Age Of Reason, The

How the world has changed for women: six inspiring octogenarians look back.

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Dr Nawal El Saadawi2013010520130106 (WS)

Egyptian physician and writer, Nawal El Saadawi is still campaigning for women at 81.

Nawal El Saadawi is a leading Egyptian feminist, physician and writer. She qualified as a doctor in the 1950s and has spent much of her life drawing attention to the oppression of women. Her work has been banned and she has been imprisoned for her beliefs. Now aged 81 she continues to campaign. She’s in conversation with Lyse Doucet about her life and work.

0120121201
01The Age Of Reason20130818

Inspiring octogenarians look back at how the world has changed for women. In this episode, Lyse Doucet speaks to Romila Thapar.

01The Age Of Reason2013102620131027 (WS)

Valeria Perasso talks to Dolores Huerta, one of America’s great civil rights campaigner...

Valeria Perasso talks to Dolores Huerta, one of America’s great civil rights campaigners, who at 83 is still politically active.

The woman fighting for the rights of immigrant workers and women of Latin American origin

Dolores Huerta is one of America’s leading civil rights campaigners. She has spent her life fighting for the rights of farm workers, immigrants and women. She has been arrested scores of times and was with presidential hopeful, Bobby Kennedy, when he was assassinated. She helped establish union rights for hundreds of thousands of immigrant workers – most of them from Latin America. She has fought for women’s rights and has campaigned to encourage more women and people of Latin American origin to run for political office. She has also raised 11 children. At the age of 83 she is still politically active – her fame is such that she’s become the subject of ballads and murals.

(Photo: Dolores Huerta. Credit: Angela Torres)

(Archive of Dolores Huerta courtesy of the Freedom Archives)

022012120820121209 (WS)
02The Age Of Reason20130825

Physicist Mildred Dresselhaus's work has led the way for developments in nanotechnology

Professor Mildred Dresselhaus is a physicist and world expert on graphite. Her nickname is the Queen of Carbon. Her work has led the way for developments in nanotechnology, the science of tiny things, that could revolutionise our lives. Now in her 80s she is still based at the prestigious MIT University in Massachusetts, USA. In conversation with Jenni Murray she discusses her career in a male-dominated field and how she was inspired by one of the few women to win a Nobel Prize.

Picture: Mildred Dresselhaus, Credit: Ed Quinn

02The Age Of Reason2013110220131103 (WS)

Shirley Williams held high office in the UK, helped found a new political party and has taken a deep interest in international affairs – helping to draft the constitutions in Russia, Ukraine, and South Africa. At the age of 83 Baroness Williams is still campaigning and sits in the House of Lords.

Picture: Shirley Williams, Credit: Matthew Lloyd/Getty Images

Baroness Williams is still campaigning and sits in the House of Lords in the UK

03Dr Alice Rivlin2012121520121216 (WS)

America's Dr Alice Rivlin on the changing role of women in the last 80 years.

As the World Service marks its 80th anniversary, we ask six octogenarians how the world has changed for women in the last eight decades. In no single arena has the world altered so much and in such myriad ways.

In some parts of the globe, the position of women is unrecognisable compared to 80 years ago, in others, women lead lives virtually unchanged since the days of their grandmothers.

Dr Alice Rivlin is an economist who has seen every boom and bust since World War II. Now aged 81 she is one of President Obama's advisors on debt. It's her job to come up with solutions to America's financial crisis.

She was a child during the Great Depression and as a young woman she worked on The Marshall, helping rebuild Europe after the war.

She speaks to Jenni Murray about the challenges of being female and wanting to be an economist – rejected from some universities, and even forbidden from taking out library books because she was female.

03The Age Of Reason2013110920131110 (WS)

Dr Eddah Gachukia has spent most of her life campaigning for girls' education in Kenya

Angela Ngendo talks to Dr Eddah Gachukia who is 77 and one of Kenya’s leading campaigners for girls’ education. She has spent much of her life encouraging families to send their daughters to school. She helped set up the Forum for African Women Educationalists which brought together female politicians from around Africa.

Angela Ngendo talks to Dr Eddah Gachukia who is 77 and one of Kenya’s leading campaigne...

Angela Ngendo talks to Dr Eddah Gachukia who is 77 and one of Kenya’s leading campaigners for girls’ education.

03 LASTThe Age Of Reason20130901

Egyptian physician and writer, Nawal El Saadawi is still campaigning for women at 81

Nawal El Saadawi is a leading Egyptian feminist, physician and writer. She qualified as a doctor in the 1950s and has spent much of her life drawing attention to the oppression of women. Her work has been banned and she has been imprisoned for her beliefs.

Now aged 81 she continues to campaign. She’s in conversation with Lyse Doucet about her life and work.

(Image: Nawal El Saadawi, Credit: AFP/Getty Images)

04Amina Cachalia2012122220121223 (WS)

The anti-apartheid activist on the changing role of women in the last 80 years.

As the World Service marks its 80th anniversary, we ask six octogenarians how the world has changed for women in the last eight decades. In no single arena has the world altered so much and in such myriad ways.

In some parts of the globe, the position of women is unrecognisable compared to 80 years ago, in others, women lead lives virtually unchanged since the days of their grandmothers.

Amina Cachalia has dedicated her life to fighting for equality.

She was born into racially divided South Africa in 1930 and became politically active as a teenager fighting for an end to racial discrimination. She also took up the cause of women – fighting for their economic independence.

Now aged 82, Amina Cachalia speaks to Lerato Mbele about her long life campaigning.

04 LASTThe Age Of Reason2013111620131117 (WS)

Known as 'Her Deepness', Dr Sylvia Earle is one of the world's great oceanographers

Jane Little talks to Dr Sylvia Earle from the USA. She is 78 and is nicknamed 'Her Deepness' because of her daring exploits beneath the sea. She is one of the world's great oceanographers and explorers. She led the first team of women ‘aquanauts’ on a two-week underwater expedition. She is also a great champion of the oceans, campaigning for their protection.

One of the world's great oceanographers and explorers and known as 'Her Deepness'

Jane Little talks to Dr Sylvia Earle from the USA. She is 78 and is nicknamed ”Her Deepness” because of her daring exploits beneath the sea. She is one of the world's great oceanographers and explorers. She led the first team of women ‘aquanauts’ on a two-week underwater expedition. She’s also a great champion of the oceans, campaigning for their protection.

05Professor Mildred Dresselhaus2012122920121230 (WS)

Physicist Mildred Dresselhaus's work has led the way for developments in nanotechnology

Professor Mildred Dresselhaus is a physicist and world expert on graphite. Her nickname is the Queen of Carbon. Her work has led the way for developments in nanotechnology, the science of tiny things, that could revolutionise our lives. Now aged 82 she is still based at the prestigious MIT University in Massachusetts, USA. In conversation with Jenni Murray she discusses her career in a male dominated field and how she was inspired by one of the few women to win a Nobel Prize.

(Image: Professor Mildred Dresselhaus, Credit: Ed Quinn)