Campaign Aims

The Bechdel Test is a very basic test that should be seen as a bare minimum for female participation in movies, and as such, it’s extra shocking that such a significant percentage of films (hovering around 43-45% in the user-generated database, and 46% of the 50 top grossing films of 2013) fail to meet it.

Whilst we would hope that multiple fully formed, complex female characters will make up a much larger percentage of all films (maybe even 50%! Currently around 28%) one day, a small step in the right direction would be for the producers, writers and directors who create the films that we all consume to commit to making sure that their films pass the Bechdel Test unless there is a specific reason* for them not to do so.

The Pass the Bechdel Test campaign calls on filmmakers to sign up to a voluntary charter, to take the first steps to broaden the representation of women in film and always try to pass the Bechdel Test in their filmmaking.

Films are watched by millions of people around the world, and influence our understanding of what our place is in society. They are one of the many contributing parts to a greater media environment which is still hugely sexist in its representation of roles in society for women, and that affects what girls think about the possibilities for their place in the world as they grow up. As filmmakers, let’s take some responsibility for the effects of our industry and portray women doing more. Or at the very least, having conversations with each other.

*Examples of films where it's not practical to pass the Bechdel Test are: the film has three or less characters (e.g. Gravity, Buried), is set at a place and time where there were only men or very few women (e.g. Good Night, and Good Luck., Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World), is based on a text that limits the possibilities (e.g. The Road).