learn from such an approach post-Covid?

Aditi Mittal is India’s best known female stand-up comedian, who is finding new ways to perform safely and online. She also hosts the Women in Labour podcast, and hopes that the increased time at home for many male workers in India has shone a light on the amount of time required to run a household, something that has always been a big barrier to the female workforce.

Produced by Jane Thurlow and Caitlin Sneddon

Image from left: Aditi Mittal (credit Nanak Bhatia), Shani Dhanda (courtesy Shani Dhanda), Yvonne Aki-Sawyerr (credit TJ Bade) Karen Dolva (credit No Isolation)

Has the Covid-19 pandemic triggered change that could be seen as positive in the future?

The show that amplifies women's voices, with Kim Chakanetsa

The Djs - Tatiana Alvarez And Lea Barrett2016072520160731 (WS)Female DJs filling dance floors and mixing it up in America and South Africa

A conversation between two women about their paths to success

Presenter Gemma Cairney gets behind the decks with two female DJs who get dance floors pumping in America and South Africa.

DJ Lady Lea got hooked on house music and the Cape Town dance scene as a teenager in the early 1990s. She started taking her record box to clubs and playing early morning sets. Now rated as one of South Africa's top female DJs, Lea plays electro, funky, deep, tech, minimal and progressive house. She started an all-women DJ agency called Divas on Decks, which promotes up and coming talent and dishes out essential advice for being a success in this industry.

DJ Tatiana Alvarez was obsessed with making mix tapes and cutting tracks growing up near Los Angeles. But her DJ career got off to a rocky start when her agent said he could not promote her to the serious underground clubs she wanted to play in, because she is a woman. So with the help of a make-up artist friend, some shoulder pads and breast tape Tatiana decided to pose as a man for a year to see if she could get bookings. The promoters loved her music.

(Photo: DJs Lea Barrett (left) and Tatiana Alvarez (right). Credit Robert John Kley)

The Hugging Dentists20190923Easing the fear of the dentist's chair - getting teeth fixed can be a traumatic experience for vulnerable patients. Kim Chakanetsa meets two women who use innovative methods to restore smiles.

Dr Sharonne Zaks is not your average dentist. In her practice in Melbourne, Australia, she specalises in treating highly anxious patients, many of whom are survivors of sexual assault and trauma. These patients often experience a loss of control when lying back in the dentist's chair. Sharonne aims to open up communication with each patient, and to remove the shame they may feel about the state of their teeth. Sometimes she even uses music and massage to help patients feel more at ease.

Dr Sonia Sonia is an Indian dentist who has dedicated her career to supporting survivors of domestic violence. Based in Brisbane, Australia, Sonia is herself a survivor of domestic abuse, and when she started practising dentistry she recognised the signs of abuse in her patients. Over time, she has helped women escape abusive relationships, and given then confidence to live their own lives. Sonia says her biggest reward is putting the smile back on someone's face.

(Photo: L: Sharonne Zaks. Credit: Sharonne Zaks; (R) Sonia Sonia. Credit: Roshan Vas_Angel Photography)

Two women who've come up with creative ways to treat anxious patients

A conversation between two women about their paths to success

The joy of reindeer20201221
The joy of reindeer20201221

What does a reindeer smell like? And how do they manage to survive in one of the harshest climates in the world, with temperatures that can drop to minus 30 degrees Celsius? Kim Chakanetsa talks all things reindeer with two women who follow these extraordinary animals for a living.

Anne Louise Næss Gaup is a reindeer herder from the indigenous Sámi community in Norway. She was brought up in a family of traditional herders and she spends most of her life on the road, looking after her migrating herd. She talks about her hard but rewarding work; why these animals are so important for her culture; and why it’s very inappropriate to ask her how many reindeer she owns.

Dr. Jackie Hrabok-Leppäjärvi has a joint Professorship at the University of Alaska Fairbanks Northwest Campus and at the Sámi Education Institute in Kaamanen, Finland. She teaches reindeer husbandry and applied arts. She started studying reindeer and caribous when she was 18 and she never looked back. She now develops science-based and sustainable reindeer husbandry programmes, helping indigenous communities to protect the animals they base their livelihood on.

Producer: Alice Gioia

Reindeer audio: Courtesy of Bengt Roger Kaaven, NRK SAPMI

Image:
L: Dr. Jackie Hrabok-Leppäjärvi
R: Anne Louise Næss Gaup

Anne Louise Gaup and Dr. Jackie Hrabok-Lepp\u00e4j\u00e4rvi on why they follow reindeer for a living

The show that amplifies women's voices, with Kim Chakanetsa

The joy of reindeer20201221What does a reindeer smell like? And how do they manage to survive in one of the harshest climates in the world, with temperatures that can drop to minus 30 degrees Celsius? Kim Chakanetsa talks all things reindeer with two women who follow these extraordinary animals for a living.

Anne Louise Næss Gaup is a reindeer herder from the indigenous Sámi community in Norway. She was brought up in a family of traditional herders and she spends most of her life on the road, looking after her migrating herd. She talks about her hard but rewarding work; why these animals are so important for her culture; and why it’s very inappropriate to ask her how many reindeer she owns.

Dr. Jackie Hrabok-Leppäjärvi has a joint Professorship at the University of Alaska Fairbanks Northwest Campus and at the Sámi Education Institute in Kaamanen, Finland. She teaches reindeer husbandry and applied arts. She started studying reindeer and caribous when she was 18 and she never looked back. She now develops science-based and sustainable reindeer husbandry programmes, helping indigenous communities to protect the animals they base their livelihood on.

Producer: Alice Gioia

Reindeer audio: Courtesy of Bengt Roger Kaaven, NRK SAPMI

Image:
L: Dr. Jackie Hrabok-Leppäjärvi
R: Anne Louise Næss Gaup

Anne Louise Gaup and Dr. Jackie Hrabok-Lepp\u00e4j\u00e4rvi on why they follow reindeer for a living

The show that amplifies women's voices, with Kim Chakanetsa

The Joy Of Reindeer20201221What does a reindeer smell like? And how do they manage to survive in one of the harshest climates in the world, with temperatures that can drop to minus 30 degrees Celsius? Kim Chakanetsa talks all things reindeer with two women who follow these extraordinary animals for a living.

Anne Louise Næss Gaup is a reindeer herder from the indigenous Sámi community in Norway. She was brought up in a family of traditional herders and she spends most of her life on the road, looking after her migrating herd. She talks about her hard but rewarding work; why these animals are so important for her culture; and why it’s very inappropriate to ask her how many reindeer she owns.

Dr. Jackie Hrabok-Leppäjärvi has a joint Professorship at the University of Alaska Fairbanks Northwest Campus and at the Sámi Education Institute in Kaamanen, Finland. She teaches reindeer husbandry and applied arts. She started studying reindeer and caribous when she was 18 and she never looked back. She now develops science-based and sustainable reindeer husbandry programmes, helping indigenous communities to protect the animals they base their livelihood on.

Producer: Alice Gioia

Reindeer audio: Courtesy of Bengt Roger Kaaven, NRK SAPMI

Image:
L: Dr. Jackie Hrabok-Leppäjärvi
R: Anne Louise Næss Gaup

Anne Louise Gaup and Dr. Jackie Hrabok-Lepp\u00e4j\u00e4rvi on why they follow reindeer for a living

The show that amplifies women's voices, with Kim Chakanetsa

Kim Chakanetsa presents a conversation between two women from different cultures about their paths to success.

The Magicians: Ekaterina Dobrokhotova And Adeline Ng2016080120160806 (WS)
20160807 (WS)
Two magicians from Singapore and Canada talk card tricks and dazzling sleight of hand

A conversation between two women about their paths to success

Ekaterina Dobrokhotova was born in Moscow, and moved to Quebec when she was eight. She learnt magic as a teenager via the internet, practised every day for hours, and soon began to perform in public. Ekaterina is now the most watched female magician on YouTube. She specialises in the art of card manipulation, and believes the true secret of magic is not how good you are, but about how you make people feel.

Adeline Ng is the only practising female magician in Singapore. She incorporates elements of her Chinese culture into her illusion stage show, which she has performed across Asia and Australia. When she started out, she struggled to get respect from the male theatre technicians, so took courses in sound and lighting and now feels more confident to say what she wants.

(Photo: Ekaterina Dobrokhotova (L), with permission from E. Dobrokhotova. (R) Adeline Ng. Credit: Arron Teo)

The Million Dollar Teachers20180507What does it take to be the world’s best teacher and win a million dollars at the same time? We meet two women who have won the Global Teacher Prize for transforming the lives of their students.

Andria Zafirakou is deputy headteacher at a community school in a deprived part of London which has one of the highest murder rates in the UK. Violent gangs often try to recruit the children at the school gates. But Andria is determined to give her students the best possible start in life.

Maggie Macdonnell teaches at a school in a small and remote Inuit village in northern Quebec on the Arctic circle. It's an isolated place and there are few jobs for the young. Maggie has made it her mission to do something about the shocking levels and drug abuse and suicide amongst teenagers.

Main image: (L) Maggie Macdonnell (image credit: The Varkey Foundation) and (R) Andria Zafirakou (image credit: The Varkey Foundation)

Two teachers going further than the classroom to transform lives

A conversation between two women about their paths to success

The Scientists At The Crick2016101720161022 (WS)
20161023 (WS)
Is the future of science female? Lab leaders and aspiring scientists discuss

A conversation between two women about their paths to success

When you are involved in the race to shed light on some of our biggest scientific questions, does your gender matter? Kim Chakanetsa brings together two successful female life scientists at the new world-leading Crick Institute in London. They are both leading ground-breaking research in their respective fields, and are joined by young women from Camden School for Girls who are considering a career in science.

Dr Vivian Li grew up in Hong Kong and completed her PhD there, and says it was only when she went on to conduct research in Europe that she noticed any gender divide in science. She found that male colleagues did not take her expertise seriously as a young woman, and so she had to work twice as hard to prove herself. Vivian now leads a molecular biotechnology research team, and is pioneering a technique to create human intestines in the lab, to then transplant back into patients. She says she used to work seven days a week, but since having a family she has learnt to prioritise her work differently and get her weekends back.

British virologist Dr Kate Bishop's research focuses on HIV and other retro-viruses, and she hopes her work could contribute to stopping HIV in its tracks at an earlier stage. Kate was the first in her family to go to university, and says she was always encouraged by her parents, who never put boundaries on her ambition. Leading a research group means she is less likely to be sitting at the bench conducting an experiment herself, but she now gets the satisfaction of passing her knowledge on to the next generation of scientists.

(Photo: The Conversation team and guests at The Crick Institute, London)

The Secrets Of Sewers20210111Flushing the toilet: an act that most of us carelessly perform several times a day, but that for 4.2 billion people in the world is still a luxury. Kim Chakanetsa talks to two pioneering engineers about the crucial role wastewater management plays in society, including how sewers can help in the fight against Covid-19.

Dina Gillespie is an area operations manager with Thames Water, the UK’s largest water and wastewater company. She is passionate about turning sludge into energy and about the history of London’s impressive sewerage system, which was built in the 19th century to cope with cholera outbreaks. She also discusses the risks fatbergs pose to our lives, and why we should all be more careful about what we flush down the toilet.

Birguy Lamizana-Diallo is the UN Environment Programme Officer in charge of wastewater management in West Africa. She studied the impact septic tanks and open-air latrines have on the environment and on the life of the community in her home country, Burkina Faso. After more than 20 years working in the private and public sector, she now coordinates training programmes to raise awareness of the environmental costs and the health and safety aspect of managing wastewater.

Produced by Alice Gioia

IMAGE

L: Birguy Lamizana-Diallo
R: Dina Gillespie

Two women passionate about wastewater management on how sewers can save our lives

The show that amplifies women's voices, with Kim Chakanetsa

Kim Chakanetsa presents a conversation between two women from different cultures about their paths to success.

The Vagina Myths2020041320200419 (WS)Why is the vagina so often misunderstood and mistreated?

A conversation between two women about their paths to success

The vagina: separating myth from fact. Kim Chakanetsa and her two expert guests examine a part of the body that's often shrouded in mystery and shame.

