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Drop everything you’re doing and watch these films!

By March 11, 2013 7 Comments

Media clearly has something against women. There just aren’t enough women making movies about women, and those movies that do exist don’t get the attention they deserve. Documentaries are unfortunately in the same situation when it comes to gender equality.

Luckily, there are organizations and women out there making a difference that deserve to be recognized. Women Make Movies, Women in Film and Television, and Women Documentary Filmmakers are wonderful places to learn about many different female filmmakers.

Photo of Hillary Clinton interacting with people in Liberia.

Hillary Clinton makes appearances in several documentaries about gender equality.

Here is a list of four awesome documentaries focusing on different aspects of women’s rights and gender equality — from media and stereotypes, to human trafficking, to women’s history.

Watch these documentaries and support the organizations and women behind them. You’re sure to walk away feeling empowered and inspired!


She++ was created by two female computer science students at Stanford that had trouble finding role models. The documentary looks at the facts and numbers when it comes to computer science students and gender.

We need to encourage and support more girls to explore the fields that they’ve been told they’re not fit for. If we can make a change and support a growth in female computer engineers and other technical fields, it could be a “Rosie the Riveter moment.”

She++ is not only a documentary but also a community for female computer engineers. Any woman in the STEM field knows how hard it can be to find support in the industry. She++ encourages women to learn computer programming for creative and endurance skills as well. This film encourages viewers to learn something new and support women in male dominated fields.

Makers: Women Who Make America

This new PBS documentary boasts big names of the women’s movement — Judy Blume, Carol Burnett, Gloria Steinem, Hillary Clinton, Sheryl Sandberg, Oprah Winfrey, Katie Couric, and more. These trailblazers have changed the modern women’s movement and throughout this documentary we see a closer look into the personal lives of these women. 

Makers is the history of women, famous and unknown, that got us to where we are today. Get ready to feel inspired when you watch it. The documentary can be watched in entirety online.

Miss Representation film poster.

Miss Representation film poster.

Miss Representation

This fascinating documentary deals with the portrayal of women in media. From music videos, to advertisements, to cartoons, women are misrepresented everywhere.

Miss Representation features famous filmmakers, politicians, and actresses who discuss their experiences with gender discrimination.

The documentary also does a good job of tying these images from the media back to real life. Women and girls are left without strong role models. We are told that looks and sex define us and are the most important features of who we are.

Miss Representation is a great conversation starter, especially for those who are new to feminism and media literacy.

It’s a Girl

“Gendercide” is a term used in this moving documentary. In India, China, and many other areas of the world, more girls die each day than are born in the U.S.

This movie shows stories from abandoned girls, women who have suffered violence and the loss of their daughters, as well as parents who have and would kill for a son. This kind of deadly gender discrimination is a depressing and a true problem about which everyone should become more informed.

This is, by no means, a comprehensive list — there are plenty of other wonderful documentaries about inspiring women. What documentaries about women have you seen lately? Any recommendations?

Katie Boyer is a blogger and social media expert living in Oakland, CA. Katie is passionate about media literacy, learning new skills, culture, and education. Learn more about Katie on her blog and follow her on Twitter.