No African women on Apple’s Global Feminism playlist

Apple Music joined the world in celebrating International Women’s Day on Friday.
The American company released a visual treatment of under two minutes highlighting the plight of women around the world.

In a statement released along with the video, Apple said: “While we celebrate and acknowledge the advancement in women rights over the past 100 years, we must make sure it’s inclusive for all.”

“This short film aims to highlight the injustices still experienced by millions of women and girls the world over – from misogyny, rape and violence to pay disparity.

"Every woman and girl, no matter where they live, no matter the colour their skin, no matter what religious faith, no matter what – must have access to the same basic human rights. Global feminists believe in equality of rights, with empowerment and justice made available for every woman and girl in every corner of the world.”

In the video, a number of celebrities across music, media and film hold cards featuring statistics stating some of the injustices women face in the world. These celebrities, drawn mostly from the UK, include Annie Lennox, Mary J Blige, Dua Lipa, Ed Sheeran, Paloma Faith, Farhan, Gwendoline Christie, Yola, Hozier, Skin, Livia Firth, Beverley Knight, Frank Carter, Nadine Shah, Eve Ensler, Ade Adepitan, Richard E Grant, Simon Neil, Nina Nesbit, Frank Turner, Eddie Izzard, Richa Chadha and Emeli Sande.

A rival streaming platform Deezer, Apple celebrated International Women’s Day with a playlist of songs – but selected by the aforementioned celebrities.

Aretha Franklin’s female empowerment anthem ‘Respect’ makes it to the list, as does Alanis Morissette’s message to an ex-lover ‘You Oughta Know’ and Dolly Parton’s classic plea to the other woman, ‘Jolene’. Other songs on the playlist include Sinead O’Connor’s ‘Nothing Compares 2 U’, India Arie’s ‘Video’ and Whitney Houston’s ‘I’m Every Woman’. Although the playlist was promoted online with the hashtag #GlobalFeminism, it doesn’t include a song from a African female artist.

The omission of Africa-based celebrities and African songs from the campaign might be puzzling for watchers, as the platform has worked with artists on the continent in the past, having showcased Ghanaian acts a couple of months ago and, at the end of last year, releasing a selection of African music tagged "The A-List".

Watch the Global Feminism campaign video below:

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