Change is happening on our airwaves but at too slow a pace

01 July 2022
  • Labour to publish bill ensuring greater representation of women’s voices on the radio

Responding to the publication today of the Gender Disparity Report on music content on Irish airwaves, Labour Party Arts and Media spokesperson Marie Sherlock paid tribute to the work the Why Not Her campaign.

Next week, the Labour Party will publish a Bill to ensure that women’s voice are better represented on the radio.

Senator Sherlock said:

“For the past three years, Why Not Her? has been holding up a mirror to broadcasters in Ireland on the disproportionate and low number of womens’ voices on our airwaves.

“Today’s results show that over the past 12 months, change is possible by those wiling to embrace greater diversity, equality and inclusion on their playlists. This is reflected with stations such as Spin FM, KCLR, Midwest, Northern Sound, 98FM, Clare FM and a number of RTÉ stations moving to ensure that at least 25% of airplay is devoted to women artists.

“However the reality is that for the majority of radio stations, there is a major lack of effort to showcase female identifying artists and in particular Irish artists.

“The results from the Mediamonitor data are quite stark. Just 18% of Irish artists are featured in Ireland’s Top 100 Most played Artists and Bands across Irish radio in the 12 months to June 2021. Of that 18%, only 3 songs were by female artists. People of colour artists based here in Ireland didn’t even feature in the top 100 played artists.

“Over 3,200,000 people tune in radio in this country every day. As highlighted by Why Not Her, making it onto a playlist can be a life changing experience, however there are also great female artist who are simply not getting a platform to perform their work.

“We need to ensure there is a level playing field. We know that we have some brilliant emerging talent here in Ireland with Soulé, Tolü Makay, Cherry Dragon, Gemma Bradley and Denise Chaila and established talent such as Imelda May, and yet Why Not Her’s report reflects the disadvantage they are at relative to male artists.

“Next Thursday at 1pm, the Labour Party will be publishing a bill to ensure greater representation of women’s voices both in spoken content and in music across all registered radio stations in this country. Change will not happen unless we push it.”

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