What is EQ?

Equaliser (EQ) is an open-source gender equality project designed to raise the participation and opportunities for women* entering or working in the music sector.

Cities undertaking EQ are encouraged to develop projects that support this objective, and make a commitment to addressing gender equality in their communities.

EQ supports the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal #5

* ‘Women’ includes Women includes gender non-conforming, transgender and intersex.

When did EQ begin?

EQ was created in 2019 amongst a small group of four UNESCO Creative Cities (Adelaide, Auckland, Hannover & Norkopping) working collaboratively with common purpose. From the first seeds of the idea, each of the four founding cities have created EQ-themed projects in their cities, tailored to local conditions and outcomes that best serve their City of Music objectives.

What projects have been completed so far?

Adelaide, Australia
Adelaide, South Australia brought together 13 female and non-binary people aged 18-25 over 6 weeks in the summer of 2021 to write and record a song about equality, acceptance and unity, and create and star in their own music video.
Music video | Short Documentary

Auckland, New Zealand
Auckland’s EQ project sought to establish an ongoing community of professionals, so that musicians and film makers can find like-minded women to collaborate on music projects. The Auckland project was initiated by offering 3 x €5,000 to pairings of musicians & directors. These projects then became the discussion for an inaugural network meeting, with community engagement following on from this.
Music video

Hanover, Germany
Hanover produced a short film that presented the topics of equality, empowerment and diversity in Hanover’s music scene. The result features over 90 enthusiastic participants from the Hanover music industry, which is intended to stimulate thought and inspire.
Short film

Norköping, Sweden

Norköping provided funds to create an ensemble music video, with mentoring from professionals in film, choreography, music production, songwriting, singing & performance. The first pilot in Norköping feature 25 young women from from 17 different countries living in Norrköping. The city also produced a short documentary on what the group learned not only of music industry but of gender  equality and their hometown.
Music video | Short documentary

What kind of project should my city do?

This is completely up to you. As you can see from the examples above, each city has designed their own project in a way that suits their city and their budget, but the message remains the same across all of them. Your may even have existing gender equality programmes that you can apply the EQ branding to.

Is this just for music cities?

No – in fact, we encourage all our fellow Creative City Network members to develop an EQ project that fits with their creative field. You may even find it cross-cuts with other creative fields within your city, or provides an opportunity to collaborate with other cities in the network.

How can I get involved?

It’s easy! Just get in touch with one of the project leaders listed below to discuss your project idea. From there, we can help you to bring your project to market, put you in touch with colleagues who can assist and provide you with any other support you might require.

What happens once the project is completed?

Projects and stories are published on the official EQ website, which will then become the central portfolio of all global EQ projects. Video content and news can also be posted to the EQ Facebook page.


Sandra Wall (Europe, Africa, South America)
Mark Roach (Asia, Pacific, North America)

Download the EQ logo pack