Stina Tweeddale of noise-pop saviours Honeyblood is musing on women in music.

"It's a business where there are times you're either treated like a unicorn, or as if you're incompetent," she says.

With the greatest of respect to unicorns, women and girls deserve better than that. But they're still a minority voice, as attested by this summer's festival bills. All nine headliners at T In The Park are male, while recently advertised line-ups for Glastonbury, Reading and Leeds and V have men occupying, on average, around 90 percent of the billing. It's conceivable that you could attend several music festivals this year and not see a single woman onstage (let alone behind-the-scenes).

Festival bosses have claimed this simply reflects availability and demand, but Lauren Mayberry of electro-pop deities Chvrches is having none of that. "The argument that bookers have been offering in the media recently doesn't hold water with me," she says. "It's a

chicken-and-egg-situation: promoters book fewer female performers because they [claim they] 'won't sell'; the public don't find out about these acts because they aren't booked."

Look further afield and the trend prevails. Whether in the mainstream (witness this year's testosterone-fuelled BRIT Awards) or the underground (ditto the rosters of most independent / DIY labels), women are woefully under-represented, regardless of commercial clout or genre. "Women who are in bands, no matter what level of success they are at, tend to be stereotyped simply because of their gender,"

says Mayberry, who also co-runs feminista-pop collective TYCI.

"The only way to make real, tangible change is to try to alter these preconceptions from the bottom up, and the top down," she continues.

"If we try to tackle a problem from all sides, there is slightly more hope that eventually changes might be made."

Enter Glasgow's first-ever Rock 'N' Roll Summer School for Girls, which has the potential to redress pop and rock's gender imbalance from the grassroots up - by offering school-age girls a wealth of positive, varied female role models (they're sorely lacking on our mainstream stages, after all); by running music, empowerment and self-defence workshops; by encouraging creativity and collaboration; and by helping girls build self-esteem and discover their voices through music.

Local acts who're variously supporting, tutoring and donating kit to the summer school include The Pastels, Chvrches, Honeybood, Emma Pollock, Tuff Love, Hausfrau and Golden Teacher.

Catering for 8-16 year-olds who self-identify as female, run by "a bunch of feminist, music-loving mothers and musicians", and based on Portland's trailblazing (and hugely successful) Rock 'N' Roll Camp For Girls, it takes place at the Art School from July 13-18, and culminates in a gig for family and friends. No prior ability to play, or even own, an instrument is required.

As with so many DIY feminist endeavours, Glasgow Rock 'N' Roll Summer School for Girls has its roots in the 1990s riot grrrl movement. Chair and co-founder Jude Stewart co-ran Glasgow's early-2000s femme-punk hoopla Frock On, which brought bands like The Gossip to the city, while offering creche facilities and child-friendly gigs to boot. Like Frock On, all facets of Glasgow's Rock 'N' Roll camp are focused on accessibility, from their free spaces for asylum seekers and low-income households, to the venue selection itself.

"We chose the Art School because it's so central, and it's wheelchair accessible, and because it has female audio technicians on-site," says Stewart. "It's so important that girls understand these things are available to them - these kind of jobs, this kind of work, this kind of environment. It's all there. And it's there for them."

As a non-profit, DIY, volunteer-run organisation, Glasgow Rock 'N'

Roll Summer School for Girls is largely relying on public donations of instruments and funds (they're still actively seeking contributions on both counts), but their fundraising efforts have borne impressive fruit thus far: local artist Rachel Maclean (who's directed videos for Errors and The Phantom Band) has donated a signed limited edition digital art print for auction; indie empire Domino Records have made a considerable contribution; and last Saturday, the organisers held a fundraiser / launch party at the Art School, which included a bake-sale, clothes-swap and all-ages live music.

"This amazing band, Bratakus, played their debut gig for us that afternoon," Stewart recalls. "Just for little girls to see them play - this 14-year-old-girl onstage with her 19-year-old sister, in the most outrageous outfits - it gives them a visual representation of what they themselves can do. It's a role model up there doing it. And it counteracts all the media's images of rock stars.

"But we don't really even want to produce rock stars - we just want to make a space," Stewart continues. "It's not about success, it's not about becoming a guitar virtuoso in a week, it's not about being Beyonce, necessarily. It's just saying: women and girls can make music in lots of different ways, and there are also women that work behind-the-scenes."

For Mayberry, this notion of expanding possibilities is key. "I think anything that encourages creativity and free spiritedness is a good thing, for anyone of any gender," she says. "And I think the ethos of things like Girls Rock Camp does a lot for the self-belief of young women. It's not just about recognising an issue in terms of gender representation in music - it's about teaching girls that they can be and do whatever they want, which I think is a really powerful message for them to take into their lives in general."

Would something like this Rock 'N' Roll Summer School have made a difference to Mayberry when she was young? "I was lucky enough to grow up in a very supportive family where I was encouraged to do whatever I wanted, so when I started learning to play drums and join bands it genuinely didn't occur to me that it was something a teenage girl 'shouldn't' do," she recalls. "It was only when we started playing [under-18s] nights and sharing rehearsal spaces that I noticed the negativity, and after that - for a very long time - it felt very isolating to consistently be one of the only women performing at the unsigned band shows we would play.

"I think having a support network of people who understood subjectively what it felt like to be singled out like that would have been very valuable," Mayberry continues. "I also often wonder what my experience would have been like if the idea of young girls in bands hadn't been so uncomfortable for many of the men I encountered working in venues or other bands."

Tweedale, who credits a kindred (ish) institution, Edinburgh Schools Rock Ensemble, with providing her own musical grounding, is similarly enthused by the summer school's ethos. "For me, it's something that has been lacking for young girls who are interested in music," she says. "It's a wonderful, inspirational idea."

If the patronage of Honeyblood, Chvrches, et al is key to conveying the need for, and credibility of, Glasgow's Rock 'N' Roll Summer School for Girls, then so do they serve as vital role models. This chimes with the original US-based Girls Rock Camps, which were supported by the likes of Carrie Brownstein from Sleater-Kinney - without whom, we may not have had Honeyblood.

"People like Carrie Brownstein inspired me to do what I do in the music business," Tweeddale offers. "The ethos of her band and others gave me the confidence to go ahead and write music, to pick up an electric guitar. I no longer thought, 'I can't do this'. I began to think, 'If these girls can do it, then so can I'".

Glasgow's Rock 'N' Roll Summer School for Girls runs at The Art School from July 13-18, for more information see; TYCI 's July live event (with Alimony

Hustle) is at Stereo, Glasgow, on July 18; Honeyblood play Glasgow Art School on September 18.