It was called the Year of Women. But does this Oscars statistic say otherwise?


You would be forgiven for thinking this year is the year of women.

News stations and speeches from celebrities and hashtags on social media all point to it being unequivocally, and at last, our turn.

“This year, we became the story,” Oprah Winfrey said while accepting the Cecil B. DeMille Award for lifetime achievement at the Golden Globes this January.

“Time’s up” were the words scrawled across actress Emma Watson’s arm as she appeared at last night’s Academy Awards after-party. Apostrophe or not, the message was the same as the one reverberating through the industry: the time for gender inequality is over.

Women will no longer stomach the abuse of power from horrible men like disgraced filmmaker Harvey Weinstein. We will no longer accept pay inequality. Leading women are the new mainstay for the big and small screen. And women’s stories are finally, finally being told.

You’d be forgiven for thinking, women have reason to celebrate. But the numbers say otherwise.

LISTEN: The Time’s Up movement, explained. Post continues below.

Despite all the lip service to ‘Time’s Up’ and ‘Me Too‘, this year only six women took home Academy Awards. This is the lowest number of female winners since 2012, when only four awards went to women, as reported by TIME

In 2017, the number was nine.

In 2016, it was 12.

In 2015, it was 10.

In 2014, it was 12.

In 2013, it was nine.

Last night, Frances McDormand took out Actress in a Leading Role for her work in Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri. Allison Janney won Actress in a Supporting Role for I, Tonya.


Both awards had to go a woman, the title ‘actresses’ being the operative word.

As well as this, Darla K. Anderson won in the Animated Feature Film category. Lucy Sibbick won for Makeup and Hairstyling. Rachel Shenton won for Short Film (live action). And Kristen Anderson-Lopez won for Music (original song).

But these wins, despite the talk around them, signify an overall loss for women.

Time might “be up” but next year, we can hope, the numbers will show that it really, truly is.


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