Updated On: November 06, 2023 by   Omnia Essawy   Omnia Essawy  

International Women’s Day serves as a great reminder of the global movement for gender parity. It is an occasion to celebrate women’s advances in society while also recognising that advancements are still needed across all fronts before true equality can be reached. This year, why not mark this special occasion by watching some of the most significant feminist movies ever made? 

From powerful biopics such as ‘Erin Brockovich’ and ‘Hidden Figures’ to more recent releases like ‘She Said’ and ‘Women Talking’, there are plenty of amazing options out there for you to enjoy! Whether it’s a feel-good story about female empowerment or a gripping thriller with fantastic performances from talented actresses, these films offer insight into the female struggle for social justice whilst celebrating outstanding achievements. So, sit back with your popcorn & take part in marking International Women’s Day 2023.

But first, let us talk more about why we all should be celebrating International Women’s Day.

The Importance of International Women’s Day

International Women’s Day (8 March) is a global observance designed to honour the extraordinary accomplishments of women throughout history and across nations. It serves as both recognition for progress made towards gender equality while at the same time recognising that much work still needs to be done in order to achieve true parity among the sexes. This day also calls on all people to take action toward achieving greater gender equity. 

The mission of this celebration has always been clear: celebrate powerful women around us by uplifting their achievements without discrimination based upon any differences within society, such as nationality, ethnicity, or language barriers. Economic disparities or political affiliations should not hinder honouring courageous ladies who have become role models globally! 

Some of the best examples of these courageous ladies are seen in movies, telling real-life stories lived by inspiring women or fictional ones created to drive inspiration to the hearts of young aspiring women. So, it is only a fitting way of celebrating to watch some of these feminist films to help remind us all of what a strong woman can do when she puts her mind to something. Here are our top 10 picks!

1. Hidden Figures (2016)

In honour of International Women’s Day, let us celebrate the remarkable and inspiring story of Hidden Figures. This movie recounts the incredible true tale of three African American women who played a vital role at NASA during its formative years. By displaying immense intelligence, strength in character, and unwavering determination to break boundaries regardless of race or gender – these pioneering figures provided lasting hope for female empowerment within science & technology fields for generations to come!

Hidden Figures shines a spotlight on the remarkable female pioneers who have made invaluable contributions to society – despite facing sexism and racism. This timely story serves as an inspiring reminder that feminism does not only focus on gender equality but is also about standing against all forms of prejudice for true progress. As we commemorate International Women’s Day today, let us recognise these extraordinary women whose courage has shaped our history and continues to empower current generations around the world!

Starring: Taraji P. Henson, Octavia Spencer, Janelle Monáe, Kevin Costner, Kirsten Dunst, and Glen Powell. 

2. Promising Young Woman (2020)

Promising Young Woman is a powerful feminist thriller that explores the disturbing realities of rape culture in America with raw emotion and grit. This powerful film follows an equally powerful young woman named Cassie as she seeks retribution for her best friend, who committed suicide after falling victim to the brutal crime of rape. Viewers are invited into this story of resilience as Cassie challenges those who have wronged her late friend, all without sacrificing any part of herself along the way.

Promising Young Woman is a groundbreaking feminist film from first-time director Emerald Fennell, taking on societal norms and the serious issue of rape culture with boldness. It asks tough questions about how women are viewed in society today while also celebrating female strength and resilience. With its fresh perspective that challenges us to confront uncomfortable truths about misogyny, this movie deserves every ounce of praise for bringing an important yet often ignored story into the spotlight.

Starring: Carey Mulligan, Bo Burnham, Alison Brie, Clancy Brown, Chris Lowell, Jennifer Coolidge, and Molly Shannon.

