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Government rejects recommendations of landmark Misogyny in Music report

"The government decided that women’s safety is not a priority. Again, survivors are not being listened to”.

By Nick Reilly

A microphone against a blue/purple background
(Picture: Pexels/Suvan Chowdhury).

The UK government has rejected recommendations suggested by the landmark Misogyny in Music report to improve gender equality in the music industry.

The report was unveiled in January by the Women and Equalities Committee and warned that “urgent action” was needed to tackle the huge amounts of misogyny and discrimination faced by women within the music industry.

It said the industry was a “boys club” rife with sexual harassment and abuse, which was often not reported. In addition, the WEC claimed that victims who speak out face the threat of their careers ending or, in some cases, their allegations not being believed.

In the wake of the findings – which also explored the added impact of racial discrimination – the cross-party WEC created a “series of strong and wide-ranging recommendations” and also urged ministers to amend the Equality Act.

This would mean that freelance workers are given the same protections from discrimination as full-time employees, and would also see the introduction of Section 14 to improve protections for those facing intersectional inequality.

Now, the Government has responded to the report and rejected the findings. While the response stated that “everyone should be able to work in the music industry without being subject to misogyny and discrimination”, the DCMS has confirmed it will not take any of the recommended actions on board.

In response, the chief executive of the Independent Society of Musicians (ISM) Deborah Annetts said: ‘The Misogyny in Music report should have been a moment of immediate and lasting change for the music industry. The report laid bare the incredibly serious problems the sector has and the entirely reasonable steps Government should take the rectify them.

“For the Government to choose not to make music safer for women is painfully disappointing, if sadly not surprising. The brilliant women who make our music industry what it is deserve better.”

The Musicians’ Union also voiced their disappointment at the government’s response. “The MU are deeply disappointed in the government’s response to the Misogyny In Music report and shocked that the select committee’s recommendations have been rejected in this way,” said the General Secretary Naomi Pohl.

“Women from across the music industry have bravely shared their experiences of misogyny, sexual harassment and abuse as well as other very real barriers they face whilst working in the industry,” she continued. “The government had an opportunity to listen and learn from those lived experiences and implement the changes that the select committee’s report recommended. Instead, the government decided that women’s safety is not a priority. Again, survivors are not being listened to”.

“The Equality Act is out of date and does not reflect how people see themselves or how they work, it needs updating as a matter of urgency. The industry needs increased funding to support targeted action to improve diversity and an improved legislative framework that reflects the way musicians work. The government has committed to neither”.

“We urge the government to rethink its position and implement the recommendations from the report”, she said.

You can read the whole report here.