O Womaniya! Analysing Gender Diversity in Indian Entertainment
The O Womaniya! 2022 report studies female representation in Indian entertainment. It seeks to understand whether women, both on and behind the screen, are considered “critical members” of the technological advancements transforming art and culture.
O Womaniya! examines the on-screen and off-screen representation of women by analysing 150 theatrical films, OTT movies and web series released in 2021, across eight Indian languages, Hindi, Telugu, Tamil, Malayalam, Kannada, Punjabi, Bengali and Gujarati.
The report was released by media consulting firm Ormax Media and entertainment website Film Companion in association with video streaming platform Amazon Prime Video.
- Low representation off screen — Only 10% of head of the department (HOD) positions across key divisions (production design, writing, editing, direction and cinematography) are held by women.
- Low representation on screen — Only 55% of the films and series passed the Bechdel Test. (A film is considered to have passed the Bechdel Test if it has at least one scene in which two named women are speaking, and the conversation is about something other than men/a man.) Even in promotional trailers, women accounted for only 25% of the time in which characters are talking. As many as 48 titles allocated 10 seconds or less to female characters.
- Women hire more women — The percentage of female HODs doubled when a woman greenlit a series or a film. Similarly, a higher percentage of films passed the Bechdel Test (68%), and women had higher trailer talk time (35%) if the title was commissioned by a woman.
- Streaming is driving the change — Films and series streamed on OTT platforms performed better than theatrical films across all parameters, indicating the change the sector is ushering in representation on and off screen.