Arts and Entertainment
UN report claims Indian films rank high in sexualizing women
A RECENT report published by the United Nations claims that India ranks high in sexualizing women in films. The report was part of the first UN study of women in popular films around the world and focuses on the depiction of gender roles and stereotyping and sexualization of women in films. According to the report, a large percentage of women in Indian films are shown in highly sexual roles while the prevalence of women in strong, dominant roles like a scientist or engineer is very low.
Apparently, 35% of all female characters in Indian films are shown in varying degrees of nudity. Even when it comes to having females in speaking parts, India ranks second to last with only a measly 24.9 %.
When it comes to directors, we rank slightly higher than the average with 9.1 % female directors but rank lower than average in the writing department with only 12.1 % female writers.
These figures are hardly surprising considering the amount of sexualization prevalent in Indian cinema. Forget South Indian films or even Bhojpuri movies, in Bollywood itself we still seem to thrive on portraying women as sex-objects instead of real characters. While actresses like Kangana Ranaut and Priyanka Chopra are trying to break the mould, we continue to churn out item numbers one after the other. Sexualisation is a practice prevalent all over the world but India needs to strike a balance when it comes to portraying gender stereotypes in films.