Women have long struggled to find their rightful place at the music revenue and royalty table, despite the role they have played and continue to play in the rich history of the South African music industry. It was hoped that with the advent of democracy, the special form of discrimination faced by African women in particular would abate, and that a new model of inclusive participation honouring women would emerge. These hopes have, sadly, not been realised. Indeed, they appear to remain far-off.
To invigorate the work needed to be done to be able to finally recognise the essential role of women artists and their vital contribution to the industry, SAMRO has embarked on a process to better understand the causes of failure to change the unfair position women artists still find themselves in, and to play a leading role in improving the situation and advancing women in the industry.
It is hoped that this comprehensive study on the rights and responsibilities of women in the South African music industry, conducted by gender-equality consultants Tara Transform, provides a foundation for further work so that women take their rightful place in a more equitable industry.