Jenni Murray: Why I hope Woman’s Hour will one day be irrelevant

Would a perfectly equal society have any need for the BBC Radio 4 programme? The Woman's Hour presenter hopes that one day the show will "talk itself out of a job"

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It may have just celebrated its 70th birthday, but far from wishing the show many more years of good health, Woman’s Hour presenter Jenni Murray is hoping the BBC Radio 4 show will one day talk itself out of existence.

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The radio programme covers everything from the sex trade to cooking the perfect artichoke salad, from domestic violence to fashion, from parenting to knitting. But after almost three decades hosting the show, Murray would not be sad to see it go – under one condition.

“I guess what my real hope would be is that eventually Woman’s Hour would kind of talk itself out of a job. Because those issues wouldn’t be there anymore,” the broadcaster told RadioTimes.com at Cheltenham Literature Festival.

“We would have affordable childcare that’s trustworthy – a government that says yes, that’s absolutely necessary. No women being killed by their partners. But I think that’s me being ridiculously optimistic.

“I would love to see a world where we are educated equally, we have equal opportunities at work, we are paid equally, there is no domestic violence, there is no coercive control – all of that just goes.”

Without gendered political issues at its core, Woman’s Hour would have no purpose, Jenni explained.

“The cooking’s great, the knitting’s great, the comedians are fantastic,” she said.

“But without its political edge, I wonder, would people be as engaged by it if we weren’t discussing those really serious political issues that are not going away?

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“If in 100 years from now, that perfect world of total equality had happened, maybe we wouldn’t need it – because would we want to just listen to cooking, knitting, comics?”