India tops the charts in showing attractive women in its movies and as much as 35 per cent of these women characters are shown with some nudity, finds a first-ever U.N. sponsored global study of women characters in popular films across the world.
The study, commissioned by the Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media, with support from U.N. Women and The Rockefeller Foundation, reveals deep-seated discrimination, pervasive stereotyping, sexualisation of women and their underrepresentation in powerful roles by the international film industry.
Indian films, the study finds, have a significantly higher prevalence of sexualisation of women characters and the movies score low in depicting women in significant speaking roles. While women represent nearly half of the world’s population, less than one third of all speaking characters in films are women and U.K.-U.S. collaborations and Indian films are at the bottom of the pack.
Both, American/British hybrid films (23.6 per cent) and Indian films (24.9 per cent) show women characters in less than one-quarter of all speaking roles. Indian films are third behind German and Australian movies in showing women in “sexy attire”. About 35 per cent of women characters in Indian movies are shown with some nudity, the study finds. The prevalence of women directors, writers and producers in the Indian films is also not at a very high ranking. India had 9.1 per cent women directors, slightly above the global average of seven per cent, while its percentage of women writers was 12.1 per cent, significantly lower than the 19.7 per cent global average.
This data examining gender prevalence behind the camera translated into a gender ratio of 6.2 males to every one female in the film industry in India.