Dr Jen Gunter has been described as the world's most famous gynaecologist, and is also known as a fierce critic of the multi-million dollar wellness industry. The Canadian-American author of The Vagina Bible says 'Weaponizing women’s bodies is profitable' and believes companies are making money out of women's fears about their genitals. She wants to empower instead by debunking the myths and health misconceptions.

Dr Susan Adongo Meme is an obstetrician and gynaecologist at Kenyatta National Hospital in Kenya. She says most women don't know that the place they urinate from is not the same place they menstruate from. Cultural taboos mean they are not encouraged to even look 'down there' and there's a general belief that the vagina is unclean. Potentially harmful douching is therefore widespread - as it is in other parts of the world, including the US.

IMAGE
L: Dr Susan Adongo Meme (credit Dr Susan Adongo Meme)
R: Dr Jen Gunter (credit Jason LeCras)

The Women Plumbers Changing The Trade20180917Two female plumbers on what puts women off from entering the industry, the messy reality of the job and the joy of solving problems with your hands.

Judaline Cassidy has worked on the pipes of some of New York City's most iconic buildings in a career that has spanned two decades. She grew up in Trinidad & Tobago and came to plumbing because she didn't have enough money to go to law school. But she fell in love with the profession and has become a passionate advocate for women in trades. Judaline is also the founder of Tools & Tiaras, an organisation which runs workshops and summer camps to encourage young girls to take up careers in the construction industry.

Hattie Hasan has been a plumber for more than 25 years. When she decided to train as a plumber, she was the only female student in her entire college. Later, she couldn't find a job - no one would take her on - so she set up on her own company in the North of England. She also started a network of female plumbers in the UK that has since become a franchise business, trading under the name Stopcocks. She says she still regularly comes across stories of sexist behaviour, which put a lot of women off from entering the industry, but she hopes that things are changing.

Produced by Joanna Impey for BBC World Service.

(Image: (L) Judaline Cassidy. Credit: Jena Cumbo; (R) Hattie Hasan. Credit: Nicola Tree)

Two women with a passion for plumbing who want more women and girls in the industry

A conversation between two women about their paths to success

The Women Who Plan Luxury Parties20190114Taking event planning to another level, from supplying bespoke flip flops to conjuring unforgettable scents and flying a plane filled with flowers into the desert, two luxury party planners working in Ibiza and Kuwait reveal the secrets of their trade. Their work demands a keen eye for detail and an endless ability to manage vast budgets and the sometimes outlandish expectations of the rich and famous, all while keeping a cool head.

Serena Cook is the founder of Deliciously Sorted, a firm that organises birthday bashes, corporate events and bohemian weddings for the rich and famous in Ibiza. Her A-List clients include George Clooney, Katy Perry and Johnny Depp.

When Bibi Hayat first started her event planning business she was the only woman doing so in Kuwait City. Through her company Bibi Hayat Events and Design, she has established herself as the person to dial if you are looking to create a memorable bespoke event.

Produced by Sarah Kendal for BBC World Service

Bibi Hayat (l) Credit: Bayan Al-Sadiq
Serena Cook (r) Credit: Mar Photography

Two women making the impossible possible for the rich and famous

A conversation between two women about their paths to success

Kim Chakanetsa presents a conversation between two women about their paths to success.

The women who protect nature20210222Kim Chakanetsa meets two environmental champions fighting to save South America's most precious ecosystems.

Kris Tompkins is the president and co-founder of Tompkins Conservation. Kris and her late husband, Doug Tompkins, have been instrumental in the creation of 13 national parks in Chile and Argentina, conserving over 14 million acres of land.

Dr Dolors Armenteras is one of the world’s leading scientists on forest fires. Originally from Spain, she now works with the National University of Colombia. She spent the last 20 years fighting to save the country’s Amazon forest, and against misogyny in science.

Produced by Alice Gioia.

IMAGE DETAILS
Left: Dolors Armenteras (credit Tania M. Gonzalez)
Right: Kris Tompkins (credit James Q. Martin)

Kris Tompkins and Dolors Armenteras on their fight to preserve South America\u2019s ecosystems.

The show that amplifies women's voices, with Kim Chakanetsa

Tour Guides20170123Women who have opened up new horizons for tourists, in the sunny western cape of South Africa and the high mountain trails of Nepal.

Laura Ndukwana runs popular tours of two townships in Cape Town. She grew up and still lives in Gugulethu township, and believes that tourists should see both sides of this beautiful city, which contains very rich and very poor areas. Her tours involve walking and meeting local people, cooking for school children and attending a traditional gospel service on a Sunday. Laura says she guards against so-called 'poverty tourism' by keeping the groups small, and briefing them carefully to ensure there is respect for local residents. She also says there is a black middle-class in the townships that tourists are often surprised to see.

Lucky Chhetri and her two sisters started the first women-only trekking guide business in Pokhara, Nepal. Initially they ran all the treks themselves but have now gone on to train over 1,000 local women to be guides. They have faced many challenges as outdoor work is not traditionally seen as suitable for women - and male competitors would have gladly seen them go out of business. However they have gone from strength to strength and Lucky still enjoys leading treks herself. She says a good guide understands their client and how to make a trip fun and memorable for them.
Kim Chakanetsa asks Lucky and Laura how they started out, what they have learned and what they enjoy most about their work.

(Photo: Tour guides Lucky Chhetri (L) and Laura Ndukwana (R) courtesy of Lucky and Laura)

Two women who take tourists off the beaten track in Nepal and South Africa

A conversation between two women about their paths to success

Travellers20180514Travelling alone while female - what's the reality? Kim Chakanetsa brings together two wanderlust women who won't let sexism stop them from adventuring into different cities, countries and hemispheres.

Meruschka Govender is a travel activist, and experience seeker from South Africa. She regularly backpacks around the continent, but says she always felt that there was a local voice missing in African travel writing, so she began her blog Mzansi Girl. When Meruschka first started travelling solo, as a woman of colour she was seen as unusual, but she says things are now changing.

Atikah Amalina is a Singaporean traveller who writes the popular blog The Tudung Traveller. In an age of travel bans and Islamophobia, Atikah travels solo in a hijab, encountering sexism and racism as a Muslim woman, but also friendship and generosity. She says that she tries to be a bridge to a better understanding of Islam for the people she encounters.

Image: Atikah Amalina (L) and Meruschka Govender (R), female solo World travellers.
Credit: Meruschka Govender c/o Daréll Lourens. Composite: BBC

Two women who travel solo around the world

A conversation between two women about their paths to success

Truckers: Elin Engstrom And Heather Jones2016082920160903 (WS)
20160904 (WS)
Women who make a living driving tankers and 50 metre super trucks in Australia and Sweden

A conversation between two women about their paths to success

Kim Chakanetsa gets into the driving seat with two female truckers from Sweden and Australia.

Elin Engstrom test drives heavy haulage trucks for Swedish transport company Scania. The 26

-year-old has been in the business for six years and started out operating forklift vehicles, which had to be loaded manually. When she saw that the big trucks had rollers she realised that was the job for her. Elin has driven oil tankers and double trailers and describes driving as an art form. Despite the snow storms, and high winds in winter, she says you get a sense of freedom when you are sitting in your cabin high above the other cars on the road.

Heather Jones is from western Australia and runs Pilbara Heavy Haulage Girls, which trains women to handle big trucks. She has worked in this industry for 25 years and got into it because as a single parent she needed a job where she could take her two little girls along with her. She describes the trucking industry in Australia like a big family, but even though it is welcoming, Heather says women have to work 200% to prove themselves. She can drive up to 17 hours per day, in trucks that are up to 60 metres. In summer it can reach 55 degrees and Heather says melting tarmac can be tough to deal with.

(Photo: Elin Engstrom (L) and Heather Jones)

Turning Waste Into Treasure20171002Leftover food, animal dung and an invasive water weed - Faranak Amidi talks to two female entrepreneurs in Nigeria and the US who have found profitable uses for stuff that no-one else wants.

Pashon Murray is the founder of Detroit Dirt, a company that collects food waste from businesses and animal dung from the zoo and mixes them together into rich compost, or 'black gold'. Inspired by her grandfather's connection to the land, and determined to reduce landfill and promote sustainability, Pashon wants to re-connect communities with the soil. However she says she is not running a charity, and it is a business model that others could learn from.

Returning to Nigeria after an absence, Achenyo Idachaba saw that the waterways were choked with an invasive weed called water hyacinth; and she had a hunch that maybe this problem plant could be turned into something useful. A few years on and her company MitiMeth is paying local fishermen and artisans to harvest the weed, training them to make high-end handicrafts from it and selling them. Achenyo says it is a win-win for the environment and the economy of her country.

(L) Pashon Murray (credit: Anastasia McKendrick) and (R) Achenyo Idachaba (credit: Christian Morales)

Two women who make money from things that no-one else wants

A conversation between two women about their paths to success

(L) Pashon Murray (credit: Anastasia McKendrick) and (R) Achenyo Idachaba (credit: Christian Morales)

Union Women20190603What happens when women head up workers' unions? Joanna Impey brings together two powerful women in charge of the rights of millions of workers in the UK and Kenya. They talk about how they're trying to tackle the issue of sexual harassment in the workplace and how they're trying to make unions more relevant to younger women.

Born to a family of union organisers in Oxford, Frances O'Grady is the first female General Secretary of the Trades Union Congress. With nearly six million members, the TUC is the largest democratic member organisation in the UK. She is also a single mother who says she is committed to the interests of the working women who make up over half of the TUC’s membership.

Rose Omamo is the General Secretary of the Amalgamated Union of Kenya Metal Workers. She trained as a mechanic and worked as an assembler but as one of only two women working with 300 men she realised the only way to defend her rights was to stand as a shop steward. Known as 'Mama Union,' the members of her organisation are still 90% male.

Image:
L - Frances O'Grady Credit: Jess Hurd
R - Rose Omamo Credit: Victor Mogoa

Two women changing the face of trade unions in the UK and in Kenya

A conversation between two women about their paths to success

Kim Chakanetsa presents a conversation between two women from different cultures about their paths to success.

Vegan Campaigners2020012720200622 (WS)Why does promoting a vegan diet elicit such anger and confusion?

Kim Chakanetsa presents a conversation between two women from different cultures about their paths to success.

A conversation between two women about their paths to success

Is veganism more than just a food fad or diet trend? Research suggests the majority of vegans are female - why? Kim Chakanetsa talks to two women who promote a vegan diet about the challenges they face getting their message across - and the anger they encounter from those who see it as a criticism of their own choices.

Selene Nelson is a British American freelance journalist, activist and author of Yes Ve-gan! In 2018 she offered an article to a supermarket chain magazine on vegan cookery and the editor responded including a joke suggestion for a series on “killing vegans one by one ? When his email was included in an article about hostile attitudes to vegans it caused such a furore he resigned.

Itua Iyoha set up Eat Right Naija after transitioning to a vegan diet herself. She wants to share what she's learned with others in Nigeria and support them to make the change. She says she faces questions about whether she can't afford meat, is seriously ill or whether she'll ever find a man to marry her.

IMAGE CREDITS:
L: Itua Iyoha (Credit, Itua Iyoha)
R: Selene Nelson (Credit, Selene Nelson)

Selene Nelson is a British American freelance journalist, activist and author of Yes Ve-gan! In 2018 she offered an article to a supermarket chain magazine on vegan cookery and the editor responded including a joke suggestion for a series on “killing vegans one by one”. When his email was included in an article about hostile attitudes to vegans it caused such a furore he resigned.

Vets: Dr Gladys Kalema-zikusoka And Dr Nalinika Obeyesekere2016062020160625 (WS)
20160626 (WS)
Leading vets in Uganda and Sri Lanka talk about their love for the profession

A conversation between two women about their paths to success

Kim Chakanetsa brings together leading women vets from Uganda and Sri Lanka to talk about their careers and their trickiest challenges.

As a new vet graduate, Dr Gladys Kalema-Zikusoka was made chief veterinary officer of the Ugandan Wildlife Service. She set about restocking her country's national parks with giraffes and lions following years of civil war, but it was the endangered mountain gorillas that really captured Gladys' heart. She now leads her own charity Conservation Through Public Health, which looks after both the health of the gorillas and the people who live near them, who are crucial to their survival.

