Making Music for Gender Equality

13th June 2014

“Music can change the world because it can change people.”

After returning from Raleigh ICS, Barney, Miles and Naomi decided to use the power of music to raise awareness of gender inequality. For their Action at Home they held a spoken word and music night at an independent coffee shop in Brighton, using presentations, performance and discussion to engage attendees.

“I witnessed gender issues first hand in Nicaragua. It probably had more of an impact on me than anything else that I saw.” Miles

At the beginning of the evening Barney gave a presentation about ICS and gender inequality around the world, talking about what he had witnessed whilst on project in India and how it related back to the UK. Afterwards the bands played their sets, choosing songs that addressed the issue of gender inequality.

Throughout the evening a slideshow of photos from their placements in India and Nicaragua played and Naomi, Miles and Barney encouraged audience participation and discussion.

“The audience were asked to shout out words to do with gender inequality whilst the band used these to create their lyrics, as the night progressed the words given by the audience changed, showing an increase in their awareness of the issues we raised.” Naomi

The evening was hugely successful with over 50 people attending. The content had a big impact on audience members, from young people who were engaging with the topic for the first time to adults who had fought for gender equality themselves.

“As a woman politicised during the 1980s I admit to becoming disillusioned with the lack of a voice the current generation appeared to have, especially around gender inequality, a cause I had fought so hard for. Then [this evening] I witnessed the incredible, emotional and at times awe inspiring voice of young people today taking on the mantle of the protest songs I had been so passionate about. In my day Billy Bragg, now in a Hip Hop band no less powerful. I left the event with renewed faith that women’s issues were still at the forefront of young people’s agenda, a huge sense of pride in the creative way that they presented their ideals!”  Jill, 59, Teaching Assistant

Raleigh inspires people to use their passions to raise awareness. Did your ICS experience motivate you to hold a similar awareness raising event in your community? Let us know at