International Council for Traditional Music

A Non-Governmental Organization in Formal Consultative Relations with UNESCO


The next business meetings of the ICTM Study Group on Music and Gender will take place at the 45th ICTM World Conference in Bangkok, Thailand hosted by Chulalongkom University in 2019 on a day and at a time to be announced.


The position statement below was unanimously approved by the Executive Committee of the study group and will be presented for ratification by the study group members at their next business meeting. Once the study group has voted on it, and if (only if) the study group ratifies it , will it then be presented to the ICTM Board and to the Secretariat.  It should in no way be construed as a position of the Board, the Secretariat, its members or representatives nor should the Board, the Secretariat, its members, representatives or staff be held accountable or liable in any way for its contents.

                                                                        Position Statement                                                                                                                                     MUSIC AND GENDER STUDY GROUP                                                                                                                                              of the                                                                                           INTERNATIONAL COUNCIL OF TRADITIONAL MUSIC

                                                                      (MGStG of ICTM)                                                                             

The MGStG of ICTM, in fact, opposes and condemns all forms of harassment in the workplace, regardless of whether it is based on age, ethnicity, race, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, disability, religion, marital status or an intersection of these.  The MGStG of ICTM is committed to helping members and other participants, through education and training, experience a safe symposium and conference environment that is free of threats, harassment or assault, whether they are elected officers, potential employers, members of the professoriate, university administrators, students or staff.  

The recent spotlight on sexual harassment of women in the workplace marks an appropriate time for the MGStG of ICTM to condemn the acts of sexual and relationship violence.  Acts of sexual and relationship violence comprise a continuum of behaviors that includes, but is not limited to, sexual/gender harassment, sexual coercion, sexual abuse, stalking, sexual assault, and rape.  We recognize that survivors of sexual and relationship violence may experience alienation, fear of retaliation, persistent mental health issues, and problems of physical health.   Recognizing that such acts have greater statistical frequency in situations of asymmetrical power relations, we acknowledge that they may affect individuals who, consequently, cannot learn or maximally contribute in environments where they do not feel safe. Acts of sexual and relationship violence have been a major factor that erects barriers to increasing the number of women in academia and should never be tolerated. 

While the MGStG of ICTM is not a legislative or law enforcement body, we recognize that there are both law-making and law-enforcement dimensions to sexual and relationship violence.  Most important, we recognize that the evidence base for such acts of violence and their prevention is still developing in many nations.  Among prevention and response strategies for which we urge consideration are trauma-informed training and response, quality victim-centered care, services for counseling, forensic-medical services, and methodical investigation in order to reduce re-victimization of survivors and recidivism on the part of offenders.  We recommend that academic institutions formulate policies and procedures as a comprehensive response that engages with emerging research, that best practices be shared as they evolve, and that appropriately-resourced prevention and response strategies be internally and diligently implemented.