23 February 2018
East African Women in the Music Industry Sing Out Against Male Domination
“Women in music: We have made ourselves known in the music industry around the world. Yet gender inequality, sexism, and pay gaps persist,” said Carola Kinasha, a Tanzanian-based musician and activist who recently moderated a panel discussion on women in music.
“It’s not that we’re not skillful enough. It’s that all the decision-makers are men.”
The panel was part of the three-day Movers and Shakers networking series within the 15th edition of Sauti za Busara (Sounds of Wisdom, in Swahili) music festival in Stone Town, Zanzibar.
On February 10, Kinasha spoke about the challenges women face in the music industry with leading women artists American singer-songwriter Somi; Tanzanian singer and musician Saida Karola; Amina Omar, of the Zanzibari group Siti and the Band; and Zeitun Amour, a representative of the Copyright Society of Zanzibar (COSOZA).
Kinasha opened her remarks by pointing out that in the United Kingdom, women make up only 16% of the leadership within the music business. While limited data is available on the status of women in music throughout Africa, “Clearly, there’s a major issue with male domination in the music industry,” she said.