From the enormous gap between the wages of female and male actors to women being portrayed as a secondary character in most movies, one cannot deny the fact that the Indian film industry is male-dominating. However, with the release of these patriarchy-smashing movies, the narrative in Bollywood has been changed in the recent years.


1. Sandeep Aur Pinky Faraar 

Depicting the deep-rooted patriarchy that engulfs one and all across the nation, this movie is a takedown of typical toxic masculinity. From Tyagi and Sumit to Uncle and even Pinky, the movie talks about the biggest hindrances on the road to gender equality through its characters with the occurrences of abuse that are generally brushed aside in our country.

2. Sherni 

Exposing run-of-the-mill patriarchy through its brilliant storyline, the movie revolves around a forest officer who does her work with integrity around patronising men. Striking a big blow against the sexist society, this excellent movie battles the deep-rooted issues of our society.

3. Thappad 

From a submissive and doting wife to an independent and self-respecting woman, this movie depicts the journey of the protagonist. Revolving around the normalisation of domestic violence against women, this movie is a tight slap to all misogynists.

4. Bulbbul 

Shattering the picture-perfect image of an ‘ideal good woman’, the movie focuses on a woman, who refuses to wait for her prince charming and takes matter into her own hands. Conveniently branded as the ‘witch’, the protagonist proved the fact that every woman feels each emotion that a man feels.

5. Gunjan Saxena: The Kargil Girl 

Depicting the double standards of the patriarchal rules made up by the society to throttle a woman’s dreams, this movie revolves around a flight lieutenant fighting battles at both her home and work. She not only carries out rescue missions brilliantly but also saves the life of her misogynistic boss, shattering gender inequality to pieces.

6. Panga 

Revolving around an ex-sportswoman, who gave everything up for her premature kid, this coming-of-age movie is the story of a woman who breaks the shackles of ‘guilt’ and takes a shot at her own happiness.

7. Sir 

Showcasing a brewing demure romance between a widowed house-help and her employer, this exceptional movie bagged ten awards at a number of award ceremonies. Defying the patriarchy to stand on her feet, the protagonist frees herself from the stigma of being a widow by wearing colourful clothes and flaunting her bright bangles.

8. Chhapak 

Based on the real-life of an acid attack survivor, Laxmi Agarwal, the movie showcases how acid attacks not only cause physical damages but also serves as a huge blow to one’s confidence. Depicting the deeply ingrained toxic sexism in the mindsets of men, the movie also showcases the protagonist’s fight for justice to ban the sale of corrosive fluids which are easily available in stores.

9. Raat Akeli Hai 

Revolving around a misfit cop, whose investigation is complicated when a newly married landlord is murdered, this movie is yet another sexism-smashing gem. While the entire family have their own secrets and motives to kill the man, they pin the blame on his young bride. Underneath the whodunit, there is a layer of misogyny and abuse rooted in the movie.

10. Dolly Kitty Aur Woh Chamakte Sitare 

Challenging patriarchy by addressing female sexual desires, the movie bursts the bubble on gender stereotypes. Revolving around the story of two cousins and gender identity, this movie also showcases how one feels suffocated in the gender roles that society has assigned them.

11. Pagglait 

Tackling the old-age themes of deep-rooted misogyny, sexism and islamophobia, the movie focuses on a recently young widow who doesn’t grieve after her husband passes away. From making surprising discoveries about her deceased husband to gossiping aunties, this movie is a bittersweet reminder of how females are seen in a patriarchal society.

12. Skater Girl 

Breaking the shackles of patriarchy, the protagonist discovers a life-changing passion for skateboarding after a skate park is built in her village. Crushing the issues of caste and poverty, the movie sheds light on the obstacles young girls residing in rural parts of the country face.

13. Axone 

Crushing the sexist mindsets into pieces, this movie highlights the struggles of minorities against discrimination, 80% of the star cast of the movie consists of people who hail from the North-East area.

Which is your favourite movie?