We’re not treated as equal professionals: Anushka Sharma

Mumbai,Sanaya Chavda: At the recent Oscars ceremony, amongst the various acceptance speeches, one that stood out was Patricia Arquette’s when she accepted her award for best supporting actress.

In her speech, the actress brought up the issue of equal pay for women. She said, “To every woman who gave birth, to every taxpayer and citizen of this nation, we have fought for everybody else’s equal rights, it’s our time to have wage equality once and for all, and equal rights for women in the United States of America.” Her passionate words struck resonance with many across the globe, including Anushka Sharma who feels there’s a need for change.

She says, “It is very very unfair that we get paid the way we do. I think the disparity is way too much. We get paid like one fourth of what the men get paid. Secondly, our careers are much shorter. In that much time also our expenses are a lot in terms of our clothes and this and that. Almost 30 to 40 per cent of our expenditure goes in that. So ultimately in that short time you don’t really make that much money and it’s not fair because of the way in which they are getting compared. For example, a male actor might not be on the same level as you, but just because he is an actor he will get paid more than you.”

The actress turned producer adds, “I wouldn’t be surprised if an A-list actress is getting paid the same or lesser than maybe one of the newer guys who are coming in the industry. Like a Varun or something, I wouldn’t be surprised. So that is not fair.”

Anushka believes that there will be a change now that women-oriented films are doing well. “It is happening. These are all steps getting closer to that. They need to review it, now I think it’s changing. So however it worked earlier now I would just like them to sit and actually pay some attention to this. But then you know what has to happen is everyone needs to come and be united in this… You have a film like Queen that works only on Kangana and the story or Mardaani or NH10. So the heroine is important.”

For wage equality to become a real possibility across professions, there needs to be a change in mindsets, says Anushka. “One needs to realise it’s just not the industry but people are like this. And it’s everywhere. And especially in our country that’s the way it is. This is how women are looked at. We are not treated as equal professionals. You know between Ranbir and Katrina, Katrina will always be asked way more questions about her relationship with Ranbir and he will be asked way more on his work and what he is doing. That’s the way it is. You’re not given that kind of equal respect.”