This post has been self-published on Youth Ki Awaaz by Nupur J. Just like them, anyone can publish on Youth Ki Awaaz.

A Look Back At 2019 Bollywood: 4 Women Youth Icons For 90s Kids

More from Nupur J

Amid the rising trend of patriotic, army movies, and misogynist comedy films, there are some mesmerizing contributions from Bollywood to set youth icons for the society. Where the 90s movies had portrayed the obedient and sensitive females as the victims; the previous decade is trying to turn the tables to portray women as the strong leading personalities, bringing about a change in society.

Right from Priyanka Chopra playing Susanna in 7 Khoon Maaf, Vidya Balan in Kahaani to Rani Mukherjee in Mardaani, the female characters have evolved to leave a remarkable impression on the viewer’s minds.

The women empowerment mission of Indian society, though falters a lot in its execution and creation of safe grounds for women, is striving hard to better its picture and touch all the strata of the Indian social system. As it is said, literature is the mirror of society, we can now invest our faiths in the improvement of women’s status in the Indian society due to the following characters from the 2019 Bollywood Movies.

Tara Shinde From Mission Mangal

Tara Shinde, the Project Director of the MOM, is the perfect mother, wife, and an enthusiastic scientist. The movie revolves more on her family life struggle, with an orthodox husband and teenage kid. But Tara is a smart and focused lady, who handles both her personal and professional lives with perfection.

She is the reason why Rakesh Dhawan starts believing in the MOM. She not only dreams of the perfect mission but also executes it with determination and faith. She truly shows that when you have passion for your work, you can do miracles. Where the plot of the movie didn’t do much justice to the women characters, Vidya Balan impressed the audience with her great acting skills.

Gaura From Article 15

A young, Dalit activist, she is seen leading a protest of people and singing revolutionary songs in a tiny village. Though the village is full of upper caste people plotting and harassing the Dalits, Gaura (Sayani Gupta) fights against them fearlessly. Her sister is kidnapped and abused even by the police officers, but she never backs down.

She is the one who leads Ayan (the protagonist) to the villain and helps him till the end to finally rescue the kidnapped girl. She is the true hero, who fights for the rights and justice of people despite knowing that her life is at risk.

SP Shivani Roy In Mardaani 2

Posting of a female SP in a male chauvinist Police Station can be difficult to the self-respect of a capable, smart, and brave police officer like Shivani played by Rani Mukherjee. But she never losses her sense in the toughest situation and emerges successful. She is a caring leader, determined human and alert and smart police officer.

She even refuses to follow the orders of a senior politician and officers to catch the rapist and murderer. She also slams the sexist reporters and people around her with her attitude and acts of bravery. Shivani is a courageous woman, who inspires and provides strength to the people around her. Only if the world could be filled with people like Shivani!

Latika From Bala

A dark-complexioned girl, Latika (Bhumi Pednekar) is a strongly opinionated person, who acts as a villain in Bala’s life. She is an advocate by profession and has accepted her skin tone, which people see as some sort of ugliness and pass it on as a personality trait too. She is not ashamed of her skin colour and presents herself as a simple girl.

Being a girl who has been hearing about her dark skin since childhood, she doesn’t turn out to be a shy and low-esteemed girl. In the age of fairness creams, she struggles to make the society accept her and love her for what she is and not how she looks. She even liberates Bala from his embarrassment of being bald. Latika sees everyone without the spectacles of stereotypical elements like colour and fairness meter. The world needs such unbiased people.

Many such iconic female characters have changed the parameters of the portrayal of heroines in the Bollywood industry. The qualities that were once assigned to men like courage, bravery, and smartness are now shared by both male and female characters on the screen equally. Let us take a step forward and appreciate this new female characterization in the film industry.

Let me know in the comments which female characters have become your inspiration.

You must be to comment.
  1. tejas khopkar

    Nice writing nupur madam and we should appriciat the afforts of heroines for the roll they made realy historical…thanks for your efforts also

    1. Nupur J

      Thank you for your kind words.

  2. Sharmishtha Shenoy

    Lovely post

    1. Nupur J

      Thank you. Glad you liked it.

