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» GUEST RUNDOWNS » THE EXISTENCE OF THE GENDER GAP IN JAMAICA’S ENTERTAINMENT INDUSTRY STILL HURTS!

THE EXISTENCE OF THE GENDER GAP IN JAMAICA’S ENTERTAINMENT INDUSTRY STILL HURTS!

DJ Elektra
DJ Elektra—-

By Jordane Delahaye—-

It is 2013 and Jamaica has a female prime minister but double standards associated with gender still exist in contemporary society.  There are but a handful of established female artists in Jamaica and their battalion seems even more minuscule when compared to the vast number of male artistes. 

Though these few female artists are deemed ‘successful’ in the industry, the reality is their success is measured on a shorter stick than that of a male artiste.

Tifa, one of Jamaica’s leading dancehall acts, told The Sunday Gleanerthat though she has seen some improvement in how women are treated in the industry, there is still a glass ceiling looming over their careers.

“A male artist with one hit song is paid more to do a show than a female artist who has built a catalogue for herself,” she said.

This highlights the unfortunate reality that female artists are at a disadvantage in the music industry because of their gender.

Gender bias is bigger than the music industry but a lot of gender issues are highlighted and perpetuated in music, especially dancehall and rap music.

The world has made significant strides when it comes to the roles of females in society, but there is still a long way to go.

Tifa

It’s not just the artists either.

Elektra, one of Zip FM’s more popular disc jockeys, says she has personally witnessed double standards in her field.

“More than one person has called me and asked, ‘Who is the guy that plays while you’re on air?’. It’s sad but it’s actually a compliment in disguise, because they are implying that I am as good as a male DJ,” Elektra revealed, adding that she does not label herself as a ‘female DJ’ – just ‘DJ’.

MALE PREFERENCE

The DJ also said many artists are more willing to go to a male disc jockey to premiere one of their songs rather than a female.

“The gender issues are bigger than the industry though, they are a reflection of the Jamaican society on a whole and how we view and treat our women. There has always been this widespread objectification and disregard,” said Elektra.

Both Tifa and Elektra revealed that they are doing what they can to change the tides but that not much can be done without a united front.

“I do speak about the situations I find unfair, but for there to be any significant change, there has to be some unity in the business, and not just among females,” Tifa said.

Even the males in the industry are aware of the gender issues holding back female artists.

“It’s a male-dominated market, and not just in Jamaica. We have quite a few talented females, but they are not being highlighted as much as the men,” producer Shane Brown told The Sunday Gleaner.

Brown also reiterated Tifa’s sentiment that females tend to be harder workers than males and more passionate about what they do.

 

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