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The 2022 Gender Disparity Data Report on Irish Radio & Minister Catherine Martin Issues Proposal on Gender Balance in Broadcast Media

October 18, 2022


>>> 0 Artists of colour from Ireland featured in the Top 100 Most played songs on Irish radio in 2021.

>> Irish women artists make up just 3% of the Top 100 Most played songs on Irish radio in 2021.

>> NEW BROADCASTING BILL (Gender, Cultures & Other Diversities) aims to retune Irish Radio as Why Not Her? calls for a cross-party initiative in the Irish Government across all Political parties to back women’s Voices and Artists of Diversity on air.

LINK TO VIEW THE REPORT PRESENTATION HERE on Canva: https://bit.ly/3OBnybi – Why Not Her? Gender Disparity Data Report 2022.

Minister Catherine Martin Issues Proposal On Gender Balance In Broadcast Media 

Under new government plans to encourage greater participation of women on the airwaves, Radio and TV programs may be required to show or publish their gender balance.

Media Minister Catherine Martin’s proposal will be included in several amendments in the Online Safety and Media Regulations Bill which provides for radical moves for the establishment of Coimisiún na Meán.

Some of Ms Martin’s new amendments will provide that Coimisiún na Meán may make media services codes to promote gender balance on current affairs programmes on TV and radio, as well as promoting the broadcasting of musical works composed or performed by women on radio services.

A report released in 2015 by the National Women’s Council of Ireland entitled ‘Hearing Women’s Voices?’ found that there was a 28:72 ratio of women to men participating in news and current affairs shows on Irish radio. The ‘Why Not Her?’ Collective has also highlighted the inequity in airplay between male and female artists.

Minister Martin is set to stress to Cabinet colleagues that there is a need for significant improvement on this.

On July 7ththe team at Why Not Her? met at Leinster House with Senator Marie Sherlock of the Labour Party and many others from various parties to put forward an amended Broadcasting Bill (Gender, Cultures & Other Diversities) that ‘aims to retune Irish Radio’ towards gender parity and diversity.

Why Not Her? call on all TD’s Senators, Ministers and Politicians to join in a cross-party initiative to support the new Bill that has been drafted, and delivered to party members in July, and urge them to support Minister Martin in her request for significant improvement on this.

Comments from Why Not Her? and women in music

Comment from Linda Coogan Byrne, Founder of WHY NOT HER? & Data Analyst: 

“We welcome the Minister’s support and the Government’s impending support on making the shift towards Gender Balance. Since publishing the first Gender Disparity Data Report, I have been blacklisted, threatened, and had my social media accounts hacked and deleted… I have been removed from some of my peer groups within the music industry and financially affected for simply asking the question Why Not Her? I also had a book I had been writing about this whole journey, hacked and deleted. A complete invasion of my privacy and an attack on my livelihood for simply seeking out gender balance and equality on the airwaves.

However, it will not deter me from seeking equality and diversity along with inclusion on air. I’d like to thank the Changemakers and Equalisers in broadcasting and indeed the industry who have viewed the data Why Not Her? has put together, and instead of turning a blind eye to it, have used it as a vehicle for change. Which is what it was intended to do. I welcome everyone to do the same.

There is a diverse multicultural vibrancy that is at an all-time high, this needs to be reflected in the radio stations in Ireland. It is my continued hope that these data reports can continue to set the precipice for a lot of change to come. We will continue as a collective to stand with our colleagues and friends in broadcasting and the music industry in working towards reaching an equal voice for women and artists of colour alongside the LGBTQIA+ community across every facet of Irish culture and we will never be afraid to ask the question Why Not Her?”

Eleanor McEvoy, Chairperson of IMRO and Singer/Songwriter commented: 

“It is so fantastic to have this data and it is terrific to see the huge progress made by many stations. It is, however, very disappointing to see the stations that are continuing to fail in the area of gender and diversity. Are these broadcasters best serving the needs of the people of Ireland – or only some of the people of Ireland? Hat’s off to the team at Why Not Her? for the extensive work that has gone into this research…”

Pauline Scanlon founding member of the Fair Ple Collective and Singer-Songwriter commented: 

“There have been some really positive improvements which  is proof that change is not only possible but can be done quickly and efficiently without  compromising musical integrity or quality of output. We hope this can spark change in the stations that lag behind and we are hopeful things will continue to get better. Thank you to Linda and Why Not Her? for their tireless work and their continuous support for women in music.”

Please use the #WhyNotHer for any posts online.

For more on Why Not Her?  see. www.whynother.eu

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