Women are greatly under-represented in the Indian film industry while their number as audience in theatres was far lesser than men, a study on Gender in Media says.
The report by Geena Davis Institute, founded by Academy Award winning actress Geena Davis, was released at ‘Global Symposium On Gender in Media’ here.
According to the study, funded by the Oak Foundation, the gender ratio in India’s film industry stands at 6.2 males to every female, and only one-in-ten directors is a woman.
Among other findings, the report says India has around 13,000 movie theatres when compared to 40,000 theatres in the United States, a country with only a quarter of India’s population.
Also, far fewer women than men go to theatres in India, often due to safety concerns, it said.
“When women are featured, their characters tend to reinforce harmful gender stereotypes,” Madeline D Nonno, CEO, Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media.
“Women have made noticeable strides in the Indian entertainment media in recent years... but the lack of women in key film industry positions translates into gender gaps in film content,” Nonno said in a statement.
Many believe that media has radically altered women’s lives in India by raising awareness about issues like dowry, sexual violence and child marriages. Films such as “Mardaani” and “Mary Kom” were found to be popular examples that show girls are taking on challenges and pushing the limits to succeed.
Some participants in the study thought the entertainment media encourages bad habits and is disruptive of traditional values.