Why are there so few women in bands?

Just over 1 in 5 TDs (elected members of our national parliament in Ireland) are female.

I played some music at an event today to commemorate 100 years since the first one – Constance Markievicz – was elected, at which some impressive female politicians spoke of the struggles she faced, and the difficulties they themselves face in a male-dominated environment.

And I wondered – what would the figures be if such a survey was done in the world of music?

There will always be exceptions, but it’s my experience that ‘rock band’ instruments like drum/bass/guitar/keyboards/saxophone are more likely to be played by men, and women are more likely to sing or play orchestral instruments and the piano.

Is it that women for some reason prefer not to play these instruments, or is it that like politics, there is something about the male-dominated world of bands that makes it harder or less attractive for women to get involved? I’d love to hear some opinions on this.

For the record – here are some of the speakers and singers from today’s event – well done to all, especially the lady on the right (Michelle) who put it all together.


I'm Kieran and I play piano. Actually I do a bit more than just playing - I teach others how to play, and I write music, arrange it and host/produce shows.

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