Daily Telegraph says The Ascent of Woman is a "compelling look at a subject worth exploring"

The Ascent of Woman

BBC Two, 9.00pm; Wales, 11.15pm

“There has never been a better time to be born a woman,” says Dr Amanda Foreman as she opens this four-part documentary series about the fairer sex. True, of course, but gender equality eludes women in many parts of the world and that is the premise of Foreman’s series – that the history of women is one of swings and reversions rather than a linear march of progress. She kicks off tonight’s opener with a fascinating explanation of the ebb and flow of women’s status through time – archaeological finds from Neolithic times in Anatolia, Turkey, for example, suggest a society in which women enjoyed near-equal status with men; ditto the ancient Sumerian culture in what is modern Iraq, until their privileges were stripped by Egyptian invaders in 2300 BC.

Dotted throughout are segments in which Foreman meets modern women from the areas she’s exploring to discuss the plight of their ancestors – it doesn’t bring intellectual weight to her argument, but their anecdotes do pack an emotional punch. Foreman is knowledgeable and her attention to historical detail impressive; it’s a compelling look at a subject worth exploring. VP

Royal Television Society highlights The Ascent of Woman on its website

A trailblazing four-part documentary series on the history of women will air on BBC Two this autumn.

Charting the role of women in society over 10,000 years, The Ascent Of Woman is the first ever documentary to explore the history of women from the birth of civilisation to the contemporary era.

Focusing on the themes of freedom, oppression, inclusion and exclusion, the series aims to study the status of women and women’s rights.

The series is written and presented by Dr Amanda Foreman, the author of Georgiana, Duchess of Devonshire.

By Layla Haidrani , 
Thursday, 20th August 2015