Fertility rates around the world are declining. It's partly through choice, as couples decide to have smaller families. But it's also the case that sperm levels among men in Western countries have halved in the past 40 years. . So what's going on? Shanna Swan, a Professor of Environmental Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York thinks we should be paying much more attention to the chemicals in our environment that come from everyday products - as her research is showing consistent effects on sperm counts, sperm quality and overall male fertility. She joins Emma to talk the chemicals we should be aware of, the effect they're having, and what we can do about it.
World leaders have been warned that unless they act with extreme urgency, the pandemic will overwhelm health services in many nations in South America, Asia, and Africa over the next few weeks. It's argued that failure to achieve so-called global 'vaccine equity' will hit women hardest, because they dominate the informal sectors that have been worst affected by the pandemic and it's women who do most of the increased unpaid care in the home that Covid brings. There are also real concerns that if girls globally continue to miss out on education, gender equality goals could be set back years. Former UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown is leading a campaign to persuade the world's richest nations to commit to funding global Covid vaccination, testing and treatments. He joins Emma.
From today, mothers' names and occupations will finally be featured alongside fathers' details on marriage certificates in England and Wales, thanks to years of campaigning both inside and outside of parliament. But let's not forget the woman who made it happen. Ailsa Burkimsher Sadler started the campaign for change back in 2013.
Caroline Norton was a woman at the centre of one of the most highly publicised court cases in 19th century Britain. Her determination to fight for custody of her children and the rights to her own income and property had far-reaching ramifications, with the first ever pieces of feminist legislation arising as a direct result of her campaigning, the Infant Custody Act of 1839. She has been celebrated with a heritage blue plaque being placed on her London home. Lady Antonia Fraser unveiled the plaque, and has written a biography of Caroline Norton called ‘The Case of the Married Woman.’