Sri Lankan vet Dr Nalinika Obeyesekere prefers to treat smaller creatures such as cats and dogs. Nalinika grew up looking after her parents' adopted animals, everything from fish to a leopard cub! But she soon decided that working with wildlife was not for her, and instead started up her country's first multi-doctor veterinary practice. Nalinika is passionate about improving training and education around animal care, and she uses a portion of her profits to provide free treatment for Colombo's huge stray dog population.

(Photo: (L) Dr Gladys Kalema-Zikusoka. (R) Dr Nalinika Obeyesekere)

Vloggers20170213Female stars of YouTube in India and the US swap tips for success with Kim Chakanetsa.

Shruti Arjun Anand was a 'computer geek' who developed a passion for make-up and beauty, and decided to vlog about it for an Indian audience. She is now a top online video star in her country, and one of her most popular videos is how to make a pimple disappear overnight. Shruti's personal life features too - she kept a pregnancy vlog and also discusses topics like how to deal with the pressure on Indian women to have a baby in the first place.

Evelyn Ngugi is Kenyan-American and vlogs from Texas under the alias 'Evelyn from the Internets'. She started out talking about natural hair and has expanded into funny monologues and interviews about race, gender and culture. 2016 was a very special year because when she posted an enthusiastic review of the album Lemonade, Beyonce spotted it and Evelyn found herself projected onto a big screen during the singer's worldwide tour.

Image and credit: (L) Shruti Arjun Ananda.
Image and credit:(R) Evelyn Ngugi.

Online video bloggers from India and the US

A conversation between two women about their paths to success

Volcanologists20170814Spectacular volcanic eruptions on earth and in space - Kim Chakanetsa unites two women who share a deep love of volcanoes.

Janine Krippner is from New Zealand, and as a child visited Ngauruhoe - the volcano made famous as Mount Doom in the Lord of the Rings films - and had an intense feeling that this is where she belonged. Years later she found herself inside the crater collecting research data. Janine is now based at the University of Pittsburgh and studies remote volcanoes in Russia and the US and looks for clues as to how super-fast flows of hot gas and rocks called pyroclastic flows travel after eruptions.

Rosaly Lopes is a Senior Research Scientist at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, and she is also Manager of the Planetary Science Section. Born and raised in Brazil, Rosaly has visited over 60 active volcanoes on every continent, but as exciting as she finds these trips, volcanoes on other planets are her real focus. She has personally discovered 71 active volcanoes on Jupiter's moon Io, which has earned her a place in the record books.

Image and credit (L): Janine Krippner in front of Osorno volcano, Los Lagos Region, southern Chile
Image and credit (R): Rosaly Lopes on Mount Yasur volcano, Tanna Island, Vanuatu

Two women who study volcanoes on earth and in space

A conversation between two women about their paths to success

Image and credit (L): Janine Krippner in front of Osorno volcano, Los Lagos Region, southern Chile
Image and credit (R): Rosaly Lopes on Mount Yasur volcano, Tanna Island, Vanuatu

War Through A Woman's Lens20181217As a conflict photographer you need bravery, passion and an ability to bear witness to unimaginable horror. Kim Chakanetsa brings together two women who are exceptional photojournalists and asks do female photographers look at conflict differently?
 
The American photographer Lynsey Addario is one of very few women on the frontline, documenting major wars and humanitarian crises around the world. During her career she has been kidnapped twice, but despite the toll on her personal life, she remains committed to revealing the cost of war. Though she says she has received criticism for working while pregnant, being a woman has given her unique access to the lives of women in war zones. Her work has garnered her numerous awards and she was part of the New York Times team that won the prestigious Pulitzer Prize in 2009. Her most recent book is called Of Love and War and is her first published collection of photographs.
 
Poulomi Basu is an Indian documentary photographer who has been described as a visual activist for her fearless examination of systemic injustices. Her lens focuses on stories that often go ignored or underreported, particularly those of women in isolated communities and conflict zones. She says it is important to bring the perspectives of women of colour to photojournalism. Her images have appeared in a wide range of publications and she has received a number of photography awards, including a Magnum Foundation Award and a National Geographic Grant.

Image: Poulomi Basu by Flora Thomas (L) Lynsey Addario by Nichole Sobecki (R)

Two award-winning conflict photographers from India and the United States

A conversation between two women about their paths to success

Kim Chakanetsa presents a conversation between two women about their paths to success.

We Refuse To Accept Street Harassment20190715Zero tolerance for street harassment. Two activists in France and India tell Kim Chakanetsa why they won't accept wolf whistles, groping or violent attacks on women in public spaces.

Marie Laguerre is a French student who was cat-called and then assaulted outside a café in Paris in July 2018. The moment was captured on a video which went viral, getting nine million views. The man responsible was sent to prison for violence, but not for harassment. Marie has now become a figurehead for activism on this issue, and has started a website where women can anonymously report their stories of harassment and abuse.

Elsa D'Silva is an Indian activist who founded SafeCity, an app and a movement to identify, map and combat sexual violence on the streets. Spurred on by the gang rape of Jyoti Singh Pandey in Delhi in 2012, Elsa decided it was time for women to take matters into their own hands. Her project has now expanded to Nepal, Kenya and Cameroon, and has had concrete results - toilets and streetlights have been fixed, police have upped patrols and men have been shamed into stopping staring.

Image:
(L) Photo and credit: Elsa D'Silva
(R) Marie Laguerre Credit: Lily Martin, CBC

Two women making the streets safer in India and in France

A conversation between two women about their paths to success

Wedding Planners: Vithika Agarwal And Gloria Buckman Yankson20160201How to organise a memorable wedding and avoid a disaster in India and Ghana

A conversation between two women about their paths to success

Vithika Agarwal runs a successful wedding planning business in Bangalore. Weddings in India are big business and are heavily influenced by Bollywood, so it is Vithika's job to make sure couples feel like film stars for their celebrations. She says she is never phased by unusual requests and has seen grooms arriving in helicopters and brides jumping out of books.

Ghanaian couples from all kinds of backgrounds choose Gloria Buckman Yankson to plan their weddings. She says the celebrations traditionally start with the engagement and continue to the reception. Gloria, who has made her name as one of Ghana's leading entrepreneurs and business women, says keeping your cool is essential in this job and reveals what happens when things don't quite go according to plan.

(Photo: (L) Vithika Agarwal. (R) Gloria Buckman Yankson. Credit: Ekow Arkorful)

Where Women Rule2017052920170604 (WS)What's life like when women are in charge? Kim Chakanetsa talks to two women who've formed close ties with matriarchal communities in China and India, and who've gone onto document their experiences.

Choo Waihong is a former high-flying lawyer from Singapore who quit her job to move to a remote part of China to live with the Mosuo tribe. This is one of the last matrilineal and matriarchal societies on earth. That means that the family descends from the female bloodline, and that women also hold the ultimate power in the community. Waihong ended up building a house among the Mosuo, and has written a book about her experiences called 'Kingdom of Women.'

Karolin Klüppel is a German photographer who travelled to the remote north-east of India to get to know the Khasi people, who live in families where women inherit property, and children take the mother's name. Karolin was struck by the self-confidence of the young girls, and she set about making portraits of the children, which form part of her photo series, 'Mädchenland' or 'Kingdom of Girls.'

Image and credit
Choo Waihong (l) and Karolin Klueppel (r)

Two women who've spent time in female-led societies in China and India.

A conversation between two women about their paths to success

Image and credit
Choo Waihong (l) and Karolin Klueppel (r)

Why Are You Calling Me 'inspirational'?20201116How do women with disabilities deal with well-intentioned but patronising interactions? Kim Chakanetsa looks at the way disabled women are portrayed on mainstream and social media, and how they are often described as being 'inspirational' solely, or in part, because of their disability.

Leanora Volpe is a London-based athlete and a member of Great Britain's Paraclimbing Team. Five years ago she was diagnosed with Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome or EDS. She explains how she learned to navigate the world as a woman with a disability, and how it’s opened the door to competitive climbing. As a top athlete, she knows people look up to her as a role model, but she is uncomfortable with being called 'an inspiration' just because of her disability.

Amy Zayed is a music journalist and broadcaster based in Cologne. She was born blind in a family of Egyptian migrants who had just relocated to the German countryside, so she grew up knowing she was perceived as ‘different’. She talks about building a career with - and not 'despite' - her disability, and why people’s discomfort with difference can be harmful.

Producer: Alice Gioia

Image:
L: Leanora Volpe – credit Michelle Tofi
R: Amy Zayed – credit Sonja Niemeier

Audio:
Stella Young – credit TEDxSydney 2014, Sydney Opera House, Australia
Paraclimbing World Championships 2019 – credit International Federation of Sport Climbing (IFSC)

Journalist Amy Zayed and climber Lea Volpe discuss the language around disability.

The show that amplifies women's voices, with Kim Chakanetsa

Kim Chakanetsa presents a conversation between two women from different cultures about their paths to success.

Why I Dated On Reality Tv20200120On Love Island and Date My Family - what's it like to date in front of millions? With TV dating shows the idea is for romance to blossom between contestants, but can fame and fortune also follow? Kim Chakanetsa brings together two women who know.

Montana Brown is one of the breakout stars of the British TV show Love Island. She took part in 2017 and became popular for her no-nonsense attitude and quick-witted banter. Despite coming fifth in the dating competition, since leaving the villa she has amassed an impressive social media following and started her own swimwear company.

Rey Letsooa became a household name in South Africa after appearing on the popular show Date My Family. Although she didn't ultimately get together with her chosen bachelor, her show trended on social media for three days and viewers seemed to connect with her confidence and authenticity. Rey says 'I knew I would get judged on my weight but I didn’t let it stop me. I may be a size whatever but I knew that what I am is more than that.'

(Image: Montana Brown (L) Credit: BBC. Rey Letsooa (R) Credit: Rey Letsooa)

TV dating shows and what's in them for women

A conversation between two women about their paths to success

IMAGE:
L: Montana Brown (credit: BBC)
R: Rey Letsooa (credit Rey Letsooa)

TV dating shows - what's in them for women?

Winemakers20170220Women who make wine in Argentina and Italy talk to Kim Chakanetsa about the labour and love that goes into a great glass of wine.

Susana Balbo has been making a name for herself in the wine world for over 30 years. She was the first woman in Argentina to graduate with a degree in winemaking, and in 1999 she launched her own label in her hometown, Mendoza. She was also the first woman president of Wines of Argentina, an organisation that promotes the country's wine industry to a global market. Today she produces 3.5 million bottles per year - almost all of which are destined for the export market. She explains how she produces high-quality wines at high altitude, and in a challenging desert climate.

Julia Walch is part of a matriarchy of winemakers in the South Tyrol in Northern Italy. Julia grew up on the family estate, but never thought she would enter the wine world herself - that is until she went away to study, and felt the pull of the vineyard. Aged just 26, she took over the Elena Walch company together with her younger sister. Each year they make about 550,000 bottles of wine. Julia says her mother is still on hand for advice, though she's grateful that she's been given free reign to pursue her own ideas.

Image: (L) Susana Balbo (no credit) and (R) Julia Walch (credit: Florian Jaenicke)

Two women growing grapes in Argentina and Italy.

A conversation between two women about their paths to success

Winter Athletes20180528Women making history on the snow and ice. Kim Chakanetsa meets two female athletes who are pioneers in their winter sports.

Simidele Adeagbo is a Nigerian who is the first African woman to compete in the skeleton category of the Winter Olympics. Originally a track and field athlete, she set out to break barriers in winter sports but was faced with the challenge of no snow or tracks to practise on. The first time she touched a skeleton sled was in 2017, but she qualified for the Pyeongchang Games earlier this year.

Lindsey Marie Van is a veteran of women's ski jumping, and was instrumental in fighting for its inclusion in the Olympics. Lindsey campaigned and was part of a gender discrimination lawsuit. After 90 years of male ski jumping, one competition was finally added for women at the 2014 Sochi games (men have three chances to compete). After this huge victory, Lindsey's recurrent knee injury forced her to retire. The Utah athlete was, however, a 16-time national champion and the 2009 world champion.

(L) Lindsey Van (credit: Lars Baron/Getty Images)
(R) Simidele Adeagbo (credit: Candice Ward)

Two female winter sports pioneers

A conversation between two women about their paths to success

Women And Self Defence20190318Empowering women with self-defence skills is the aim of our two guests, who have both adapted traditional martial arts to create classes for women. They tell Celia Hatton about the transformation they see in their students when they first realise their own strength, and the power of self defence to change lives. They also discuss the potential danger of putting the onus on women to deal with violence, rather than tackling the problem of the perpetrators.

