Woman's Hour - 12/08/2009

Logo for Woman's Hour - 12/08/2009

With Jenni Murray. Including: All the main political parties say they are conscious of the need to get more women into Parliament, but what are they doing to ensure they are better represented? Jenni is joined by Guardian columnist Polly Toynbee and Conservative Party Vice Chairman Margot James. They discuss whether women-only shortlists are the best way forward or if the postal primary, recently used to pick Tory candidate Dr Sarah Wollaston for Totnes, could offer a better way of getting more women to Westminster. A series of bomb attacks has been unleashed in Spain, coinciding with the 50th anniversary of the founding of the Basque separatist group ETA. The Spanish police say they believe five women now form part of the group's leadership. Woman's Hour finds out more about whether they might be behind the new wave of violence, and if they believe it will achieve their quest for independence. There are reports that a women's refuge at Weymouth in Dorset is to close because it doesn't accommodate men. The council say they are redirecting money into a community outreach scheme which will cater for both men and women. But can they guarantee this will still meet the needs of women in the area? A few years ago the author Pip Granger put an advertisement in a local paper asking people who had lived or worked in the West End of London in the 1950s to get in touch with her. The result is her latest book, Up West, in which she tells the story of the men and women who inhabited the streets of Soho and Covent Garden in the years after the Second World War. Pip joins Jenni to share memories of life in a part of London which has always been known for its vibrancy, eccentric characters and sometimes risque goings-on.