Musical instruments on emtpy stage. Credit: Flickr user Ghost of Kuji, CC:BY

Save the date for this one-day symposium on the conditions for women in music. Speakers include musicians, industry representatives and scholars.

The event is co-organized by the research platform Medea and the Kulturstart initiative at Malmö University, and Malmö Live.

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  • Music – Malmö Academic Choir and Orchestra
  • Keynote – Sarah Raine: The Great Reset?: Gender inequality in a post-pandemic music industry landscape
  • Performance and discussion – Simona Abdallah
  • Discussion – What's the situation for women in music? Participants include Erin Cory, Håkan Engström and Anna Charlotta Gunnarsson.


  • Music – Rovi
  • Keynote – Cecilia Björck: Striving for gender-equal participation in music: Possibilities, pitfalls and paradoxes
  • Performance and discussion – Lucy Cathcart Frödén
  • Discussion – How can we improve the conditions for women in music? Participants include Lucy Cathcart Frödén, Sarah Raine and Anna Sjölund

Music at Malmö Live


SARAH RAINE is a Research Fellow in Ethnomusicology at the Irish World Academy of Music and Dance (University of Limerick) and an Associate Lecturer at Edinburgh Napier University, UK. Sarah’s published research considers issues of gender and generation, authenticity and identity, and the construction of the past and present in popular music scene and industry. In addition to a range of articles and book chapters, she is the author of Authenticity and Belonging in the Northern Soul Scene (Palgrave Macmillan, 2020) and the co-editor of Towards Gender Equality in the Music Industry (Bloomsbury, 2019) and The Northern Soul Scene (Equinox Publishing, 2019).

SIMONA ABDALLAH is a Palestinian Danish percussionist. She plays Arabic percussion, primarily the darbouka, and finds her inspiration in a variety of musical genres. The darbouka is considered solely a masculine instrument and is traditionally played by men. Simona Abdallah is lauded as the first female percussionist from an Arabic background and she has broken through the traditional expectations to enjoy internationally acclaimed success. Simona Abdallah has since 2004 been touring in Africa, Asia, Europe, USA, and the Middle East. She has worked with and supported acclaimed artists like Natacha Atlas, Middle East Peace Orchestra, Jenny Wilson, DR Symphony Orchestra, and the Danish rock legends Sort Sol among many others.

CECILIA BJÖRCK is Senior Lecturer of Education at the University of Gothenburg. Her research interest is focused on norms and discourses concerning gender and popular culture. Her PhD thesis in Music Education (Gothenburg, 2011) discusses the use of spatial metaphors in gender-equality music initiatives; in particular, the argument that women in popular music practice must “claim space”. Cecilia has a background as music teacher and currently teaches and supervises students at the undergraduate and postgraduate level. She has presented her work in various international contexts and published in ACT, iaspm@journal, Girlhood Studies, as well as several Nordic and Swedish journals. 

LUCY CATHCART FRÖDÉN is a Scottish community musician, linguist and researcher. Having previously played in various bands in London, Stockholm and Glasgow, her creative and research practice now focuses on collaborative and often multilingual songwriting. She has co-written songs with a wide range of groups, including refugee women, people in prison, and young people facing social exclusion. She's interested not only in how such collaborations can build relationships and contribute creatively to integration, but also how they can form part of a broader cultural landscape of resistance and solidarity. Alongside PhD and parenting responsibilities, she continues to slowly and quietly craft her own music, with her first solo album due for release under the name raukarna in late 2021.

TEMI ODUMOSU (moderator) is Senior Lecturer in Cultural Studies at Malmö University. Her international research and cultural practice is concerned with the representation of African peoples, visual and affective politics of slavery and colonialism, colonial archives and archiving, Afro-Diaspora aesthetics, and more broadly exploring how art mediates social transformation and healing.

Participants in the panel debates include Erin Cory, Senior Lecturer in Media and Communication Studies, Malmö University; Anna Charlotta Gunnarsson, author and journalist; Håkan Engström, journalist, music critic, Sydsvenskan; Anna Sjölund, President Festivals & Concerts, Live Nation Sweden.