Actor Arjun Kapoor says it’s high time people stop using the term “women empowerment” for the sake of it, and he feels change will happen for the better when the mindset of the men changes in the country.
Arjun, who has been associated with the Girl Rising campaign, interacted with the media at ‘Bend The Gender Awards’ here on Wednesday.
Sharing his views on women empowerment, Arjun said: “After working for so many years in the film industry, I have realised that in our film industry, we still have to give some sort of opportunities to women to come out, pursue a career, to make a life, to be independent, and to make choices.
“The term ‘women empowerment’ has been in vogue from the last few years. A lot of people make use of it but they only use for the sake of it. Actually they don’t put it to use. I always thought that empowerment of women will take place when the men of India will change their mindset. So, we thought that we need to honour those men this year who have somewhere made a difference to their partners, sisters or children’s life.”
Arjun who played a house husband in Kareena Kapoor Khan-starrer Ki & Ka, said supporting a woman does not necessarily mean helping them and sometimes just being with them quietly can also inspire a woman.
“In India, we often say that girls are not capable of doing certain things. But if a husband can support his wife to achieve her dreams and goals, then I think he is a true hero.
“The same would be the other way around. If a woman can go out and help a man achieving his ambitions, dreams and hopes, then we always say behind every successful man there is woman because of her sacrifices. The same way, I feel that behind every successful woman, every man needs to be there, so they should not just talk about a change, they should pick up a change because it’s been very demoralising to see the small thinking of people towards women.”
Asked whether an actress should have a shelf life when it comes to working in films, he said: “Come on, I am speaking to you a day after my sister’s (Sonam Kapoor) wedding. She is going to continue working in films and she has one film releasing (‘Veere Di Wedding’).
“Anushka (Sharma) has been working since the last six months after getting married. Kareena is a prime example after her pregnancy break. I feel making sure that women are safer and comfortable is necessary for actresses to grow and to be able to harness their skills.”
The 2 States actor urged the media to highlight the change seen in the film industry, as compared to other fields and industries.
“If you see a film like ‘Raazi’, around 7-8 years back, it would have been a male-driven film. But today it’s content driven and it’s based on a true story. Makers of it haven’t changed the gender of the protagonist and maintained essence of it.
“So, the way we are trying to change the mindset of people through ‘Bend The Gender Awards’, similarly our film and film industry will take some time to evolve, but at least we are trying that. We should give credit to the film industry where it is due. We are still way more secular, open than other fields and I think media should highlight that.”