3. Suffragette (2015)

Through Suffragette, audiences are taken on a riveting journey of the struggle for equality in Britain at the start of the 1900s. This absorbing drama provides an insight into hard-fought battles and aspirations that ultimately led to women achieving equal voting rights with men. Audiences are invited to experience the inspiring story of a group of courageous women from all walks of life determined to join forces in the difficult battle for equality. Through determination, bravery, and resilience, these brave women challenge police brutality, imprisonment, and forced feeding in order to secure their vital right to vote!

Suffragette is a powerful lesson in the power of united action. Through its portrayal of struggle and sacrifice, it provides an inspiring reminder that we must continue to fight for gender equality even today, as progress isn’t made without determined effort.

Starring: Carey Mulligan, Helena Bonham Carter, Brendan Gleeson, and Meryl Streep.

4. North Country (2005)

This International Women’s Day, let us celebrate the powerful feminist gem that is North Country. Directed by Niki Caro and released in 2005, this movie shines a light on female resilience when up against sexism and discrimination in male-dominated industries. It follows women who work at an iron mine in Northern Minnesota as they take a stand for their rights to be treated with respect amidst workplace injustice. A true testament to how determination can lead to justice!

Oscar-winning actress Charlize Theron delivers an outstanding and emotive performance as Josey Aimes, a single mom in the midst of a fight for justice. The film’s powerful narrative shines a light on pervasive themes such as gender inequality, sexual harassment, and workplace discrimination that still exist today. It serves not only to raise awareness but also to remind audiences of the courage it takes to stand up against injustice, especially when popular opinion is going against you. 

Starring: Charlize Theron, Frances McDormand, Sean Bean, Woody Harrelson, and Sissy Spacek.

5. Battle of the Sexes (2017)

International Women’s Day is an ideal opportunity to recognise the empowering impulses of the movie Battle of the Sexes. The film sheds light on a true story from 1973, in which Billie Jean King fought against male chauvinism by challenging Bobby Riggs in tennis, symbolising gender equality through sports. Emma Stone brilliantly portrays King’s determination and courage as she struggled for recognition and equal pay for female athletes during this era where women were not given due respect or value within sports circles.

The movie highlights Billie Jean King’s incredible fortitude as she faced off against Bobby Riggs on-court while also showcasing Riggs’s outdated sexist attitudes toward female athletes. The story of this film acts as a powerful reminder that progress towards equality is an ongoing battle with no end in sight, so in honour of this International Women’s Day, let us show our support for those fighting inequality, on and off the court.

Starring: Emma Stone, Steve Carell, Andrea Riseborough, Sarah Silverman, Bill Pullman, Alan Cumming, Eric Christian Olsen, and Elisabeth Shue.

6. She Said (2022)

As we celebrate International Women’s Day, it is vital to recognise the far-reaching consequences of feminist cinema such as She Said. Through its reenactment of Jodi Kantor and Megan Twohey’s steadfast investigative journalism into Harvey Weinstein’s history of sexual misconduct, this film drives home two prominent messages – firstly, that there needs to be greater accountability when it comes to preventing and putting a stop towards all forms of systematic oppression in Hollywood, and secondly, how exemplifying bravery and unity can lead women everywhere on their quest for justice. The power displayed by both Kantor & Twohey serves as an inspirational reminder about what can be achieved through solidarity amongst us despite any seeming odds or difficulties along the way!

She Said is an inspiring testament to the vital role of collective mobilisation and solidarity in dismantling oppressive systems. The film proudly showcases stories from survivors, depicting significant cultural progress towards holding perpetrators accountable for their actions. It’s a powerful reminder that when we come together as allies through feminist activism, true gender equality can be achieved.

Starring: Carey Mulligan, Zoe Kazan, Patricia Clarkson, Andre Braugher, Jennifer Ehle, Samantha Morton, and Ashley Judd.

7. Women Talking (2022)

In lieu of International Women’s Day celebrations, let us honour the outstanding feminist vision of Women Talking. Director Sarah Polley has taken Miriam Toews’ novel and created a powerful exploration into female empowerment through defiance of patriarchy. Set in a remote Mennonite colony, this film follows several women as they meet clandestinely to discuss how best to respond after being subjected to rape by men within their community – revealing an emotionally charged journey that is both meaningful and thought-provoking.

