With International Women’s Day coming up on March 8th, now is the perfect time to kick back with a film or TV show that celebrates powerful women (as even the best of us need to relax).
This year, the theme of International Women’s Day is #pressforprogress, and while the day celebrates the achievements of women, it also pushes for further advances for women socially, economically, culturally and politically.
Whether you’re in the mood for a dose of female empowerment or want to delve deeper into the issues that women face both past and present, below find 14 films and shows that'll have you singing, 'who run the world?'
Thelma and Louise
An oldie, but a goodie. The unforgettable and hilarious story about the importance of women sticking together, and fighting against men who try to oppress them. Watch Geena Davis and Susan Sarandon star as badass women on the run in this road trip gone wrong.
Move over boys, it’s time for female superheroes to shine. Gal Gadot stars as Wonder Woman, the Amazonian princess Diana. Diana fights WWI German’s both on and off the battlefield, defying the societal expectations placed on her to be a secretary, rather than a kickass warrior. No illegal streaming needed, either, as Wonder Woman is available on Netflix now.
Travel back in time to witness the struggle of Women’s Suffrage in Early 20th Century Britain. A history lesson about the lengths and sacrifices women made in order to gain the basic right to vote, including their jobs, homes and even children.
Elle Woods makes it all the way to Harvard Law School, only because she wants to marry a guy who dumped her. But instead of getting the guy, she realises that what she really wants is to have a successful career. The perfect film which shows how women can succeed, even when they’re told that they can’t, if they have faith in themselves. You can catch Legally Blonde on Netflix in Australia.
Bend It Like Beckham
Jess just wants to play football, but her strict family won’t let her as women aren’t supposed to play sports. She begins playing in secret and proves that women in sport are absolutely kickass.
An award-winning film inspired by the real Erin Brockovich, an unemployed single mother, who takes on a powerful gas company who have poisoned the water supply of a whole community. She does this despite those who may think that she doesn’t have the qualifications, or the look, to be successful.
Mona Lisa Smile
Mona Lisa Smile focuses on Katherine Watson, played by Julia Roberts, who inspires the women of the all-female Wellesley College to think beyond walking down the aisle. Proving that women are able to make their own path outside of societal expectations.
Big Little Lies
This incredibly popular drama series, based on the novel by Australian author Liane Moriarty, follows the lives of three strong women. Featuring its own all-star cast of powerful women including Nicole Kidman, Reese Witherspoon and Shailene Woodley. Big Little Lies looks at women’s issues, including sexual assault, abusive relationships, and motherhood in the gripping HBO drama.
The Marvellous Mrs. Maisel
She had everything that a woman in the 1950’s could seemingly want, the perfect house and husband. But after her husband leaves her, Mrs Maisel finds solace and happiness in stand-up comedy, and her audiences find her hilarious. That isn’t to say that comedy isn’t without its struggles, with many opposing her sexual jokes (or a woman on stage at all).
The Bold Type
Ultimate girl power comes when women work together. This ten part show centres around Jane, Kat and Sutton, young women who work at a women’s magazine. Inspired by the real-life powerhouse Joanna Coles, previous editor of Cosmopolitan.
The Handmaid's Tale
If you haven’t watch The Handmaid’s Tale, a powerful dystopian drama based on the 1985 Atwood novel of the same name, you need to. The show focusses on the ‘handmaid’ Offred, who along with scores of other women, are forced into childbearing roles. Atwood’s story serves as a warning of the realities of a world we may live in if we don’t stand against the oppression of women.
Many superheros are one dimensional characters, combatting evil and calling it a day. Jessica Jones is not one of those heroes. Suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder from an abusive relationship with the series’ villain Kilgrave, Jones wants to do good, but isn’t interested in saving the world.
From the Orange is the New Black team, GLOW- or the Gorgeous Ladies of Wrestling, follows Ruth Wilder (Alison Brie) and a team of twelve other women in a women’s professional wrestling circuit. A hilarious ten-part series on Netflix.
Orange is the New Black
Netflix’s original powerhouse show showcasing the complicated lives of women in prison. OITNB features a dynamo collection of inspirational women, while simultaneously exploring the issues of sexuality, race, abuse and more. It’s hilarious and as uplifting as it is sole wrenching.