Catalina Carmona Balvin runs The School of Self Defence for Women in Bogotá, Colombia, a country which has high levels of street harassment and domestic violence. Catalina teaches a form of Hapkido, a Korean martial art characterized by its emphasis on deflecting an opponent’s attacks instead of on forceful blocking, but she makes sure her classes provide a fun, safe environment, more inspired by salsa dancing than by hard-core, macho moves.

Susie Kahlich runs an organisation in Berlin called Pretty Deadly, which teaches self-defence courses tailored for women. Originally from the US, Susie turned to martial arts after she became a victim of violent crime in Los Angeles nearly 20 years go. Susie invites her students to wear whatever clothes they would usually wear, from long skirts to headscarves, in order to make the moves easily adaptable to everyday scenarios.

L: Catalina Carmona Balvin (credit: Andrés Epifanio Becerra García)
R: Susie Kahlich (credit: Sahand Zamani)

Two women who teach self-defence skills tailored to women and girls

A conversation between two women about their paths to success

Women At Sea: Zimasa Mabela And Jasmin Labarda2016082220160827 (WS)
20160828 (WS)
Two women in charge of ships in South Africa and the Philippines discuss life at sea.

A conversation between two women about their paths to success

Kim Chakanetsa finds out what it's like to run a ship in South Africa and the Philippines.

Zimasa Mabela is the first African woman to command a navy vessel. Commander Mabela is in charge of a de-mining ship based in Cape Town, South Africa. She grew up two hours from the sea, but only saw it for the first time aged 18. A few years later she felt compelled to join the navy so she could see the world. Zimasa was recruited as a radio operator and has travelled around the world to countries like India, Canada and Uruguay. She says she's very happy to have shown that a woman can not only join the navy, but that she can end up in charge.

Jasmin Labarda is the first woman, and Filipino, to become the Chief Mate and a senior Dynamic Positioning officer of an offshore ship. She is currently navigating Technip's flagship vessel, the Deep Blue, which lays pipe along the ocean floor. Having first served on a tanker vessel at the age of 17, Jasmin worked her way up the ranks and in 2010 passed the Master Mariner's exam, which means that she is a licensed ship's captain. Jasmin is looking forward to the time when she finally can take up that sought-after Captain's position.

Image

Left: Zimasa Mabela (Credit: South African Navy)

Right: Jasmin Labarda (Credit: Alecs Ongcal/Rappler taken in IMOSTI)

Women Behind The Lens20180108Two award-winning photographers on the importance of having women behind the lens. They tell Kim Chakanetsa what drives them, the challenges they face in the field and how they justify the amount of travel they do in the name of reversing climate change.

Cristina Mittermeier is a Mexican photographer who grew up alongside indigenous Mexican tribes, and witnessed their struggle to maintain their way of life. As a teenager, she began to worry about the impact that overpopulation was having on the environment. She started out her career as a marine biologist, before deciding that her photos rather than her scientific journals could have more impact on the world.

Ami Vitale is an American photojournalist who won a World Press Photo 2017 award for her series about Chinese panda breeding programmes. As a National Geographic photographer she has travelled to more than 90 countries around the world, and her work focusses on the conflict that often arises between humans and their environment. She is based in Montana, USA.

Image (L) Cristina Mittermeierand (R) Ami Vitale
Credit: (L) Paul Nicklen and (R) Ami Vitale

Two women who use photography to draw attention to environmental issues

A conversation between two women about their paths to success

Women Bossing The Beauty Business20181008Does the beauty industry fuel insecurity and undermine a woman's choice to look how she wants? Kim Chakanetsa brings together two beauty entrepreneurs from Singapore and the UK who say they have lifted women up.

Sharmadean Reid is a British Jamaican entrepreneur who founded WAH Nails, which she believes changed the beauty landscape with its millennial voice, feminist attitude and innovative salon space. Sharmadean went on to create FutureGirlCorp, workshops aimed at young businesswomen, and has now launched Beauty Stack. She says the beauty industry is perceived as women’s work and is therefore undervalued.

Pauline Ng is a Singaporean entrepreneur who founded a skincare spa business in 2009 with her mum. Porcelain has grown into an award-winning beauty chain with four spas, a staff of 60, and a line of popular skincare products. Pauline says that in Singapore there are a lot of opportunities for women in the beauty industry, even if the big multinational beauty companies are still mainly run by men.

(L) Image and credit: Pauline Ng
(R) Image and credit: Sharmadean Reid

Producer: Sarah Crawley

Two women who run beauty businesses in London and Singapore

A conversation between two women about their paths to success

Women Celebrating Literature20191223Two women who set up book festivals that have gone on to become hugely successful in their own countries and beyond tell Kim Chakanetsa about the importance of women having space to talk about their writing with an audience that understands.

Namita Gokhale directs the Jaipur Literature Festival with the British author William Dalrymple. The Festival has hosted nearly 2000 speakers and welcomed over a million book lovers from across India and the globe since its inception. Bringing together authors of books in India's 22 languages, it's a magnet for writers and readers alike. Namita Gokhale explains how it's developed over the years.

Lola Shoneyin is a Nigerian literary powerhouse. She founded the Ake Festival in 2013. It's now a leading cultural event and attracts writers from around the world, as well as Africa's finest literary stars like Temi Oh and Ayobami Adebayo. A former teacher and prize-winning author, Lola says that African writers need to be able to talk about their books on African soil.

Image:
(L) Lola Shoneyin [credit Niyi Okeowo]
(R) Namita Gokhale [credit Teamwork Arts]

The Jaipur and Ake festivals attract thousands of readers, what's so special about them?

A conversation between two women about their paths to success

Women Changing Jazz2020032320200329 (WS)Female jazz musicians speaking out about sexism and harassment in the improvised music world. While jazz singers like Ella Fitzgerald and Billie Holiday are iconic figures, female instrumentalists and composers have struggled to get the recognition they deserve. Kim Chakanetsa speaks to two women addressing this inequality and promoting female performers.

A recipient of the MacArthur Genius Award, Regina Carter is a highly regarded jazz violinist who blends musical genres from jazz, R&B and Latin to classical, pop and African. She’s Artistic Director of the New Jersey Performing Arts All Female Jazz Residency, which supports aspiring women jazz professionals.

Issie Barratt is an award-winning British jazz composer, conductor, baritone sax player and producer. She’s recently formed an all-female ensemble called Interchange, championing the creativity of women improvisers and composers. She founded the Jazz faculty at Trinity Laban College of Music and is a trustee for the Women’s Jazz Archive.

IMAGE CREDITS:
Issie Barratt [Rob Shiret/BBC]
Regina Carter [Christopher Drukker]

Two jazz musicians on how they're challenging sexism and championing women in jazz

A conversation between two women about their paths to success

Women Creating Computer Games20191216Rhianna Pratchett and Ieva Beneckė talk to Kim Chakanetsa about their love of gaming and the impact they can have in an industry that's still dominated by men. What difference does women working in the industry have on the games themselves?

It was while she was a journalist in London and reviewing computer games that Rhianna Pratchett was asked to story edit a game herself. Her award winning scripts include the Tomb Raider reboot series, The Mirror's Edge and Overlord. She now also writes film scripts.

Ieva Beneckė grew up in Lithuania playing computer games with her dad. She never dreamed that she could work in the industry but taught herself the coding skills needed to create games anyway as it was her passion. She's now a Senior Games Designer and determined to create games that are truly inclusive.

PHOTO:
L: Rhianna Pratchett (c) The Estate of Sir Terry Pratchett
R: Ieva Beneckė (credit: Ieva Beneckė)

Rhianna Pratchett and Ieva Beneck\u0117 on working in the games industry

A conversation between two women about their paths to success

Women Crunching Numbers20190610Two women breaking the mould in maths and computer science talk to Yassmin Abdel-Magied about the significance of their achievements and the wealth of opportunity for women in technology.

Emma Haruka Iwao is a Japanese computer scientist who recently smashed the pi record, by calculating the number to a new world record length of 31 trillion digits. The pursuit of longer versions of pi is a long-standing pastime among mathematicians. Emma has been fascinated by the number since she had been a child. She currently works for Google in Japan and in the US.

Anne-Marie Imafidon broke records at a young age. At the age of 11, she was the youngest girl ever to pass A-level computing in the UK, and she was just 20 when she received her MA degree in Mathematics and Computer Science from the University of Oxford. Now she has become a renowned champion for women in the STEM sectors. In 2013 she co-founded Stemettes, a social initiative dedicated to inspiring young women to get into science, technology, engineering and maths.

L: Emma Haruka Iwao (Credit: Google)
R: Anne-Marie Imafidon (Credit: Stemettes)

Two women making history in maths and computing

A conversation between two women about their paths to success

Women Defying Bans In Iran And Saudi Arabia20180924What is it like to put yourself in danger fighting for your rights as a woman? Kim Chakanetsa unites two women from Iran and Saudi Arabia, who decided to defy their governments' discriminatory laws - and suffered huge personal sacrifices as a result.

In Iran women must cover their hair in public, according to the dress rule enforced after the Revolution in 1979. Masih Alinejad says she began to defy this compulsory wearing of the hijab as a teenager and continued to question it from within Iran until it became too dangerous for her to stay. In 2014, Masih posted a picture of herself uncovered online and the My Stealthy Freedom movement began, encouraging ordinary Iranian women to share photos of themselves without the headscarf. Now living in the US, Masih says she suffers abuse, death threats and hasn't seen her parents for nine years, but the truly brave ones are the women in Iran who risk arrest defying this discriminatory law. Masih's book is The Wind in My Hair - My Fight for Freedom in Modern Iran.

Manal al-Sharif's rebellion began when she got behind the wheel of a car in Saudi Arabia in 2011. Whilst there was no formal ban, it was not legal for women to drive at that time. Manal was driving her own car but was arrested and imprisoned. After her release she continued the campaign she had co-founded #Women2Drive, which led to the loss of her job and eventually leaving the country. On June 24th 2018, the ban on women driving in Saudi was lifted. However women's rights activists continue to be arrested and Manal, who now lives in Australia, says she no longer feels safe to go back. This means she cannot see her elder son who is not allowed to leave the country to visit her. Manal's memoir is Daring to Drive - The Young Saudi Woman Who Stood up to a Kingdom of Men.

Image: (L) Manal al-Sharif. Credit: Manal al-Sharif (R) Masih Alinejad. Credit: Kambiz Foroohar

Two women fighting for freedom of choice in Saudi Arabia and Iran

A conversation between two women about their paths to success

Women Delivering Better Births20190617Women around the world are still dying unnecessarily in childbirth, and suffering 'violence' in the delivery room.  What can be done to empower pregnant women? Kim Chakanetsa talks to two female obstetricians who are fighting to improve birth experiences and safety for women in Brazil and the US.

Dr Maria Helena Bastos is a Brazilian obstetrician who says that women in Brazil give birth in a very medicalised and highly scrutinised way, with some even forced to have Caesarean sections against their will. She is campaigning for women to be able to take control back of their bodies and their births.

Dr Joia Crear-Perry is the Founder and President of the National Birth Equity Collaborative, set up to address the racial disparity in maternal and infant mortality in the US. Black mothers die in childbirth at 3 to 4 times the rate of white mothers. As a black mother and an obstetrician, Joia wants to end what she calls 'race-based medicine'.

Image:
L - Dr Joia Crear-Perry Credit: Comcast Newsmakers
R - Image & credit: Dr Maria Helena Bastos

Two female obstetricians who are empowering pregnant women

A conversation between two women about their paths to success

Women Demanding Equality In Sport2018102920200727 (WS)
20200802 (WS)
Is women's sport still not taken as seriously as men's? What needs to happen to achieve the same pay, prize money and media coverage as their male counterparts?  Presenter Kim Chakanetsa talks to two women about how they have fought to get equality with men in their chosen sport.  

Kathryn Bertine was a professional cyclist in the US for five years. She was shocked to discover that the average earnings of a professional female cyclist are well below the poverty line.  She was so outraged that she lobbied successfully for a women's version of the Tour de France. But Kathryn believes that this new race is 'tokenism' because it lasts for only one day. Kathryn has gone on to co-found Homestretch Foundation, a charity to support female cyclists financially as they train for events and compete. 

