‘A recent phenomenon’

But writer C S Chandrika begs to differ. According to her, the marginalisation of women in films is more recent.

“We have had women actors like Jayabharathi and Sheela who stood shoulder to shoulder with their male counterparts. At some point, however, the trend changed. After the success of Manjummel Boys and Aavesham, there was a discussion about the under-representation of women in cinema. It is good that audiences are noticing and criticising the absence of women in cinema,” she said.

Deedi Damodharan, a screenwriter, points out that the idea that women do not have to be part of the mainstream gets reflected in films. “This was visible in the recent general election, too. When men make the decisions, they ensure that their interests are protected. Some filmmakers decided to exclude women from their projects when they began to question and stop compromising,” she said.

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