Recently Jessica Hoop, a singer-songwriter and BBC DJ, said “And then, unlike a man, she is never simply and gloriously a musician. She is ‘a female guitar player’ or ‘a female drummer’. Her gender precedes her.”
Women have historically made important contributions to music – worldwide and in Britain in particular. Recent figures, however, indicate that they make up less than a sixth of professional musicians, and in British Asian music the numbers are even smaller. These figures grossly under-represent the actual mass of talented women in the sphere of Asian Music.
While considerable efforts have been made over the years to address the issues women face in the music industry, the ‘gender gap” remains palpable, especially when one looks beyond the charts. The role of women in instrumental music, in particular, remains diminished, and calls out for proactive support.