Hajra Khan is the Captain of the Pakistan women's national football team but says they are given less priority than the men. When she first got into football she says sportswomen were looked down on in her country. Although attitudes are slowly changing she says that there is still a huge wage gap and her club has had to train on local cricket grounds. Hajra is organising a match in Pakistan with female players from around the world to raise awareness and to get better opportunities for female footballers.

Produced by Sarah Kendal

Image: (L) Hajra Khan. Credit: Huma Akram (R) Kathryn Bertine. Credit: Tracy L. Chandler

Two women campaigning for gender equality in sport

Kim Chakanetsa presents a conversation between two women from different cultures about their paths to success.

A conversation between two women about their paths to success

Women digging for answers from the ancient past20210301Can our modern-day gender biases influence our understanding of the past? Kim Chakanetsa meets two archaeologists to talk about the risks of projecting our own assumptions onto the ancient world.

Dr Charlotte Hedenstierna-Jonson is a senior researcher in the department of Archaeology and Ancient History at Uppsala University in Sweden. She’s also one of the lead investigators on the Viking Phenomenon research project and she’s been studying a grave found in Sweden in the 19th century, which contained the remains of a high-ranking Viking warrior. For more than 100 years this person was assumed to be male. But when Charlotte and her team carried out a DNA test on the bones, they found out they belong to an individual who was biologically female. Her discovery shook the academic world.

Dr Sarah Murray is assistant professor at the University of Toronto and she specializes in the material culture and institutions of early Greece. She thinks we should re-consider the way we look at women’s participation in the social and economic structure of Ancient Greece. She recently published a paper dispelling the myth of the so-called Dipylon Master, a pottery artist who has been credited with creating very distinct funerary vases between 760 and 735 BC. Based on her studies, Sarah believes it’s more likely that a group of women were behind these artefacts.

Produced by Alice Gioia.

IMAGE DETAILS
Left: Charlotte Hedenstierna-Jonson (credit Linda Koffman)
Right: Sarah Murray (credit Kat Alexakis)

How gender biases have warped our understanding of history

The show that amplifies women's voices, with Kim Chakanetsa

Women Fighting Abuse Under Lockdown20200921As the coronavirus pandemic spread across the globe, victims of domestic violence found themselves facing a double threat - that of a deadly virus outside and abuse at home. Distress calls to domestic violence hotlines have soared - leaving charities overwhelmed and struggling to meet demand.

Kim Chakanetsa talks to two women supporting domestic abuse survivors.

Hospitalised by a former partner twice before being able to leave, Marica Phipps set up Battered Not Broken, a US charity providing education, support and resources for victims of domestic abuse.

Tamara White is an Area Manager for Hestia, a charity that supports adults and children in times of crisis. It is one of the largest providers of domestic abuse refuges in London and South East England.

IMAGE DETAILS
L: Tamara White
R: Marica Phipps

Why Covid-19 led to increased domestic violence and how support services are adapting

Kim Chakanetsa presents a conversation between two women from different cultures about their paths to success.

Women Fighting An Invisible Disease20190527176 million women around the world have endometriosis, a condition which causes crippling pain. So why does it still go undiagnosed for years after women first develop symptoms? Two women from Lebanon and Barbados who speak out about living with 'endo' join Kim Chakanetsa.

Carine El Boustani is an endometriosis fighter and advocate. She has struggled with the pain from endometriosis for over 10 years, but had her symptoms dismissed by multiple doctors. Since getting a diagnosis, Carine has undergone six surgeries and several treatments. She decided to start raising awareness to help end the stigma surrounding the condition in the Middle East, and has also led the Ottawa EndoMarch. She is currently writing a book about her experiences, and plans to start her own 'endo' support organisation in Lebanon.

Julia Mandeville was diagnosed with severe endometriosis at 24, but had known something was wrong from her first period at the age of 10. She says discussion of menstrual health is too often considered taboo in the Caribbean, but women and girls should feel empowered to speak out. She co-founded the Barbados Association of Endometriosis and Polycystic Ovary Syndrome in 2016, which published a book called Invisible not Imaginary, and is focusing on letting teenage girls know their pain is valid.

L Carine El Boustani (credit: Kamara Morozuk)
R Julia Mandeville (credit: Akinwole Jordan)

Two women breaking taboos around the condition of endometriosis

A conversation between two women about their paths to success

Women In Animation2017071020170716 (WS)Forget the wicked witch or the pretty princess - a new generation of women in animation are doing away with cartoon cliches. Kim Chakanetsa talks to two women doing their bit to ensure that female characters are accurately drawn from life, rather than stereotypes.

Niki Yang grew up in South Korea visiting comic book rooms and watching Japanese anime on TV - which helped her realise her passion for drawing and storytelling. Niki established her own career in animation when she moved to Los Angeles more than a decade ago. She's since worked on a number of well-known cartoons including Family Guy and Adventure Time. She says the birth of her son has introduced a new humour to her life and work.

Aliki Theofilopoulos is a Greek-American television writer and animator, who's currently working at DreamWorks. As a child she loved watching slapstick cartoons like Bugs Bunny and Looney Tunes, but it was Disney's Dumbo that truly inspired her to work in animation. In a career spanning more than 20 years, Aliki has worked on household hits like Mulan and Hercules. She's also worked on popular TV series Phineas and Ferb which sees two step-brothers invent wonderful and wacky machines.

Image: Niki Yang (l) and Aliki Theofilopoulos (r)
Credit: Niki Yang (l) & Epic Imagery (r)

Two women from South Korea and the US who are reshaping the animation industry.

A conversation between two women about their paths to success

Image: Niki Yang (l) and Aliki Theofilopoulos (r)
Credit: Niki Yang (l) and Epic Imagery (r)

Women In Carnivals20180205Cutting off men's ties, throwing sequined stilettos and storming City Hall - carnival may at first appear to be a frivolous occasion, but Joanna Impey speaks to two women who say that feminist and even revolutionary ideas are at the root of carnival traditions, and are still highly relevant today.

Staci Rosenberg is the founder of one of the few all-female Mardi Gras parades in New Orleans. When she moved to the city as a student, she discovered that the social clubs which organise the parades were mostly male, moneyed and invitation-only. So she set up the 'Krewe of Muses' - which now has over 1,000 members and has had to close its waiting list due to high demand.

Monika Hoerig is the spokeswoman for the City of Bonn in Germany. But once a year, she joins a group of women to 'overthrow' her boss, the Mayor, and take control of City Hall. This symbolic takeover can be traced back to the 1820s, when a group of washerwomen got together to ditch their work and complain about their menfolk. The event marks the start of the carnival season in the area.

Image: (L) Washer Princess. ©: Andreas Rentz/Getty Images
Image: (R) Muses shoe. ©: Ryan Hodgson-Rigsbee

Two women who are part of Mardi Gras in New Orleans and the Women's Carnival in Bonn

A conversation between two women about their paths to success

Women In Cults2017060520170611 (WS)Prayers and preparation for the apocalypse - two women share with Kim Chakanetsa their experiences of life in strict religious communities they would call cults.

Natacha Tormey was born into an international evangelical group and led a highly regimented life in communes in Thailand, Indonesia and France. She says physical discipline and sexual abuse were common, and as children they were separated from their parents. As a teenager she began to question the ideas of the leaders, and at 18 she left the cult and her family behind. Natacha has now settled in the UK and is the author of 'Cults - A Bloodstained History'.

Claire Ashman grew up in a strict religious community in Australia. She left at 18 to get married, but a few years later her husband joined them up to what she now calls a doomsday cult. Claire and her eight children spent their life behind barbed wire fences and there was limited contact with the outside world. Much time was spent preparing for an impending apocalypse. A decade ago, Claire and her family left. She now calls herself an anti-cult activist.

Photo and credit: (L) Claire Ashman
Photo and credit: (R) Natacha Tormey

Two women who were part of radical religious sects

A conversation between two women about their paths to success

Photo and credit: (L) Claire Ashman
Photo and credit: (R) Natacha Tormey

Women In Podcasting: The Guilty Feminist And Not Your African Cliche20180430Feminism! Freedom! Identity! When it comes to frank discussions, podcasts by and for women are leading the way in creating communities where nothing is off limits. Kim Chakanetsa brings together two women who are seizing the mic and recording their own stories and conversations. Their podcasts are all about challenging assumptions about gender, race and sexuality and building armies of like-minded individuals.

Deborah Frances-White is an Australian comedian and the host of The Guilty Feminist, a podcast which tackles the feeling of not always being a good enough feminist with a dose of humour. Each episode features guests discussing a feminist topic in front of a live audience. Deborah has recorded the show around the UK, Ireland, Australia, New Zealand, Denmark and the US. She says podcasts are a micro-climate where women do well because the audience want them to. In just over two years, her podcast has been downloaded three million times.

Ifeyinwa Arinze is a Nigerian neuroscientist and one of the four co-hosts of the podcast Not Your African Cliché. She and her friends Ifeoluwa Olokode, Onyeka Ononye and Amayo Bassey were spurred on to make the podcast after hearing ignorant comments about Africa when they travelled to the U.S. for college. They are on a mission to tell diverse stories of Africans, and invite guests from different African countries to discuss literature, travel and politics with healthy servings of laughter and critical analysis. Ifeyinwa says her podcast is creating a voice for African migrant millennials across the globe.

(L) Deborah Frances-White (credit: Linda Kupo)
(R) Ifeyinwa Arinze (credit: Mohini Ufeli)

Two women who are building communities of podcast listeners

A conversation between two women about their paths to success

Women In The Courtroom2017042420170430 (WS)Two women lawyers in Alabama who are making history in the courtroom in their own ways. Kim Chakanetsa meets them inside the famous federal courthouse in Montgomery, where historic civil rights rulings were made in the 1950's and 60's.

At 28, Briana Westry-Robinson is Alabama's youngest ever female African-American judge. Graduating from high school at 16, and university at 19, Judge Westry-Robinson now presides over a district court in one of the poorest counties in Alabama. She says her age is an advantage in this job, because she can still identify with the juveniles who appear before her, and her aim where possible is to give them a second chance, rather than to punish.

Danielle Ward Mason is an award-winning trial lawyer, who specialises in fighting cases where medical devices and drugs may be harmful to women. She is considered to be one of the top personal injury lawyers in the state, and has won some of the largest pay-outs for her clients in the country. Danielle had a baby at 19, and put her legal dreams on hold for a decade, but then decided to go for it, and now her advice for aspiring young women is 'don't ever say what you can't do'.

Image: Danielle Ward Mason, presenter Kim Chakanetsa and Briana Westry-Robinson.
Credit: United States Court for The Middle District of Alabama, USA

Two legal trail blazers meet in a historic courtroom in Alabama

A conversation between two women about their paths to success

Women In Translation20180806Can translating a book be a feminist act? Kim Chakanetsa brings together two female translators from Egypt and the UK who explain why it matters that more women, and particularly more feminists, are translating texts into Arabic and English.

Emily Wilson is the first woman to translate Homer's The Odyssey into English. She says she often found sexist language in previous translations by men which did not actually exist in the original ancient Greek. She believes that all translators have an agenda, but calling a translation feminist can marginalise it. Emily is currently Professor of Classics at the University of Pennsylvania.

Hala Kamal is a Professor of English and Gender Studies at Cairo University. She teaches on the topic of 'feminist translation' and translates classic feminist texts into Arabic so that students who cannot speak English can still access feminist theory. She thinks feminist voices have been lost and neglected, so she considers translating feminist writers as a form of activism.

(L) Hala Kamal (credit: Sharif Sidahmed)
(R) Emily Wilson (credit: Kyle Cassidy)

Two women who translate Ancient Greek classics and modern-day feminist theory

A conversation between two women about their paths to success

Women Inspiring A Love Of Books20171204Two librarians running vastly different libraries in South Africa and the United States share their passion for books and their secrets for inspiring children to read.

Carla Hayden runs the biggest library in the world, the Library of Congress. As the first woman and first African American to take on the role she made history when she was nominated by former President Barack Obama. Carla now oversees the library's extensive collection of books, manuscripts and historical artefacts, which include an original Gutenberg bible and the first ever map of America. One of the library's main functions is to assist US Congress in the research it needs in order to pass bills. Prior to her appointment she spent most of her career working in public libraries, most recently in Baltimore, Maryland.

