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.
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.
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.
“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?
YAY! Here’s two more worth mentioning that I couldn’t fit on the list Pink Saris and Wonder Woman! The Untold Stories of American Superheroines!
Very cool! Miss Representation was an awesome movie.
I’d highly recommend “Half the Sky”
“Half the Sky: Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women Worldwide is a four-hour television series for PBS and international broadcast, shot in 10 countries: Cambodia, Kenya, India, Sierra Leone, Somaliland, Vietnam, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Liberia and the U.S. Inspired by Nicholas Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn’s book, the documentary series introduces women and girls who are living under some of the most difficult circumstances imaginable â€” and fighting bravely to change them. Traveling with intrepid reporter Nicholas Kristof and A-list celebrity advocates America Ferrera, Diane Lane, Eva Mendes, Meg Ryan, Gabrielle Union and Olivia Wilde, the film reflects viable and sustainable options for empowerment and offers an actionable blueprint for transformation.”
Thanks Jen, great addition – can’t wait to see the movie and read the book!
Thanks! So true, I even got my little sister to watch it. I hope all young men and women have the chance to see it and get some more media literacy education.
I’ve only seen Miss Representation but I was actually disappointed in its complete lack of discussion about race. It looks like Makers will be the same way. Yes, MissRep features some women of color in the film itself, but it completely disregards race as an issue, let alone acknowledging how important of an issue it is within the women’s movement and feminism itself.
Thanks for bringing that up Scarlett, very true. It’s a good intro to media literacy but it doesn’t do enough and it doesn’t cover nearly all the inequalities and biases the media.
If there’s any films you know that do a better job of that, and especially of addressing race in feminism, please let me know!