Clare Bowditch asks: Where are all the women?

“My question is, how can this be? How, in 2015, can this still be happening?”

Editor’s note: Australian musician and actress Clare Bowditch went to the Screen Music Awards last night.

Anyway, Clare was there last night with her husband Marty and she noticed something a bit off. Of all the nominees at the awards, only two were female. TWO. Clare wrote about the night on her Facebook page and kindly let us republish that post here.

Clare writes:

Something I gotta get off my chest and into the world, because I can’t figure it out on my own.

Marty and I had a fabulous time at the Screen Music Awards last night – it was a pleasure to present two awards and my sincere congratulations to all the most-deserving men who won. Rob Carlton was the consummate host and the orchestra were beyond belief.

In this photo, Marty and I represent one man, and one woman: we reflect the same gender ratio that exists in the general population, in real life.

With this in mind, the thing one could not help but notice last night is – where are the women? Of the roughly fifty nominees, only two were female, and not a single woman entered the stage to collect an award.

My question is, how can this be? How, in 2015, can this still be happening?

Is it because women’s music isn’t “good enough”? Nope, that’s not that.

Is it because there’s a blatant conspiracy to stop women winning awards? Doubt it.

So it must be something else: something more complex and subtle and needing of direct attention.

We can’t change the world in a day, so what can we do? How, in the music industry, in all of our industries, can we stand up and lead on this issue?

What do our governing bodies and associations need to be proactively putting in place to ENSURE women are encouraged to put themselves in the arena, and once they’re in the arena, how can we recognise their achievements?

As men, how can we encourage women to know their contribution is needed, and welcome, and fundamental?

As women, how can we count ourselves in?

As a society, how can we find the courage to keep bringing this bloody obviously “odd” set of percentages to light, even though we’re worried everyone has heard it before, and that in bringing it up, we will be ostracised?

If they’ve heard it before, and it’s still happening, it’s still worthy of discussion.

What am I missing here?

For more from Clare Bowditch, you can follow her on Facebook, read what she writes on Twitter, and like the pictures she posts on Instagram. Clare makes music (you can find out more about that here,) and also runs a business called Big Hearted Business, which you can read about here.

And if you want to let APRA know you want see more women nominated at next year’s awards, you can do that here.

Your turn now. We want to hear what you think about the important role women play in music and how we get people in the industry to recognise that roles. Do you have a favourite female artist you’d like to rave about? Tell us in the comments (Clare will be reading).