Edith Fezeka Khuzwayo is the managing librarian at the Murray Park Library in the city of Johannesburg, South Africa. It's a tiny library, no bigger than a kitchen, and it serves a deprived community, where 90% of women cannot read. That has a huge impact on the local children, so Edith has come up with innovative ideas to encourage both kids and parents to use the library. Edith knows all too well what it means to be illiterate: she herself grew up in a rural area on the Eastern Cape, in a household without books, but her sheer love of reading her school notes meant she was always top of the class.

(Photo: Edith Khuzwayo (L) and Carla Hayden (R). Credit: Shawn Miller.

Two women who run the biggest - and one of the smallest - libraries in the world

A conversation between two women about their paths to success

Women Investing In Women20200113Around 90% of all startup investment currently goes to male-led companies. Kim Chakanetsa speaks to two women who specialise in funding and supporting female startups, about why they believe investing in women is the smart choice.

Marta Krupinksa is the Head of Google for Startups UK, and aims to encourage more women and under-represented founders to take the plunge into business. Marta herself co-founded the global financial technology company Azimo which raised over $70 million in venture capital. Having been the only woman in many meetings, she relishes her role now in connecting female entrepreneurs with potential investors, as well as providing mentoring and training.

Anu Duggal was also an entrepreneur before deciding to create a capital fund that only invests in women-led startups - the Female Founders Fund. There is evidence that female entrepreneurs experience greater successes - and fewer failures - than their male counterparts, but traditional venture capital does not reflect this. Anu says that's why she chooses to put her money into talented businesswomen with disruptive and innovative ideas.

(Image: Marta Krupinska (L) Credit Google for Startups UK. Anu Duggal (R) Credit Female Founders Fund)

Changing the landscape for woman-led startups.

A conversation between two women about their paths to success

Women Laughing At Life20201109Two comedians using the highs and lows of their personal lives as material for stand-up tell Kim Chakanetsa about what motivated them to get up on stage to be laughed at and how their families react.

New Zealand comedian Angella Dravid, is known for her awkward manner and uses everything from her brief teen marriage to a man in his 40s to her time in a UK prison as fuel for her show. Socially anxious herself, she embraces being uncomfortable in routines.

Born in Russia and now based in London, Olga Koch was nominated for Best Newcomer at the Edinburgh Comedy Awards in 2018 for her debut hour, Fight. It’s a show about her father and Russia’s roller-coaster years from the collapse of Communism to the rise of Vladimir Putin.

Image
L: Angella Dravid - credit Matt Klitscher
R: Olga Koch - credit James Deacon

The show that amplifies women's voices, with Kim Chakanetsa

Kim Chakanetsa presents a conversation between two women from different cultures about their paths to success.

Women Leading Muslim Communities20180402Women who are acting as religious leaders in two Muslim communities in Europe. As women doing this is highly unusual, and is not accepted by most Muslim scholars and believers, Kim Chakanetsa asks them how they have been received and why it's so important to them.

Sherin Khankan set up the feminist Mariam Mosque in Copenhagen in 2016. She calls herself a 'female imam' and she hopes to revolutionise thinking about the role of women in Islam, and offer an alternative to the traditional patriarchal structures within the religion. Though her mosque is controversial and not recognised by many within mainstream Islam, she says she has only received threats from the Danish far-right and not from fellow Muslims.

Halima Krausen became Germany's first 'female imam' in 2013. She took over the running of the Hamburg Islamic Centre having stood in for a male imam on an informal basis for many years. She is currently focussing on her academic career at the Academy of World Religions at the University of Hamburg. She says more than anything else the role of imam is about being a counsellor.

Left: Halima Krausen (credit: Jenny Schaefer)
Right: Sherin Khankan (credit: Manyar Parwani)

Two Muslim women who preach and lead prayers in their mosques

A conversation between two women about their paths to success

Women Living Positively With Hiv2019102820200427 (WS)
20200503 (WS)
Two HIV advocates explain why it's no longer a death sentence.

A conversation between two women about their paths to success

Two HIV positive women from Kenya and Italy talk to Kim Chakanetsa about how they overcame stigma to live well with the disease.

Doreen Moraa Moracha was born to a HIV discordant couple (positive mother, negative father) and is the only one of her siblings that has the virus. As a young woman she found her status very hard to deal with, and spent some time off her anti-retrovirals. Now 27 and back on her life-saving medication, she has undetectable levels of the disease. Doreen wants to spread the message that HIV is not a death sentence, saying 'I'm just a fabulous host to a tiny virus.'

Silvia Petretti is the CEO of Positively UK, which supports and celebrates people living with HIV. Originally from Rome, when Silvia got her own diagnosis more than 20 years ago, she felt broken and tainted. 'Internalised stigma crushed me and was reinforced by the stigma and ignorance in main stream society. But through meeting others living with HIV and becoming an activist I found a form of therapy and healing. I now believe and feel that I am whole and strong and worthy of love and respect, regardless of any circumstance.'

Image
L: Silvia Petretti (credit: Mareike Guensche)
R: Doreen Moraa Moracha (credit: Michael Kaloki/BBC)

Women Living With Schizophrenia20190729Two women who hear voices and battle with delusions, tell Kim Chakanetsa about the stigma they have faced as women and how they have learnt to live with their condition.

Esme Weijun Wang is a Taiwanese-American writer and author of the bestselling memoir, The Collected Schizophrenias. She talks about the long road to being diagnosed with schizoaffective disorder, having suffered from poor mental health since she was a child. She finds what grounds her now, alongside therapy and medication, is journalling, dancing and spending time with loved ones.

Reshma Valliappan is a Malaysian artist and activist living in India. She was diagnosed with schizophrenia when she was 22, and, after several years of treatment, decided to manage her condition without medication. Her unconventional approach is chronicled in the award-winning documentary, A Drop of Sunshine. She has also written a book, Fallen, Standing: My Life as a Schizophrenist.

Image:
(L) Reshma Valliappan Credit: Sushma Luthr
(R) Esme Weijun Wang Credit: Kristin Cofer

Two women with mental health issues talk about overcoming stigma to pursue their careers

A conversation between two women about their paths to success

Women On The Board20180115Do women wield any real power in the boardroom? Kim Chakanetsa gets together top female executives from India and Ireland to discuss.

Named one of India's most powerful women by Fortune India, Roopa Kudva has extensive experience of sitting on the board, both as a CEO and as an independent director. She currently leads the philanthropic investment firm, Omidyar Network, in India and also sits on the boards of Infosys and Tata AIA Life Insurance as an independent director. Roopa says companies should have more women on their boards for two simple reasons: 50% of their customers are women, and companies with diverse boards have been proven to perform better.

Adaire Fox-Martin joined the executive board of the global software solutions company SAP in 2017, where she is one of two women. The board area she is jointly responsible for is Global Customer Operations, and she oversees the whole of Europe as well as China. Adaire describes this board area as the 'Crown Jewels of the company'. While she is not necessarily a fan of quotas per se, she says she can see that regulation and legislation can begin to effect change further down the line, and lead to an increase in the numbers of women in senior management. This in turn means that more women are now breaking through to board level.

Image: (L) Adaire Fox-Martin. Credit: SAP
Image and credit: (R) Roopa Kudva. Credit: Omidyar Network

Two women who have reached the top of the corporate ladder

A conversation between two women about their paths to success

Women Opening Up Classical Music20181210Why is classical music still so male and pale, and what can be done about it? Kim Chakanetsa talks to two leading female musicians who are working to challenge the status quo and open up orchestras to more women and people of colour.

Of Nigerian-Irish parentage, Chi-chi Nwanoku realised that 30 years into an illustrious career as a double-bassist she was still one of vanishingly few non-white faces on the classical music stage. So in 2015 she started Chineke!, Europe’s first majority-black and minority ethnic orchestra. Her project is already bearing fruit, with one of her members Sheku Kanneh-Mason, playing solo at the wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle.

Mei-Ann Chen is a conductor from Taiwan, and Musical Director at the Chicago Sinfonietta - a professional orchestra founded in the 1980s to showcase the talent of African American and Latino musicians. As well as insisting on diversity in her orchestra and the music they play, Mei-Ann is passionate about opening up the overwhelmingly male-dominated world of conducting to more women, and says she would never have succeeded without a female mentor.

You heard extracts from:

Dances in the Canebrakes by Florence Price, performed by the Chicago Sinfonietta conducted by Mei-Ann Chen, which will be included on a new CD released in March 2019 on Cedille Records.

The second movement of Dvorak's Ninth Symphony in E Minor "From the New World" performed by the Chineke! Orchestra, conducted by Kevin John Edusei. Available on Hyperion Records.

(L) Image and credit: Mei-Ann Chen
(R) Image: Chi-chi Nwanoku (credit: Eric Richmond)

Two women who are changing the face of classical music

A conversation between two women about their paths to success

Kim Chakanetsa presents a conversation between two women about their paths to success.

Women Reclaiming Their Streets20180312Marching with fellow women for a cause - Krupa Padhy meets two women who have tackled violence against women head-on, by organising eye-catching and sometimes controversial street protests.

Finn Mackay is one of the UK's most influential feminist activists. She founded the London Feminist Network in 2004, the same year that she revived the Reclaim the Night marches, after seeing shocking statistics on violence against women. The marches are women-only, something Finn believes is important, but she says men are welcome to make the tea and take a back-room role. She is currently a Senior Lecturer at the University of the West of England, Bristol.

Angie Ng is a Chinese-Canadian feminist activist who founded SlutWalk Hong Kong to protest against sexual violence and victim blaming. She recognises that many view the term 'slut' as degrading, but she wants to problematise the word, rather than reclaim it. Angie says that in Hong Kong there was a pervasive view that sexual violence and street harassment was largely a western, 'foreign' problem, but she wanted to show that it happened in their culture too. Angie is currently writing a book based on her research into women and the sex trade.

(L) Image: Finn Mackay. Credit: Reclaim the Night
(R) Image and credit: Angie Ng

Two women who have led street protests in London and Hong Kong

A conversation between two women about their paths to success

Women Rewriting History20200210History is told by the victor, and he's usually male. Kim Chakanetsa speaks to two historians who've made it their mission to track down 'ordinary' women of the past, and carve out a proper place in the history books for them.

Hallie Rubenhold is a social historian whose book The Five focuses on Jack the Ripper's victims. These were real women with varied lives, before being killed and - mostly incorrectly - labelled as prostitutes. While their murderer remains unidentified over 130 years later, Hallie has pored over census records, ships' manifests, workhouse ledgers and newspaper cuttings to painstakingly reconstruct these women's stories.

The Indian feminist historian Uma Chakravarti focuses on rehabilitating controversial women from the past and uncovering previously unknown women's stories. Uma's film A Quiet Little Entry is about an ordinary woman called Subbalakshmi, who contributed 'small acts of resistance' to India's struggle for Independence and left behind an extraordinary archive of papers.

IMAGE
L: Uma Chakravarti (credit: Uma Chakravarti)
R: Hallie Rubenhold (credit: Johnny Ring)

Unearthing the stories of overlooked women.

A conversation between two women about their paths to success

Kim Chakanetsa presents a conversation between two women from different cultures about their paths to success.

Women Saving Lions And Bears20190311Protecting lions in Kenya and grizzly bears in the US - two women tell Kim Chakanetsa about their experiences and achievements in the male-dominated field of wildlife conservation.

When Shivani Bhalla realised that lions - her country's national symbol - were in trouble, she established a project in northern Kenya to protect them. She works with the whole community to prevent lion deaths. This includes the traditional Samburu women, who are leading their own conservation efforts under the title of Mama Simba, which means Mother of Lions.

Louisa Willcox has spent the last three decades battling to protect the grizzly bear population in the US. In 2018 she helped get the bears back onto the endangered species list, meaning that planned trophy hunts on state lands had to be cancelled. There are around 700 grizzlies left in the Greater Yellowstone area, and Louisa says the females count the most, because they hold the key to recovery.

