March 8 was International Women’s Day, but we think every day should be international women’s day. And a great way to celebrate is to get involved with and share #feminist art! Here’s your round up of recommendations from our staff and supporters of books, movies, TV shows, and podcasts, that act as a megaphone for women’s rights. Enjoy – and if you have any top tips then send them our way.
Know My Name: A Memoir by Chanel Miller USA)
In 2015, Chanel Miller was sexually assaulted by Brock Turner at Stanford University. For four years she was public ally known as “Emily Doe” and “unconscious woman,” now she wants the world to know her name and her story. In this devastating and immersive memoir we live though her sexual assault and its aftermath with her, witnessing the wealth gap in sentencing rapists and the belittling of women’s experiences.
Our Women on the Ground: Essays by Arab Women Reporting from the Arab World by Zahra Hankir (Middle East)
A growing number of Arab and Middle Eastern female journalists are working tirelessly to shape nuanced narratives about their changing homelands, often risking their lives on the front lines of war. From sexual harassment on the streets of Cairo to the difficulty of traveling without a male relative in Yemen, their challenges are unique. Nineteen of these women tell us their daring and heartfelt stories, shattering stereotypes about the region’s women and providing an urgently needed perspective on a part of the world that is frequently misunderstood.
Garden of the Lost and Abandoned: The Extraordinary Story of One Ordinary Woman and the Children She Saves by Jessica Yu (Uganda)
At least 5,000 children live on the streets of Uganda’s capital city of Kampala. Some forget the names of their villages and do not know the names of their parents. But Gladys Kalibbala—part journalist, part detective, part Good Samaritan—does not hesitate to dive into difficult or even dangerous situations to aid a child. Jessica Yu delivers an acutely observed story of this hard nosed and warmhearted woman, the children she helps, and the twists of fate they experience together, chronicling one woman’s altruism, both ordinary and extraordinary, in a way that is impossible to forget, and impossible not to take to heart.
Our Bodies, Their Battlefield: What War Does to Women by Christina Lamb (Global)
Christina Lamb has worked in war and combat zones for over thirty years, giving voice to the women of conflicts, exposing how in today’s warfare, rape is used by armies, terrorists and militias as a weapon to humiliate, oppress and carry out ethnic cleansing. From Southeast Asia where ‘comfort women’ were enslaved by the Japanese during World War Two, to the Rwandan genocide, when an estimated quarter of a million women were raped, by speaking to survivors first-hand, Lamb uncovers incredible stories of heroism and resistance.
Sitara: Let Girls Dream (Pakistan)
This animated short film is set in 1970s Pakistan and tells the story of fourteen year old Pari who dreams of being a pilot. Her dreams are destroyed when her father plans to marry her off to a much older man. Produced by our partner Chime For Change as part of their Let Girls Dream campaign to end child marriage, Sitara is an accessible film that brings much needed awareness to the millions of young girls who still face child marriage today.
Set in 1970s Mexico City, this black and white film follows the lives of two strong women, as they navigate through the political and domestic turmoil of the time. Both of the men in their life abandon them, so they must provide and care for their children on their own. The theme that men leave and women survive is central to their stories, painting a strong parallel to everyday situations that women face globally, even today.
Because She Watched: Netflix Collection (Global)
Netflix and UN Women launched this collection of films, documentaries and series, in honor of Women’s History Month. The collection, which will be available all year, is curated by female creators from behind and in front of the camera, including Sophia Loren, Salma Hayek, Yalitza Aparicio, Millie Bobby Brown, Laurie Nunn, Lana Condor, Petra Costa and Ava DuVernay. “This collaboration is about taking on the challenge of telling women’s stories and showing women in all their diversity. It’s about making visible the invisible, and proving that only by fully representing and including women on screen, behind-the-camera and in our narratives overall, society will truly flourish,” said Anita Bhatia, UN Women Deputy Executive Director.
Black-ish: Femminis’t (Season 6 Episode 3) (USA)
The recent installment of black-ish explores the complexity of intersectional feminism. In this episode, Bow becomes aware that her all-white group of fellow activists may not quite represent an inclusive point of view, prompting her to create a more inclusive group. Meanwhile Dre gets a crash course in Feminism by his sons. Overall the message in this episode is how important it is to understand that the ways race, gender, and other factors, such as sexual orientation or class, intersect can only serve to enhance, rather than impede, the impact of feminism as a whole.
In the first HBO Asia and Hulu Japan collaboration comes this bold and feminist interpretation of Sherlock Holmes. It’s the first major series to cast both Sherlock and Watson as females. The series retains the essential qualities of Sherlock Holmes, as the investigators employ insightful observation and reasoning skills in their new incarnation as strong women. Miss Sherlock is extended the rare courtesy that male characters frequently enjoy: to be a character that is eccentric, quirky, a touch arrogant, and has no time for nonsense.
Fundamental Docuseries (Pakistan, Kenya, Brazil, Georgia, USA)
In the Fundamental docuseries, we meet powerful women who are standing up for our fundamental human rights across the globe. The series profiles a distinct set of remarkable grassroots and community leaders working on issues from ending child marriage in Pakistan to pursuing LGBTQI+ liberation in Georgia. These incredible leaders are at the front lines of fighting for gender justice, and mobilizing to write new futures for themselves, their societies, and the world.
Encyclopedia Womannica (Global)
Thinking back to their history classes growing up, the hosts of this podcast had one question: Where are the ladies at? In just 5 minutes a day, learn about different incredible women from around the world throughout history. This Wonder Media Network production is centered around three different themes: “warriors,” “leaders,” and “beautiful minds,” and is telling the stories of women you may or may not know, but definitely should.
Latina to Latina (Latin America)
Hosted by Alicia Menendez, this podcast is an interview series that talks with remarkable Latin American women about success, failure, and everything in between. Each episode is almost always hilarious, but, beneath it all, revealing and empowering. Menendez talks with her guests about the challenges of being women of color, and how they have managed to thrive in the end.
Do you have any suggestions for us to share next month? Please send them to us, we’d love to hear from you!