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Sunday 8 March marks International Women’s Day- a worldwide cultural and societal celebration of what women have successfully achieved, and a reminder of what still has to be done.

Officially started in 1975 by the United Nations, the day aims to bring together women from all backgrounds, ethnicities and cultures, so they can recognise the activism and developments made in the pursuit of equal rights.

This year’s theme is #EachForEqual, which means we should all take responsibility for our own actions, words and thoughts, if we want to see any significant changes in the world. Taking control of this responsibility means we can consciously decide to stand up against prejudice and make the world a kinder place, where women are free to succeed.

And, even though there are still many steps to be taken, it’s clear that they are succeeding. The explosive #MeToo movement gave women confidence to speak out about their experiences of being abused at the hands of powerful men. Teenage climate change activist Greta Thunberg was named Time Magazine’s Person of the Year in 2019- the youngest person to ever receive the prestigious title.

As amazing as these achievements are, the sad truth is that it will be a long time until women are truly equal, especially when it comes to the gender pay gap. It’s estimated that it will take a staggering 202 years to close the gap, despite constant campaigning by women and men. In fact, the gap has actually gotten worse in recent years, with figures published in January 2020 showing that almost 80% of UK companies pay men more than they do women. 

The music industry especially has historically been in favour of men. Even in the age of so-called ‘female empowerment’, women aren’t getting the recognition they deserve when it comes to music. In 2018, only thirty female artists were featured on the most-streamed tunes of the year, compared to over ninety male acts. The stats are even worse when you take a look behind the scenes- for every 49 male music producers, there is only one female.

Tying this in with International Women’s Day, Glasgow-based music and entertainment site Tenement TV have organised a stellar gig featuring some of the most exciting up-and-coming talent, with an all-female team responsible for making it happen.

Set to take place on Friday 6 March, the event will see the brilliant Swim School and Medicine Cabinet take over the Amsterdam bar in Merchant City.

DJ sets from Scottish Album of the Year nominees Honeyblood, and the effortlessly cool Lucia will round off the night.

What makes this event so important though, is the entirely female team of photographers, sound engineers and videographers that have been specially selected to work on it.

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Alice Johnson from Swim School is excited about playing at a gig for such a good cause: “We got the chance to perform at the Queens of Noise event that took place in Glasgow last year and it was amazing. The event, like TTV IWD, celebrated women in music and it was my first time playing at a gig that focused on female musicians.

“Personally, it was the safest I had ever felt at a gig, not only as a member of the audience but as a female musician who was part of it. It felt different to a normal gig, as it felt more like a community and the atmosphere was amazing, so I am excited to play a similar event.”

Swim School is Alice’s first experience of being in a band, and she has found the music scene in Scotland to be very welcoming towards young women. “Over the years there has been an obvious rise in female musicians and more artists being included in gig line ups, which is amazing to see.

“It is encouraging for female musicians who are going to these shows as it will give them confidence in knowing that they belong, like what happened to me. In the short time that Swim School have been together, I’ve never found myself feeling like I didn’t belong.”

Also amongst the team is photographer and blogger Lindsey Davidson of GRLBANDBLOG, who thinks that this event is an enormously necessary one. “As someone who is extremely passionate about music- and fascinated about the industry- there is nothing I love seeing more than other women succeeding and being showcased for their talents.

“I can’t wait to document some of the amazing women in the Glasgow scene coming together and doing what they do best. The Tenement TV team has done an amazing job of curating this entire lineup- and I hope that girls who are interested in the industry see that it’s not just for men.”

Despite this event being a step in the right direction, Lindsey believes that significant change within the industry and the city itself is vital. “It would be great if there was more funding for initiatives and clubs which promote women in music. For example, Glasgow’s Rock and Roll Summer School for Girls does amazing things. It would be great to see more of this- especially for girls of a younger age.”