Season 1

The Lady Vanishes
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In the late 19th, a painting by a virtually unknown artist took England by storm: The Roll Call but after that brilliant first effort, the artist all but disappeared. Why?

The Lady Vanishes explores the world of art and politics to examines the strange phenomenon of the “token”—the outsider whose success serves not to alleviate discrimination but perpetuate it. If a country elects a female president, does that mean the door is now open for all women to follow? Or does that simply give the status quo the justification to close the door again?

CORRECTIONS: In the original audio version of this episode, Tony Abbott was said to have become the next prime minister of Australia after Julia Gillard. In fact, Kevin Rudd succeeded Gillard as prime minister. Rudd was followed by Tony Abbott. This editing error has been corrected in the audio.

The introduction to the list of countries that have had a single female leader originally said it was listing nations that have “elected a woman.” Due to the complexities of parliamentary systems, in which prime ministers can be elected by their parties with or without a concurrent general election, this language has been clarified to read “countries that have had one, and only one, female leader.”

UPDATE: After this episode was originally posted, the United Kingdom installed its second female prime minister. The U.K. has therefore been removed from the above list.