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  • Catherine: Hello and welcome to 6 Minute English. I'm Catherine.

  • Li: and I'm Li. And today we are talking about women's rights.

  • Catherine, do you think women's rights are well covered by the media?

  • Catherine: Covered means 'talked about'. And I would say it could be better, to be honest.

  • Many women's magazines are all about beauty tips, fashion and how to please your man.

  • Now, I'm interested in the real issues.

  • One thing the media doesn't talk about much is what the role of childless women, like myself, is.

  • And childless means "having no children".

  • Li: Yes. In some societies, the role of women

  • role, the way they are expected to behaveis to have children.

  • If they don't, it's like there's something wrong with them, and they are supposed to be unhappy.

  • Catherine: I have no children and I'm very happy.

  • Anyway, women in various countries around the world want to discuss problems which are close to home.

  • And that's why the BBC

  • has organised a series of programmes to discuss some issues that affect half the world's population.

  • The series is called 100 Women and it's the theme of this 6 Minute English.

  • Li: The discrimination against women happens in different ways in different countries.

  • Catherine: Discrimination means the unjust treatment of people who belong to different groups

  • in this case, male and female.

  • Maybe Li, more women should be in positions of power.

  • And that's what today's quiz question is about.

  • Li, how many female heads of state or government

  • do we have around the world now, in 2015?

  • Is it: a) 9 b) 19 or c) 29

  • Li: Well, I'm going to guess... c) 29.

  • Catherine: That's very optimistic and we'll find out later if you're right.

  • Now, let's talk about the BBC's 100 Women season.

  • The season will include programmes across all the BBC platforms including radio, online, TV and social media.

  • And the BBC's Tammi Walker is working on the social media offer.

  • Here she is, explaining what audiences can expect.

  • Tammi Walker: Within the season we've got big debates.

  • One is "Is news failing women?",

  • which is obviously at the core of what we are trying to get to.

  • And that will be a live debate held in London

  • but we're going to have people speaking in different countries about that.

  • And we're also doing a big debate called

  • "What does it mean to be a good girl or an ideal woman?"

  • December the 1st we have three topics - leadership, relationships and image

  • and we're going to do three live debates on that day.

  • And we've sent out packs to over 100 women's groups around the world,

  • so that on the day they all get involved.

  • Li: So at the core of the project 100 Women there will be live debates.

  • By the way, the word "core" means "the central part of it".

  • Catherine: Indeed. And as you know Li, in some countries, women face some basic problems

  • Here's Tammi Walker again. And this time,

  • what word means, well, you know,

  • what you do when you go to the toilet?

  • Tammi Walker: We are tying in with World Toilet Day, with the right to pee.

  • For example in India, women are charged 25 rupees to go to the toilet whereas men obviously can go anywhere for free.

  • You don't have to pay to go!

  • Li: Yes. Women in India have to pay to pee

  • it means to urinate, to pass water while men can go anywhere.

  • It is a matter of public health too.

  • Catherine: Most definitely. Now, this is the third BBC 100 Women season.

  • Last time it prompted a big discussion in Iran.

  • Let's hear what Sanam Dolatshahi has to say.

  • She's a producer from BBC Persian.

  • And can you understand what the word sexism means?

  • Sanam Dolatshahi: Many people are familiar with other "isms" you knowfor example, racism.

  • When you say "racism" people know what it means in Iran.

  • But not necessarily sexism.

  • Many people confused it with sex.

  • So some people were asking us:

  • Air your programmes about sexism after the watershed, after 9 pm, you know, so that the children will not watch.

  • Li: Sexism means to have a very strict idea of what each sex can or can't do

  • and it is a form of prejudice.

  • Sometimes people are prejudiced and they don't even know it.

  • Catherine: Absolutely. But this prejudice, whether known or unknown, can bring a lot of suffering.

  • Well, there's a lot more we could say about women in our society but we are running out of time.

  • So let's get back to our quiz question Li...

  • Li: Yeah. You asked me about women in powerful positions...

  • Catherine: That's right. I asked you:

  • How many heads of state or government do we have around the world now, in 2015?

  • Is it: a) 9 b) 19 or c) 29

  • Li: And I said c) 29.

  • Catherine: Unfortunately Li, it's wrong! The correct answer is b) 19.

  • And according to a 2015 United Nations report,

  • in 1995 there were only 12 female heads of state or government but now there are 19.

  • And before you go let me remind you of some of the key words we've used today. They were:

  • covered

  • childless

  • role

  • discrimination

  • at the core

  • pee

  • sexism

  • Li: Well, that just about brings us to the end of today's 6 Minute English.

  • We would like to invite you to follow the BBC 100 Women season in English or your own language.

  • Men are invited too.

  • Catherine: And you can find the programmes using the hashtag 100women

  • or go to www.bbc.com/100women.

  • See you next time.

  • Both: Bye.

Catherine: Hello and welcome to 6 Minute English. I'm Catherine.

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BBC 6 Minute English November 19, 2015 - 100 Women

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