BEIJING — In films, women and girls are much more likely to take off their clothes than male actors and to be scantily clad in the first place, studies show. Less than a third of speaking characters are female and men outnumber women behind the camera by a ratio of five to one.

Campaigners are highlighting this gender inequality in film at the China Women’s Film Festival that runs until Sunday in Beijing, arguing that the phenomenon distorts views of women and the world, and that the male-dominated film industry repeats the same mistakes out of habit.

The nine-day festival features more than 30 Chinese and international films about women’s rights, women’s achievements and gay women, which are then slated to be shown in more than 10 cities across China.

Festival chairman Li Dan said the aim was to increase the representation of women in film at a time when Chinese audiences have apparently accepted gender inequality in movies.

“Usually people and audiences have the idea that female characters should be pretty, be looking for a good marriage or a rich man or a Mr. Right, and if the movie follows that path it will have a good box office,” said Li, who works for Crossroads Center Beijing, a nonprofit working with marginalized groups and the festival organizer. “Very few movies have strong female roles and characters.”

Hollywood actresses have also spoken out about a lack of good roles for women and the gender pay gap, among them Cate Blanchett, Jennifer Lawrence and Meryl Streep, who starred in the festival’s opening film “Suffragette,” about British women’s fight for the vote in the early 20th century.

In the last three years, a campaign has gradually been gaining ground to raise awareness of the unequal representation of men and women in movies based on the Bechdel Wallace test, which started out as a joke in a 1986 comic book. To pass the test, a film must have two female characters with names who talk to each other in the film about something other than men. Films that fail the test include “Avatar,” “Slumdog Millionaire” and “The Jungle Book.”

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