Liverpool and Manchester’s rich musical heritage is known around the world. From the Beatles to Oasis, our cities and towns are responsible for some of the biggest artists of the past 100 years. Traditionally, however, men have dominated that heritage. Recent research highlights just how significant this issue is. Only 2% of UK songwriters and composers registered with PRS are women living in the North, only 15% of record labels are majority owned by women and only 32.2% of employees across the industry are female. Given Manchester’s role as the birthplace of the suffrage it feels appropriate that a partnership is forged with Liverpool to lead the charge for equality, raising the profile of and increase the opportunities for female artists across Europe.
Beyond music, into wider culture, there are number of exciting projects, festivals and female leaders developing activity and programming work to increase opportunity for and visibility of female artists. In addition to all the fantastic work done locally, we also know we are not alone in this journey and that many are championing the voice of women in the world of arts and culture across Europe.
Liverpool City Region and Greater Manchester Combined Authorities are bringing artists and leaders to Brussels for Deeds Not Words, a symposium to debate how, by working collaboratively across Europe, we can improve gender equality in music and art, developed in collaboration with Brighter Sounds and Rise Festival. The event takes place on October 15 in Brussels at the Northern Ireland Executive Office, Chaussée d’Etterbeek 180, 1040 Brussels.
Eurocities is supporting this afternoon symposium which will showcase best practices across Europe as well as discussing how by working collaboratively across Europe, we can improve gender equality in music and art.
The event is being hosted by the UK Permanent Representation to the EU, together with Greater Manchester and Liverpool City Regions.
The event is an opportunity to have a positive conversation with European partners in Brussels and is being supported by the UK Permanent Representation (UKREP) to the EU by Katrina Williams, Julie Ward MEP and the UK Women Brussels network. Regardless of what happens at the end of October, relationships with partners in Europe, on matters of shared policy, will be important, and we want to signal our intention to continue to collaborate.
Policy suggestions developed during the symposium will be put forward to the European Parliament’s Committee on Culture and Education (CULT) by the Committee Vice President, Julie Ward MEP, as they set their work programme for the next seven years, so we have the opportunity to affect real change.