L-Background image: Lion Credit: Ewaso Lions
L-Image: Shivani Bhalla Credit: Nina Fascione
R-Image: Louisa Willcox Credit: Louisa Willcox
R-Background image: Grizzly bear Credit: Richard Spratley

Two women fighting for endangered carnivores in Kenya and the US

A conversation between two women about their paths to success

Women Shaking Up Universities20190204What difference does it make when women run universities? There are many higher education leaders who champion the idea of diversity, but few of them truly embody it, so the view from the top is still largely pale and male. Kim Chakanetsa talks to two women who are shaking things up in their institutions in the United States and Ecuador.

Ana Mari Cauce is the first woman, the first Latina and the first openly gay president of the University of Washington in Seattle, US. She says it’s important to remember that universities began as monastic institutions built with men in mind, and she often finds that they still struggle to adapt to the presence of women.

Cecilia Paredes Verduga is the first female Rector of the highest-ranking public university in Ecuador, ESPOL (Escuela Superior Politecnica del Litoral). With a background in the male-dominated field of engineering and in a country with a culture of machismo, Cecilia feels it's important to be herself in the role and to say things as they are.

L Cecilia Paredes Verduga (credit: Jose Javier Roldos)
R Ana Mari Cauce (credit: University of Washington)

Two women who are the first to lead their universities in the US and in Ecuador

A conversation between two women about their paths to success

Women Styling Bollywood And Hollywood20181231A floor-length gown, a strong pose and hundreds of flashing cameras: Kim Chakanetsa brings together the women behind the glamour, making actors and models look good on the red carpet, on stage and even on the street. They are stylists working for some of the most photographed women in Bollywood and Hollywood. How does fashion shape these celebrities' careers, and how do they handle the scrutiny and criticism their clients can receive?

Tanya Ghavri is one of Bollywood's busiest stylists. With a decade of experience in the business, Tanya has styled India’s A-list including the actors Kareena Kapoor, Frieda Pinto and Katrina Kaif. Tanya says traditionally Indian designs tend to gain more traction on social media, but Western styles and brands are all over the high street. Some of Tanya's celebrity clients have faced a backlash for wearing more revealing outfits.

Emma Watson, Chrissy Teigen and Chanel Iman are among the stars Anita Patrickson has dressed. She grew up on a farm in South Africa and is now an established stylist based in Los Angeles. She began her career working for Condé Nast, and now styles editorial and advertising campaigns as well as the red carpet. She says while her work is focused on making her client look fabulous and feel comfortable, it is also about developing a strategic relationship with a brand.

L: Tanya Ghavri (credit: Neha Chandrakant)
R: Anita Patrickson (credit: JSquared)

Two stylists who dress some of the most iconic women in Hollywood and Bollywood

A conversation between two women about their paths to success

Kim Chakanetsa presents a conversation between two women about their paths to success.

Kim Chakanetsa presents a conversation between two women from different cultures about their paths to success.

Women Undercover20190211What is it really like to go undercover as a woman? Our two guests set out to better understand the sex trafficking trade, and to gain deeper insight into life in North Korea. Suki Kim and Mimi Chakarova talk to Kim Chakanetsa about how they did it, and the challenges they faced.

Suki Kim is an investigative journalist and novelist who was born and raised in South Korea. Her bestselling 2014 book, 'Without You, There Is No Us', describes the six months she spent undercover in Pyongyang, teaching the sons of North Korea’s elite at a private university, in the final days of Kim Jong-il’s reign. She says that when the book came out she was surprised by the reaction of her fellow journalists, who chose to focus on what they saw as her 'deception and lies' rather than the unique insights she had gathered on this highly secretive society.

Bulgarian-American photographer and filmmaker Mimi Chakarova posed as a sex worker to investigate how women are trafficked in Europe and the Middle East for her 2011 documentary, 'The Price of Sex'. She says going undercover was terrifying, but it was the only way as a woman she could access brothels and sex clubs. Her brief forays covertly filming in those places gave her some idea of what life was like for the women who had been sold into that world. Mimi's most recent project, Still I Rise, celebrates people who persevere in spite of their struggles.

Image:
L - Mimi Chakarova Credit: Stefania Rousselle
R - Suki Kim Credit: Ed Kashi VII

Two women who went undercover to get a powerful story

A conversation between two women about their paths to success

Women Using Hip Hop To Change Attitudes20190902What's life like for women in hip hop? Nelufar Hedayat brings together two outspoken female hip hop artists from Guatemala and Yemen, who aim to change attitudes with their songs.

Rebeca Lane is a feminist hip hop star in Central America. She embraced hip hop as a form of protest music, and raps about issues that affect women such as domestic violence and femicide. She co-founded Somos Guerreras, an all-female rap collective that tours Europe and the Americas and holds workshops for women. Although famous outside her country she keeps a lower profile when in Guatemala, as she says being an activist there can be dangerous.

Amani Yahya is a Yemeni musician who grew up in Saudi Arabia, returning to Yemen for high school. She became part of a thriving cultural scene there, performing her own brand of hip hop ballad to rapt audiences. However she also received threats from religious conservatives. When war broke out in 2014 she escaped back to Saudi Arabia only to face a backlash there too. Now based in the US, she is passionate about getting social messages across in her songs, including against child marriage.

Image: L: Rebeca Lane (credit Belen Marco) R: Amani Yahya (credit Fredrik Gille)

Two female hip hop artists from Guatemala and Yemen on the challenges they've faced

A conversation between two women about their paths to success

Women Who Need To Talk About Sex20200309What is the impact on women when societies stay silent about sex? Kim Chakenetsa talks to two women about why they think it's important to talk about sex openly and the price we pay when we don't.

Bestselling Moroccan author Leila Slimani says that in a country where the law punishes and outlaws all forms of sex outside marriage, as well as homosexuality and prostitution, women have only two options for their sexual identities: virgin or wife. Her book Sex and Lies relays the stories women in Morocco have told her about their own sexual lives and frustrations.

Amalia Macri recently opened an erotic boutique in Rome. She says that silence around sex and sexuality in Italy leaves people confused about issues of consent and pleasure, and women vulnerable to abuse. She hopes she can encourage people to talk openly about desire so that both women and men can have more healthy relationships.

IMAGE CREDITS:
L: Leila Slimani (Catherine Hélie ©Editions Gallimard)
R: Amalia Macrì (Andrea Montanari)

Two women who want to encourage people to be open about their sex lives.

A conversation between two women about their paths to success

Kim Chakanetsa presents a conversation between two women from different cultures about their paths to success.

Women Who Resolve Conflict2019021820200831 (WS)How do women handle high stakes hostage crises and complex conflicts? Kim Chakanetsa brings together two women who have successfully worked with some of the most dangerous men in the world in order to diffuse a kidnap situation or to try to rehabilitate them back into the community.

Sue Williams is a British hostage negotiator who, over a career spanning almost three decades, has overseen the successful resolution of hundreds of hostage crises. During her time with the UK's Metropolitan Police, she was in charge of both the Kidnap and the Hostage Crisis Negotiation Units. She now works independently, mainly for NGOs and charities operating in dangerous parts of the world. 

Fatima Akilu is a Nigerian psychologist whose work centres on the fall-out from the brutal Boko Haram insurgency in the country’s North East. Since 2009, the militant Islamist group has inflicted a relentless stream of suicide bombings, beheadings and kidnappings in the region. As Director of the Neem Foundation, Fatima works with victims as well as perpetrators in an effort to reintegrate them into the community.

L: Dr Fatima Akilu (credit: Dr Fatima Akilu)
R: Sue Williams (credit: BBC)

Two women who negotiate with kidnappers and rehabilitate extremists

A conversation between two women about their paths to success

Sue Williams is a British hostage negotiator who, over a career spanning almost three decades, has overseen the successful resolution of hundreds of hostage crises. During her time with the UK's Metropolitan Police, she was in charge of both the Kidnap and the Hostage Crisis Negotiation Units. She now works independently, mainly for NGOs and charities operating in dangerous parts of the world. 

Fatima Akilu is a Nigerian psychologist whose work centres on the fall-out from the brutal Boko Haram insurgency in the country’s North East. Since 2009, the militant Islamist group has inflicted a relentless stream of suicide bombings, beheadings and kidnappings in the region. As Director of the Neem Foundation, Fatima works with victims as well as perpetrators in an effort to reintegrate them into the community.

L: Dr Fatima Akilu (credit: Dr Fatima Akilu)
R: Sue Williams (credit: BBC)

Kim Chakanetsa presents a conversation between two women from different cultures about their paths to success.

Women Winning The Nobel Prize For Medicine2018091020200817 (WS)
20200823 (WS)
Just 12 women have won the Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine since it was founded in 1901. Kim Chakanetsa brings together two of these female Nobel Laureates - both extraordinary scientists from Norway and France.

Professor May-Britt Moser won the prize in 2014 for the discovery of a type of cell in the brains of rats, which helps them locate their position in space.  She won the prize jointly with her former husband Edvard, with whom she had collaborated since they were students. Now divorced, they still run a world-renowned neuroscience lab - the Kavli Institute - together in the far north of Norway, where they are pursuing research that could further our understanding and treatment of Alzheimer's in humans.

Professor Françoise Barré-Sinoussi was a researcher at the Institut Pasteur in Paris in the early 1980s when a new and terrifying disease emerged - AIDS. She and her colleague very quickly identified the HIV retrovirus as the cause, and set about finding a treatment. In 2008 she was recognised by the Nobel committee for this achievement, and she says this has opened doors for her work that otherwise would have remained closed - enabling her to better advocate on behalf of the vulnerable people most affected by HIV-AIDS.

Image:
(L) Francoise Barré-Sinoussi. Credit: Institut Pasteur
(R) May-Britt Moser. Credit: TiTT Melhuus

Two women who have been awarded the Nobel Prize for their scientific research

A conversation between two women about their paths to success

Kim Chakanetsa presents a conversation between two women from different cultures about their paths to success.

Women Working In War Zones20191014What's it like to provide aid in a war torn country? Two women who work in conflict zones talk to Kim Chakanetsa about what they feel are the most effective ways to make an impact.

Irish nurse Avril Patterson has spent the past decade working in emergency situations, from Liberia to Afghanistan to Syria, where she spent four years. In 2018 she moved to Yemen to head the International Committee of the Red Cross’s health programme there. She says as a woman there are instances where she has access where men do not.

Rola Hallam is a British-Syrian doctor and founder of CanDo, a social enterprise that allows local humanitarians the opportunity to provide healthcare to countries in need. Working with various Syrian-led NGOs, she played an integral part in building seven hospitals in Syria including the first ever crowdfunded hospital.

Image
L: Rola Hallam (credit TED/Bret Hartman)
R: Avril Patterson (credit ICRC/Pawel Krzysiek)

Two women who lead humanitarian missions in Syria and Yemen.

A conversation between two women about their paths to success

Women Writing Relationships20190819Do you really know the person you're dating? Kim Chakanetsa talks to two acclaimed female authors whose stories shine a harsh light on the duplicity of romantic relationships.

Kristen Roupenian is the author of Cat Person, which became the first short story to ever go viral when it was published in the New Yorker in 2017. It's the tale of a young woman's brief relationship with an older man, and it sparked an online debate about consent, unwanted sex and honesty when dating. Cat Person is included in Kristen's book of short stories, You Know You Want This.

Oyinkan Braithwaite is the writer of the novel My Sister, The Serial Killer. It's the story of two Nigerian sisters, one of whose boyfriends somehow keep ending up dead. Oyinkan says the murderous and stunning Ayoola has become an unlikely heroine for some readers, and that she is very interested in exploring the superficial nature of romantic liaisons, which lead to women's physical beauty often being their most powerful asset.

L: Kristen Roupenian (credit Elisa Roupenian Toha)
R: Oyinkan Braithwaite (credit Amaal Said)

Two acclaimed female authors whose stories shine a light on romantic relationships

A conversation between two women about their paths to success

Women Writing True Crime20210215Women are big fans of true crime stories… from books, to films, podcasts and TV programmes. Kim Chakanetsa talks to two women who've made their name reporting on true crime.

Connie Walker is a Canadian journalist whose award-winning true crime podcast series, Missing and Murdered, examines violence and discrimination against women and girls from Indigenous communities. She is Cree and uses the mystery, and twists and turns of true crime to help educate people about Indigenous history. Her third series Stolen: The Search for Jermain starts in March.

While Tanya Faber was covering the trial of a man who murdered his family she realised that this kind of crime got a lot of attention, as did trials involving women killers. She wrote Blood on Her Hands: South Africa’s Most Notorious Female Killers.

