Kerala has again shown that it is not only the most literate state but also one which is aware of the gender bias in society and ready to address these sensitive issues. It has the distinction of being the first state to set up a 3-member panel to study gender problems in film industry and to suggest valid solutions.
It must be recalled that a group of women activists met the Chief Minister, Pinarayi Vijayan recently and appraised him on the issue of gender injustice in the film industry. The women collective had presented a memo to Vijayan, in which they said that their industry was not even at a point where “basic human rights or wage related issues can even be discussed.” They had asked for wage disparity to be addressed, a fund for women who could not work during pregnancy and reservation for women in government –run studios.
The committee formed by the government is a result of this meeting and is led by retired Kerala High Court Justice K Hema. The other two members are veteran actor Sharada and former bureaucrat KB Valsalakumari. The state Cinema and Culture Minister AK Balan said, “Even though no time-frame has been fixed, they will be submitting their report without delay so we can take appropriate action.”
We can only hope that similar Women collectives are formed in other states to bring about gender justice.