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Malayalam film industry group fighting gender disparity gets formal recognition

The Women in Cinema Collective was formed after the abduction and sexual assault of a Malayalam actor in May.

The Women in Cinema Collective, a group of Malayalam film professionals who got together to highlight gender equality in the industry, was formally registered as a society under the Societies Registration Act on Wednesday, The News Minute reported. Comprising prominent actors, directors and writers such as Manju Warrier, Parvathy, Bhavana, Rima Kallingal, Remya Nambeesan, Surabhi Lakshmi, Anjali Menon, Geethu Mohandas, Vidhu Vincent, Bina Paul and Didi Damodaran, the collective is said to be the first such women’s initiative to be formally registered as a society.

The Women in Cinema Collective was formed in May after the abduction and alleged sexual assault of a Malayalam actor, for which actor Dileep was arrested. The collective also met Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan with a petition, apprising him of their initiative and requesting an inquiry into gender disparity and the treatment of women in the film industry.

The group has asked the government to start courses to train women in the technical skills required for filmmaking. It has also demanded a revaluation of the gender wage gap in the cinema industry, reservations for women in technical jobs in government-owned studios, government welfare schemes for women forced to abstain from work due to pregnancy, child rearing and physical ailments, awards for films based on gender equality, and subsidies for production crews comprising 30% women.

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