Why Not Her is a campaign that is aimed at amplifying the voices of Irish Women making, recording, producing and creating music in Ireland.
Thank you for taking the time to visit Why Not Her today. We welcome everyone to the conversation as its one that should be had. This is an important issue, and people deserve to know what’s going on in our music culture today in Ireland.
Despite significant progress towards women’s economic independence in Ireland, women in Ireland are still economically disadvantaged in many ways. We have brought light to how disadvantaged women in the music industry are in Ireland in comparison to their male counterparts.
Women are still far less likely to be in the labour force and more than four times more likely to work on a part-time basis than men. And in music, women are approx. 92% less likely to be played on heavy rotation on Irish radio than that of their male counterparts.
In Ireland, across all workforces, women on average earn less than 14.4 % than men and are less likely to work in occupations that are highest paid. Women are 25 times more likely to look after their home and family and leave behind their ambitions.
In late June, while Ireland was gearing up to return to some semblance of a new kind of social normality post-Covid_19, many people were hoping that the pandemic would remain the major news story of the year.
This wasn’t to be the case as we have seen the swelling in surges of human rights, domestic & sexual violence/abuse, and racism issues come to the forefront across media in breaking news stories. From the devastating loss of George Floyd and the #blacklivesmatter movement that ignited all over the world to the #MiseFosta, #GenderDisparityRadioIre & #MeToo movements, the general consensus is that we have had enough.
Many erudite articles covering these movements have been written and shared by people, acting as a great resource for learning about the difficult topics we face in society today. And it is time we stopped and listened with open ears as to how we can do and be better.
With the above in mind, we felt it was time to publish a report outlining the gender disparity that exists on Irish radio towards female musicians and fronted bands/acts across 27 Regional and National radio stations in Ireland.
The data report was put together by activist Linda Coogan Byrne with the help of Folk Singer and Artist Áine Tyrrell on the graphics. We launched the report on June 24th and it went viral, to be viewed, shared and exposed to close to 20 million people, as well as trending 5 times on Twitter and being featured in most of the press publications in Ireland and some of the largest publications in the UK. It exposed a harsh reality that women in Ireland’s music scene face in the professional playing field.
At the same time as the report being released, Grammy Nominated Singer Songwriter and Recording Artist RuthAnne released a cover song ‘Dreams’ (The Cranberries hit song) which had 39 female musicians and singers on the track known as ‘Irish Women In Harmony’. All proceeds going to SAFE IRELAND to help those who suffer from domestic violence, which has been on the increase since Covid. (So far they have raised over 215,000 Euro). The song has broken records becoming the first #1 entry by a woman (women) in the Homegrown Irish Charts and reached 27 Million impacts across Irish radio in less than a 2 month period. It just took 39 of them to get there. It took solo male Irish artist Dermot Kennedy who released his latest track ‘Giants’ at the end of June just a little over a month to rack up over 25 Million radio impacts without needing an army of 39 men.
The report simply titled ‘Gender Disparity Data Report on Irish Radio’ can be viewed on slideshow here. Upon viewing the report, we can see that there is something deeply wrong with how music playlisters and programme directors compile their playlists. Many of these stations refuse to admit that there is a glass ceiling preventing women from breaking through towards equality and that meeting a gender quota is a must in order to ensure that stations who have been awarded licences from the BAI (Broadcasting Authority of Ireland) can give an adequate contribution to processes of democratization, since quotas ensure the inclusion of women.
The women in Ireland’s music industry do not want to take anything away from their deserving and successful male peers, they are simply asking for – and showing why – they are as equally deserved of a slice of the pie and a bigger spotlight than what they’ve been getting which has been pretty dim.
In the past few weeks, women have entered the Official Irish Homegrown Chart Top 20 in an unprecedented way as eight female solo artists have entered the Official Irish Homegrown Chart Top 20 position. Compared to the whole of 2019, that’s a massive 300% increase in just four weeks… Factoring in female groups and acts with female members like ‘Irish Women in Harmony’ and MOM, the chart uplift compared to all of 2019 is 150%.
The thing is this: our diverse talent has always been there, and now through live performances, increased awareness, spotify playlist inclusions and TV placements, the country is getting to hear it but wouldn’t it be brilliant if radio start supporting more women? Radio plays a vital role in truly breaking an artist.
We are here to try to ensure that a gender quota and gender equality is realised. When we come together as a united force of people from all creeds, gender, colour, age and orientation who are no longer accepting inequity and gender bias; anything is possible and we should never ever be afraid to ask the question why not her?