  3. iumesh_aka_ lakhan

    Latika nd Bala is one of my favorite movie🤙

More from Nupur J

Similar Posts

By niraj chandra

By Siddharth2710

By Mister August

Wondering what to write about?

Here are some topics to get you started

Share your details to download the report.









We promise not to spam or send irrelevant information.

Share your details to download the report.









We promise not to spam or send irrelevant information.

An ambassador and trained facilitator under Eco Femme (a social enterprise working towards menstrual health in south India), Sanjina is also an active member of the MHM Collective- India and Menstrual Health Alliance- India. She has conducted Menstrual Health sessions in multiple government schools adopted by Rotary District 3240 as part of their WinS project in rural Bengal. She has also delivered training of trainers on SRHR, gender, sexuality and Menstruation for Tomorrow’s Foundation, Vikramshila Education Resource Society, Nirdhan trust and Micro Finance, Tollygunj Women In Need, Paint It Red in Kolkata.

Now as an MH Fellow with YKA, she’s expanding her impressive scope of work further by launching a campaign to facilitate the process of ensuring better menstrual health and SRH services for women residing in correctional homes in West Bengal. The campaign will entail an independent study to take stalk of the present conditions of MHM in correctional homes across the state and use its findings to build public support and political will to take the necessary action.

Saurabh has been associated with YKA as a user and has consistently been writing on the issue MHM and its intersectionality with other issues in the society. Now as an MHM Fellow with YKA, he’s launched the Right to Period campaign, which aims to ensure proper execution of MHM guidelines in Delhi’s schools.

The long-term aim of the campaign is to develop an open culture where menstruation is not treated as a taboo. The campaign also seeks to hold the schools accountable for their responsibilities as an important component in the implementation of MHM policies by making adequate sanitation infrastructure and knowledge of MHM available in school premises.

Read more about his campaign.

Harshita is a psychologist and works to support people with mental health issues, particularly adolescents who are survivors of violence. Associated with the Azadi Foundation in UP, Harshita became an MHM Fellow with YKA, with the aim of promoting better menstrual health.

Her campaign #MeriMarzi aims to promote menstrual health and wellness, hygiene and facilities for female sex workers in UP. She says, “Knowledge about natural body processes is a very basic human right. And for individuals whose occupation is providing sexual services, it becomes even more important.”

Meri Marzi aims to ensure sensitised, non-discriminatory health workers for the needs of female sex workers in the Suraksha Clinics under the UPSACS (Uttar Pradesh State AIDS Control Society) program by creating more dialogues and garnering public support for the cause of sex workers’ menstrual rights. The campaign will also ensure interventions with sex workers to clear misconceptions around overall hygiene management to ensure that results flow both ways.

Read more about her campaign.

MH Fellow Sabna comes with significant experience working with a range of development issues. A co-founder of Project Sakhi Saheli, which aims to combat period poverty and break menstrual taboos, Sabna has, in the past, worked on the issue of menstruation in urban slums of Delhi with women and adolescent girls. She and her team also released MenstraBook, with menstrastories and organised Menstra Tlk in the Delhi School of Social Work to create more conversations on menstruation.

With YKA MHM Fellow Vineet, Sabna launched Menstratalk, a campaign that aims to put an end to period poverty and smash menstrual taboos in society. As a start, the campaign aims to begin conversations on menstrual health with five hundred adolescents and youth in Delhi through offline platforms, and through this community mobilise support to create Period Friendly Institutions out of educational institutes in the city.

Read more about her campaign. 

A student from Delhi School of Social work, Vineet is a part of Project Sakhi Saheli, an initiative by the students of Delhi school of Social Work to create awareness on Menstrual Health and combat Period Poverty. Along with MHM Action Fellow Sabna, Vineet launched Menstratalk, a campaign that aims to put an end to period poverty and smash menstrual taboos in society.

As a start, the campaign aims to begin conversations on menstrual health with five hundred adolescents and youth in Delhi through offline platforms, and through this community mobilise support to create Period Friendly Institutions out of educational institutes in the city.

Find out more about the campaign here.

A native of Bhagalpur district – Bihar, Shalini Jha believes in equal rights for all genders and wants to work for a gender-equal and just society. In the past she’s had a year-long association as a community leader with Haiyya: Organise for Action’s Health Over Stigma campaign. She’s pursuing a Master’s in Literature with Ambedkar University, Delhi and as an MHM Fellow with YKA, recently launched ‘Project अल्हड़ (Alharh)’.

