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Mothers and daughters: A look at why living in a patriarchy affects the mother-daughter relationship

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Is there any truth to claim that the mother daughter relationship is more fraught than any other dynamic? Psychologist Professor Terri Apter explains how conflict can help mothers and daughters renew their bond. Mother and daughter team Sally and Sarah Kettle advocate shared experience as a way to strengthen family ties, something they found while rowing across the Atlantic together for four months, and comedian Sindhu Vee talks about the unique features of a mother’s expectations.

We also hear how, despite the best of intentions, many mothers can disempower their daughters in order to thrive in a patriarchy. Author and women’s rights activist Elif Shafak warns about the ways daughters are taught to blend in, especially in cultures which are more gendered. Dr Leyla Hussein has had first-hand experience of female genital mutilation, and explains how women have become the foot soldiers of a patriarchal system that promotes such practises.

Writer and matriarchy scholar Vicki Noble describes how the mother daughter dynamic is different in societies where women wield power, and life coach Kasia Urbaniak, who teaches women the foundations of power and influence, explains what a mother can do to empower her daughter.

Presenter: Nastaran Tavakoli-Far
Producer: Edwina Pitman
Editor: Richard Knight

Photo: Mother and daughter together.
Credit: Getty Images

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