They talk about what sparks this fascination when by far the majority of victims and perpetrators of crime are men.

Produced by Jane Thurlow

IMAGE DETAILS
Left: Tanya Farber (courtesy Tanya Farber)
Right: Connie Walker (courtesy Connie Walker)

Why are we so interested in women as victims and killers?

The show that amplifies women's voices, with Kim Chakanetsa

Women's Fiction: Cathy Bramley And Cheryl Ntumy2016050220160507 (WS)
20160508 (WS)
Authors share their tips on creating feel-good fiction

A conversation between two women about their paths to success

Cathy Bramley is the UK author of best-selling romantic comedies such as Appleby Farm and The Plumberry School Of Comfort Food. Cathy has spent most of her working life in marketing, however reading has always been a passion of hers, and she says one particular book inspired her to take up writing herself. Four years ago she went for it and self-published her first novel. She was then taken on by a publisher and was able to give up her day job to write full-time in 2014.

Cheryl Ntumy has written 11 books, including romance novels for a South African audience and young adult fiction. She grew up surrounded by books and has been writing stories since she was very young. Originally from Ghana, Cheryl now lives in Botswana and her characters often reflect her feelings and experiences of being an outsider. She says writing isn't really taken seriously as a career in Botswana, so it has been a challenge to keep going at times.

Photo credit: (L) Cathy Bramley and (R) Cheryl Ntumy

Women's Prisons20171211What's it like inside a women's prison? Kim Chakanetsa talks with two women running prisons in Norway and Kenya, who believe prison shouldn't be just about punishment.

Olivia Obell is the Officer-in-Charge of Lang'ata Women's Prison in Nairobi, Kenya. She's been responsible for bringing in sweeping changes to prison programmes, introducing more vocational courses, yoga classes and - somewhat controversially - a beauty pageant. She says that the public should see prisoners - or 'clients' as she calls them - as people first and foremost, and that everyone deserves a second chance.

Doris Bakken is the Deputy Prison Governor at Bredtveit Prison in Oslo, Norway. The prison is known as one of the most progressive in the world. She joined the prison services on a whim, but soon fell in love with the pastoral side of the role and now takes care of 64 female inmates at Bredtveit. She firmly believes that the key is helping these women make new lives for themselves after prison, so that is what most of her efforts are focussed on.

Image: (L) Olivia Obell and (R) Doris Bakken
Credit: (L) ‘The Lady Photographer’ and (R) Doris Bakken

Two women who help prisoners to start new lives

A conversation between two women about their paths to success

Writing A Feminist Anthem20200914Two women who’ve used music to empower women talk to Kim Chakanetsa about writing a song that become a rallying-cry around the world.

Madame Gandhi is a percussionist, producer and activist who has drummed for M.I.A and toured with Oprah. Her musical catalogue doubles as a manifesto for gender equality.

Sibila Sotomayor is part of LasTesis - a collective of four female artists in Chile who wrote the song, A Rapist in Your Path. Within a few weeks of its first performance it was replicated hundreds of times around the world, and videos of flashmob performances from Turkey to Venezuela have gone viral.

IMAGE DETAILS
L: Sibila Sotomayor (credit: Sibila Sotomayor)
R: Madame Gandhi (credit: Djeneba Aduayom)

How do you write a song that becomes a rallying-cry for women around the world?

Kim Chakanetsa presents a conversation between two women from different cultures about their paths to success.

Wrongfully Convicted Women20181126Take your baby into prison or leave them behind? Kim Chakanetsa speaks to two women from Kenya and the US faced with that reality when their lives were up-ended by their wrongful imprisonment. They talk about how they found a purpose while serving time, and have since gone on to support others.

Sunny Jacobs was sentenced to death for her role in an alleged double murder in the US in 1976. Separated from her two children, she served five years in solitary confinement - and was only finally released on appeal in 1992, after 17 years behind bars. Sunny met and married another man who had served time on death row. They have set up a sanctuary at their home in Ireland, for others who have been wrongfully incarcerated.

Teresa Njoroge served time in Kenya for a financial crime she didn't commit. When her sentence began, she chose to take her three-month old baby into prison with her. Sharing a cell with 50 to 60 other inmates, she was shocked by the plight of the women she met and the revolving door of crime and poverty. After her release - and exoneration - she set up Clean Start Kenya, an organisation that empowers female inmates to better prepare for reintegration into society.

Left: Sunny Jacobs (credit: Alexander Duyck)
Right: Teresa Njoroge (credit: Titus Kimutai)

Two women who served time in prison for wrongful convictions

A conversation between two women about their paths to success

Kim Chakanetsa presents a conversation between two women about their paths to success.

Yoga Women2019042220201207 (WS)Why are so many women drawn to yoga? And, as it's become commodified in the West, has it lost its soul? Kim Chakanetsa discusses the billion-dollar yoga business with two women who used the power of yoga to transform their own lives.

Deepika Mehta turned to yoga after a climbing accident left her struggling to walk. She found hope in yoga teachings, and eventually used the practice to help overcome her injuries. Today she is one of the most successful and sought after Ashtanga yoga teachers in India. Based in Mumbai, Deepika has travelled all over the world to teach and further her own yoga studies.

Rima Rabbath grew up in Lebanon during the civil war, learning to live in the moment to escape the shelling. Eventually she would find a home in the practices and teachings of yoga. She had embarked on a successful corporate career when she attended her first yoga class in New York City. She has since become one of the leading teachers of Jivamukti yoga in Manhattan.

Produced by Jo Impey for the BBC World Service

Image: (L) Deepika Mehta Credit: Radesh
Image: (R) Rima Rabbath Credit: Peter Stanglmayr

Two women discuss the power and popularity of yoga around the world

A conversation between two women about their paths to success

Kim Chakanetsa presents a conversation between two women from different cultures about their paths to success.

Why are so many women drawn to yoga? And, as it's become commodified in the West, has it lost its soul? Kim Chakanetsa discusses the billion-dollar yoga business with two women who used the power of yoga to transform their own lives.

Deepika Mehta turned to yoga after a climbing accident left her struggling to walk. She found hope in yoga teachings, and eventually used the practice to help overcome her injuries. Today she is one of the most successful and sought after Ashtanga yoga teachers in India. Based in Mumbai, Deepika has travelled all over the world to teach and further her own yoga studies.

Produced by Jo Impey for the BBC World Service. This episode was first broadcast on April 22nd, 2019.

Image: (L) Deepika Mehta Credit: Radesh
Image: (R) Rima Rabbath Credit: Peter Stanglmayr

The show that amplifies women's voices, with Kim Chakanetsa

Young African Authors20180827Two award-winning African writers sit down with Kim Chakanetsa to talk race, gender and getting published in your early 20s.

Nigerian author Chibundu Onuzo started writing her first book aged 17, became the youngest woman ever to sign to her publishing house at 19, and released her first novel, The Spider King’s Daughter, at the age of 21. Chibundu is based in London and her second book is called Welcome to Lagos.

Panashe Chigumadzi is a Zimbabwean-born novelist and essayist. Raised in South Africa, she is the author of a novel Sweet Medicine and These Bones Will Rise Again in which she examines Zimbabwean history through the lives of her grandmothers.

(L) Panashe Chigumadzi (credit: Jodi Bieber)
(R ) Chibundu Onuzo (credit: Blayke Images)

Two women who set their award-winning stories in Zimbabwe and Nigeria

A conversation between two women about their paths to success

Young And Widowed20201123Who do you picture when you hear the word ‘widow’? The stereotype is probably an elderly woman. But what if your spouse dies unexpectedly young? Two women share their experiences of grief, stigma, and finding the strength to live their lives to the full.

Roseline Orwa is a Kenyan campaigner lobbying for cultural change around widows and the stigma towards them in Kenya and other African countries. She was widowed aged 32, when her husband was killed in post-election violence. Like many women, she had to face 'sexual cleansing' in order to be able to return to day-to-day life. She started the Rona Foundation, supporting and championing the rights of widows across the country.

Anjali Pinto is an American photographer and writer who lost her husband suddenly on New Year's Eve 2016. She was only 26 and they had been married just over a year. Using social media to chronicle her life without her husband and break down taboos around grief, she unintentionally created a community of young widows on Instagram.

Presenter: Kim Chakanetsa
Producers: Rosie Stopher, Alice Gioia

Credit:
L: Roseline Orwa – credit Atlantic Fellows for Social and Economic Equity
R: Anjali Pinto – credit Julie Dietz

What happens when your spouse dies unexpectedly young?

The show that amplifies women's voices, with Kim Chakanetsa

Young Women Striking For Climate Change20200316The Swedish schoolgirl Greta Thunberg may be the most well known, but climate change protests around the world are being led by young women. Activists from Uganda and Belgium tell Kim Chakanetsa why they are building huge movements in their countries.

Hilda Flavia Nakabuye, a 22 year old Ugandan college student, has been protesting since 2017. She realized climate change was the cause of droughts affecting her family’s ability to grow food. In 2019 she set up #FridaysForFuture Uganda, and spoke at an international summit, saying 'I joined other young people all over the globe to protect our future. Through endless fights and sleepless nights, we hustle our way. Because this is our future.'

Teenager Anuna De Wever Van Der Heyden led 35,000 young people on a climate change protest march in January 2019. She has become famous in Belgium and beyond, and has faced conspiracy theories, death threats and verbal attacks. False claims against her marches even led to the resignation of an environment minister, and Anuna says people simply find it hard to believe that young women can inspire and run their own movements.

Image:
L: Hilda F Nakabuye (credit: Hilda F Nakabuye)
R: Anuna De Wever Van Der Heyden (credit: NICOLAS MAETERLINCK/AFP via Getty Images)

Why is it young women who are leading climate protests globally?

A conversation between two women about their paths to success

Young, Indigenous And Female20200106Why does maintaining tribal traditions matter to these women? Kim Chakanetsa talks to two indigenous activists from Ecuador and the US about the lengths they are going to to protect their way of life from external threats.

Nina Gualinga is a leader of the Kichwa community of Sarayaku in the Ecuadorian Amazon. Her people's lands cover more than 333,000 acres, mostly made up of pristine forest. Because her mother is from Sarayaku and her father is from Sweden, Nina considers herself as the bridge between two worlds, and is actively involved in defending Amazonian indigenous rights and territories.

One of Nina Berglund's Native American names is Northern Lights Woman. She is a 20-year-old Northern Cheyenne and Oglala Lakota woman from Minnesota. Nina has gone to court to try and stop a replacement oil pipeline running through more than 40 wild rice beds, a means of survival for local indigenous tribes dating back thousands of years. She says 'We’ll be the ones birthing the next generation. We have to step up.'

Image
L: Nina Gualinga (credit Santiago Cornejo)
R: Nina Berglund (credit Nolan Berglund)

What are the greatest threats facing indigenous women?

A conversation between two women about their paths to success

Zookeepers20170501What's it like to work closely with animals? Two women in charge of the day-to-day care of penguins and primates reveal the true nature of the job. They tell Kim Chakanetsa why it's best to avoid a penguin's beak, how chimps might respond to a leather jacket, and whether they think wild animals should be kept in captivity at all.

Shanet Rutgers has the delightful job title 'Head of Penguins' at the Two Oceans Aquarium in Cape Town, South Africa. Shanet first visited the aquarium as a child, and decided straightaway that she wanted to work there. She fondly describes the penguins as 'ridiculous animals' - and says feeding them has made her more considerate about her own diet. Shanet is passionate about the role of zoos and aquariums in educating the public about the natural world.

Laura Hanley is Senior Keeper of Primates at Monarto Zoo in South Australia - one of the largest open-range zoos in the world. The animals are kept in large enclosures, and visitors are driven around the complex in vehicles. Laura is in charge of a troop of eight chimpanzees, each with its own distinct personality. Despite working closely with the chimps, Laura says its important to maintain your distance and keep a respect for the animals. She hopes they can play a role in raising awareness about the plight of chimps in the wild.

(L) Image: Shanet Rutgers, Head of Penguins. Credit: n/a
(R) Image: Laura Hanley, Senior Keepers of Primates. Credit: Nicky Tomkinson

Two women who look after penguins and primates share their stories.

A conversation between two women about their paths to success