Women Talking is an empowering exploration of female strength and resilience, challenging audiences to consider difficult questions about justice, morality, and power. This thought-provoking film centres on the conversations between women whose faith in their relationships with men has been shaken by a tragedy that has affected them all. Far from being formulaic or didactic, as some critics have suggested, this movie gives nuance to its characters while giving voice to important stories often neglected by mainstream cinema. It’s essential viewing for those seeking insight into how feminism can be depicted right now.

Starring: Rooney Mara, Claire Foy, Jessie Buckley, Judith Ivey, Ben Whishaw, and Frances McDormand. 

8. Wild (2014)

In the celebration of International Women’s Day, let us celebrate the feminist power of Wild. Adapted from a real-life story, it follows Cheryl Strayed on an amazing solo journey along the Pacific Crest Trail to recover from personal trauma and face inner demons. As she struggles against physical exhaustion and emotional fragility throughout her hike, Cheryl perseveres with remarkable resilience until ultimately discovering newfound courage within herself!

Wild is a powerful, female-centric story that celebrates resilience and determination. This movie highlights Cheryl’s multifaceted character traits to showcase the complexity of womanhood without relying on empty stereotypes for validation. Important themes like body positivity and sexual autonomy are also touched upon in this inspiring ode to women around the world who battle adversity with courage and grace every day.

Starring: Reese Witherspoon, Laura Dern, and Thomas Sadoski.

9. Roma (2018)

Alfonso Cuarón’s tour de force, Roma, tells a powerful story of love and resilience. Set in 1970s Mexico City, the film follows Cleo, an indefatigable domestic worker for a middle-class family who must overcome unexpected challenges such as single motherhood and heartbreak. Serving both to entertain and empower audiences around the world with its feminist portrayal of working-class women like Cleo’s struggles against oppression while striving to create better lives for themselves – this is one movie you shouldn’t miss!

Roma offers a powerful cinematic narrative focused on women’s labour, particularly from the perspective of Cleo, an Indigenous woman and domestic worker. Critically engaging with dominant ideologies regarding who gets to be portrayed as heroines in cinema, this Academy Award-winning film sheds light on often ignored issues faced by working-class women, such as mistreatment and abuse in the workplace. In doing so, it serves to remind audiences that feminism must move towards inclusion for all people regardless of their race or social class distinctions.

Starring: Yalitza Aparicio and Marina de Tavira.

10. Erin Brockovich (2000)

As we continue to celebrate all the great women in our lives, let us commemorate the inspiring story of Erin Brockovich. Her remarkable determination and passionate pursuit of justice paved the way to an extraordinary victory against a powerful corporation. The fictionalised film showcases how individual resilience can challenge corporate giants by shifting power from their hands back into those of ordinary citizens, proving that one person can make all the difference!

Erin Brockovich is an inspiring story of female leadership and solidarity. The film powerfully depicts the challenges faced by women in patriarchal societies, such as workplace discrimination and single motherhood, while demonstrating their immense potential to effect positive change when they stand firm against resistance from those in positions of power. Ultimately encouraging viewers everywhere with its message that real victories can be achieved through determination and collective action, this uplifting movie serves as a reminder for all about what amazing feats are possible when strong-willed women put their minds to something!

Starring: Julia Roberts, Albert Finney, and Aaron Eckhart.

International Women’s Day is a perfect time to celebrate the great progress that has been made in terms of women’s rights and empowerment while honouring and paying homage to all the great women we blessed with. So why not make it a month-long theme and use all your movie nights this March to watch one or more of these top 10 feminist movies? Not only will you get several enjoyable movie-watching experiences out of it, but you will also walk away with a message and a cause strong enough to last you till next year’s International Women’s Day! 

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