It can be difficult to keep track of the onslaught of news about women’s issues at times, but podcasts can be the antidote to the fatigue of scrolling through infographic after infographic.
Navigating the world as a woman only seems to be getting more challenging. The COVID-19 pandemic is threatening progress made towards achieving gender equality. The care burden continues to prevent women and girls from working and learning. Women’s bodily autonomy is under threat in countries around the world. And gender-based violence remains a widespread problem.
Podcasts hosts are regularly using their platforms to foster necessary educational conversations about the empowerment of women and help pave the way for equal opportunities.
Here are 11 podcasts on gender equality we recommend.
Caroline Ervin and Christen Conger, former co-hosts of Stuff Mom Never Told You, launched Unladylike in 2017 to make "inclusive, credible media that moves." The two friends hash out topics that women, girls, and nonbinary people care about. Recent episodes have covered the CROWN Act to stop hair discrimination, endometriosis, and dating after sexual assault.
2. Call Your Girlfriend
Real-life best friends Aminatou Sow and Ann Friedman call each other every week and discuss everything from the latest pop culture moments to women’s rights issues on Call Your Girlfriend. Launched in 2014, the show has brought on guests including diplomat Samantha Power and prison abolitionist Mariame Kaba, and they've discussed everything from Britney Spears’ conservatorship to the latest books.
3. Our Body Politic
American political media is often dominated by white men, but Our Body Politic is carving out a news space specifically for Black women and women of color. Hosted by Farai Chideya, the show takes a look at the role Black women and other women of color play in reshaping America while trying to help lead the country. Chideya has recently discussed the experiences of Afghan women, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo’s resignation following sexual assault allegations, and bias in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics).
4. The Cut
New York Magazine’s women’s vertical The Cut explores culture, sex, style politics, and more each week. Producers B.A. Parker and Jazmín Aguilera often insert themselves into the conversation of the moment, helping listeners make sense of the issue at hand, be it the media’s treatment of Black women or what it takes for women of color to run for political office.
5. Red Table Talk
Three generations of women — Jada Pinkett Smith, Willow Smith, and Adrienne Banfield-Norri — sit down to have difficult, raw conversations on this show. Often discussing race and sexuality, the trio takes a healing approach to sift through what it means to be women of color and Black women today. Notable guests on Red Table Talk have included social justice activist Tamika Mallory and musician Alicia Keys.
6. Lady Don’t Take No
Who decided that political podcasts have to be completely serious all the time? Black Lives Matter founder Alicia Garza launched Lady Don’t Take No to have conversations with thought leaders — and also discuss light-hearted topics like beauty secrets. US Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts and founder of the #MeToo movement Tarana Burke have both been featured on the show.
7. Woman’s Hour
Airing on BBC since 1946, the first 45 minutes of Woman’s Hour is jam-packed with news reports, interviews, and women’s issues debates. The last 15 minutes are reserved for short-run drama serials. Hosts Emma Barnett and Anita Rani address hard-hitting international topics including domestic violence, dating for people with disabilities, and reproductive rights.
Hysteria is what happens when a political commentator and comedian sit down to chat. Comedy writer Erin Ryan and former White House Deputy Chief of Staff Alyssa Mastromonaco bring on women to discuss everything from reproductive rights to rom-coms. The duo also makes time to discuss weekly political news and cultural topics impacting women’s lives.
Founder of the women’s empowerment movement Worthy Women, Audrey Belis makes it a point to feature women who mainstream media often overlook on #BrownGirlRising. In partnership with Nylon Español, the podcast puts a spotlight on women of color activists who are uplifting their communities. Belis has interviewed financial writers, women in fashion, and fitness trainers.
10. Locatora Radio
Ariana Rodriguez and Zoe Muñoz, known professionally as Diosa Femme and Mala Muñoz, host the Los Angeles-based feminist podcast Locatora Radio. Diosa and Mala center the experiences of Latinx femmes and highlight mental health, art, politics, and gender expression.
Listen on Spotify.
11. Encyclopedia Womannica
For the podcast fanatic who doesn’t have room for any more audio subscriptions, each Encyclopedia Wommanica episode is only five minutes long. The daily show provides a brief history lesson about women throughout time. Recent women’s stories included singer Aretha Franklin, author Colette, and scientist Marie Curie.
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