Had it not been for 33-year-old make-up artiste Charu Khurana, a long-standing prejudice against women in the Indian film industry would neither have come under public glare nor been done away with. It’s an industry even otherwise notorious for being male-dominated. What’s more, since 1955, when the Mumbai-based Cine Costume, Make-up Artist and Hairdressers’ Association (CCMAA) was set up, the union has been following an antediluvian law barring women from membership as make-up artistes and, in turn, forcing them to work unofficially in films. It prompted many of them to skirt around the gender barrier and work on the sly, either using their hairdresser cards or by having male make-up assistants as a front. It also meant having to give up on their legitimate credit in a film. Charu, who has films like Mani Ratnam’s Raavan and Shoojit Sircar’s Yahaan behind her, had to bear the brunt of the bias while working on Unnaipol Oruvan, the Tamil version of the Hindi hit A Wednesday.