Malayalam women film professionals form collective to fight sexism, gender gap

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Thiruvananthapuram, May 31: When we talk about the rights and safety network available for women professionals--be it a domestic help or a software professional--well many would say, even if not vocally, that every industry (be it recognised or unrecognised) is mostly dominated by males and thus exist large-scale patriarchy and sexism.

Now, how do we fight against the existing system and try to provide equal rights and safety measures to women workers?

Malayalam film industry women collective

It seems the Malayalam movie industry has found a solution to it. The women professionals, right from actors, screenplay writers, editors, singers and technicians, to name a few, have recently formed an organisation called--Women in Cinema Collective.

The idea behind the formation of the women club is to address various issues faced by women professionals in the industry and find a solution to the everyday problems.

The WCC formally came into existence on May 18 and the small but meaningful event was attended by Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan. Now, what lead to the formation of the unique club?

It's not that the women professionals in the Malayalam film industry have started facing harassment and discrimination in recent times only. Like many incidents, here also there was a trigger point.

The horrific episode of kidnapping and molestation of a popular actress inside a car by her driver in February finally led to the formation of the women collective.

During their meeting with the Kerala CM, the members of the WCC put forward various demands. Some of the keys demands are the formation of an anti-harassment cell during film production, an increased representation of women on movie sets, equal rights to women workers, safe working environment for female artists and technicians and maternity benefits for its members.

The collective also want the state government to conduct a study on the problems faced by women in the industry and provide legal measures that will be binding across the board.

Talking about the latest initiative, veteran actress and director Revathy told HuffPost, "Our film industry is not structured. Our work is not time or space-bound. All we [in the WCC] are trying to do is find dignity for women in the industry." "Women in Cinema Collective is different from the existing associations, in that it is by women, for women."

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