She says, “Bihar is ranked the lowest in India’s SDG Index 2019 for India. Hygienic and comfortable menstruation is a basic human right and sustainable development cannot be ensured if menstruators are deprived of their basic rights.” Project अल्हड़ (Alharh) aims to create a robust sensitised community in Bhagalpur to collectively spread awareness, break the taboo, debunk myths and initiate fearless conversations around menstruation. The campaign aims to reach at least 6000 adolescent girls from government and private schools in Baghalpur district in 2020.

Read more about the campaign here.

A psychologist and co-founder of a mental health NGO called Customize Cognition, Ritika forayed into the space of menstrual health and hygiene, sexual and reproductive healthcare and rights and gender equality as an MHM Fellow with YKA. She says, “The experience of working on MHM/SRHR and gender equality has been an enriching and eye-opening experience. I have learned what’s beneath the surface of the issue, be it awareness, lack of resources or disregard for trans men, who also menstruate.”

The Transmen-ses campaign aims to tackle the issue of silence and disregard for trans men’s menstruation needs, by mobilising gender sensitive health professionals and gender neutral restrooms in Lucknow.

Read more about the campaign here.

A Computer Science engineer by education, Nitisha started her career in the corporate sector, before realising she wanted to work in the development and social justice space. Since then, she has worked with Teach For India and Care India and is from the founding batch of Indian School of Development Management (ISDM), a one of its kind organisation creating leaders for the development sector through its experiential learning post graduate program.

As a Youth Ki Awaaz Menstrual Health Fellow, Nitisha has started Let’s Talk Period, a campaign to mobilise young people to switch to sustainable period products. She says, “80 lakh women in Delhi use non-biodegradable sanitary products, generate 3000 tonnes of menstrual waste, that takes 500-800 years to decompose; which in turn contributes to the health issues of all menstruators, increased burden of waste management on the city and harmful living environment for all citizens.

Let’s Talk Period aims to change this by

Find out more about her campaign here.

Share your details to download the report.









We promise not to spam or send irrelevant information.

A former Assistant Secretary with the Ministry of Women and Child Development in West Bengal for three months, Lakshmi Bhavya has been championing the cause of menstrual hygiene in her district. By associating herself with the Lalana Campaign, a holistic menstrual hygiene awareness campaign which is conducted by the Anahat NGO, Lakshmi has been slowly breaking taboos when it comes to periods and menstrual hygiene.

A Gender Rights Activist working with the tribal and marginalized communities in india, Srilekha is a PhD scholar working on understanding body and sexuality among tribal girls, to fill the gaps in research around indigenous women and their stories. Srilekha has worked extensively at the grassroots level with community based organisations, through several advocacy initiatives around Gender, Mental Health, Menstrual Hygiene and Sexual and Reproductive Health Rights (SRHR) for the indigenous in Jharkhand, over the last 6 years.

Srilekha has also contributed to sustainable livelihood projects and legal aid programs for survivors of sex trafficking. She has been conducting research based programs on maternal health, mental health, gender based violence, sex and sexuality. Her interest lies in conducting workshops for young people on life skills, feminism, gender and sexuality, trauma, resilience and interpersonal relationships.

A Guwahati-based college student pursuing her Masters in Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Bidisha started the #BleedwithDignity campaign on the technology platform Change.org, demanding that the Government of Assam install
biodegradable sanitary pad vending machines in all government schools across the state. Her petition on Change.org has already gathered support from over 90000 people and continues to grow.

Bidisha was selected in Change.org’s flagship program ‘She Creates Change’ having run successful online advocacy
campaigns, which were widely recognised. Through the #BleedwithDignity campaign; she organised and celebrated World Menstrual Hygiene Day, 2019 in Guwahati, Assam by hosting a wall mural by collaborating with local organisations. The initiative was widely covered by national and local media, and the mural was later inaugurated by the event’s chief guest Commissioner of Guwahati Municipal Corporation (GMC) Debeswar Malakar, IAS.

Sign up for the Youth Ki Awaaz Prime Ministerial Brief below