A Monstrous Regiment

A programme based on a frank series of interviews with women MPs, which provides surprising insights into the story of how women have battled to overcome sexism and prejudice in Parliament.

It uses extracts from a remarkable collection of wide-ranging, in-depth interviews with women politicians that will later form an important new historic archive at the British Library.

BBC Radio 4's Archive Hour has negotiated special permission to provide a first hearing of these fascinating political recordings.

Women MPs from all parties talk with honesty, emotion, passion and humour about the obstacles they have encountered, the strange male practices of the House of Commons, and their proudest achievements.

Those taking part include cabinet ministers such as Tessa Jowell and Patricia Hewitt, and other well-known figures such as Betty Boothroyd, Theresa May, Anne Widdecombe and Harriet Harman, as well as numerous backbench MPs.

They discuss everything from the pitch of their voices and the image of the Blair Babes to female solidarity across parties and the best put-downs to use in the Commons chamber, as well as investment in childcare and changing the law on domestic violence.

Presented by Jackie Ashley, political columnist on the Guardian, this is an account of how a monstrous regiment of women politicians is slowly gaining influence in the corridors of power at Westminster.

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A programme based on a frank series of interviews with women MPs, which provides surprising insights into the story of how women have battled to overcome sexism and prejudice in Parliament.

It uses extracts from a remarkable collection of wide-ranging, in-depth interviews with women politicians that will later form an important new historic archive at the British Library.

BBC Radio 4's Archive Hour has negotiated special permission to provide a first hearing of these fascinating political recordings.

Women MPs from all parties talk with honesty, emotion, passion and humour about the obstacles they have encountered, the strange male practices of the House of Commons, and their proudest achievements.

Those taking part include cabinet ministers such as Tessa Jowell and Patricia Hewitt, and other well-known figures such as Betty Boothroyd, Theresa May, Anne Widdecombe and Harriet Harman, as well as numerous backbench MPs.

They discuss everything from the pitch of their voices and the image of the Blair Babes to female solidarity across parties and the best put-downs to use in the Commons chamber, as well as investment in childcare and changing the law on domestic violence.

Presented by Jackie Ashley, political columnist on the Guardian, this is an account of how a monstrous regiment of women politicians is slowly gaining influence in the corridors of power at Westminster.