Female artists should be groomed to take up non-conventional roles: M&E experts

NEW DELHI: The advancement in technology has made it possible to essay any kind of role in the media and entertainment industry but there is need for proper grooming and training of females in various non-conventional roles in the industry.


This was the general view at a discussion on “An equal space: Gender parity in media and entertainment sector” held here by the National Commission for Women (NCW) in partnership with the Information and Broadcasting Ministry and ASSOCHAM.


The participants felt that technology and digitisation has changed the scenario – for example, equipments were now lightweight as compared to the earlier times and women are entering into various roles like make-up artists, stuntwomen etc.


In his inaugural address, Environment Minister Prakash Javadekar said that the world had lost a lot by not giving women equal opportunities and not recognising their talent.


The Minister emphasised that women have qualities like compassion, conviction, consistency and courage which are their unique strengths. There is no difference between men and women in terms of capabilities and men need to be sensitised regarding their attitude towards women, he added. 


NCW chairperson Lalitha Kumara Mangalam said even today, an invisible barrier exists in the media and entertainment industry where women do not get equal opportunities. She said various factors like lack of training and lack of family support are responsible for this situation. “The percentage of women working in this sector is also very low. Even today people do not find this sector as a good place to work,” she added. 


Filmmaker Ramesh Sippy opined that women should be portrayed as empowered characters in the films to send the right message to society. “Female artistes should be encouraged to participate in non-conventional roles in films, which help to eliminate misconception of the entertainment industry being projected as biased,” he added. 


The inaugural session was followed by technical sessions. Deliberations were held on various issues such as equal opportunity for women in media and entertainment, enabling and empowering women at M&E workplace and skill and capacity building.


It was noted that the news industry has much more presence of women as compared to their male counterparts, the participants opined but a lot needs to be done to encourage women to join this sector and establish themselves into the system. 


Personalities related to the M&E industry like actor and director Rajat Kapoor, actresses Divya Dutta and Rajeshwari Sachdev also participated in the seminar. Senior Advocate and Additional Solicitor General of India Pinky Anand, Indian Institute of Mass Communications DG Sunit Tandon, former I&B Ministry director (Films) Nirupama Kotru, National Film Development Corporation (NFDC) MD Nina Lath Gupta, and senior journalist Rahul Kanwal, amongst others were panelists in the discussion. 

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