International Women’s Day 2022 | 8 Inspiring Movies to Watch & much more!

Happy women friends


In this article you’ll find:

A Little International Women’s Day (IWD) History

Theresa Malkiel (circa 1910)

Theresa Malkiel (circa 1910)

According to Wikipedia the first Women’s Day observance—a “National Women’s Day” was in February 1909 in New York, USA. It was organized by the Socialist Party of America – and was the idea of a suffragist, workers activist and proponent of adult education for women: Theresa Malkiel. Ukranian born, she started as a factory worker and eventually became a leader within the Socialist party.

Considered so important, The United Nations adopted International Women’s Day in 1975. It occurs on March 8 every year, and in many parts of the world it’s an official holiday. Also, depending on where you are in the world, IWD might be an acknowledgement and celebration of historical—and more recent—achievements by women. And/or it might be an ongoing movement to ensure that women are seen and treated as equals.

According to

International Women’s Day is a global day celebrating the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women. The day also marks a call to action for accelerating gender parity.

2022 IWD Themes

  • The United Nations theme for IWD in 2022 is “Gender equality today for a sustainable tomorrow.” The goal is to celebrate girls and women who are “leading the charge toward a more sustainable future, and climate change response efforts.”
  • The theme for 2022 at is #BreakTheBias.The goal is to create a gender equal world, free of bias, stereotypes and discrimination. A world that is diverse, equitable, and inclusive. A world where difference is valued and celebrated.
    • Whether deliberate or unconscious, bias makes it difficult for women to move ahead. Knowing that bias exists isn’t enough, action is needed to level the playing field. Together we can we can break the bias in our communities, in our workplaces and in our schools, colleges and universities.

IWD at Fierce Kindness in 2022

International Women’s Day is an annual reminder that we still have a way to go to achieve gender equality, and that we all play a part. This year’s #BreakTheBias theme has inspired me to learn even more about diversity and inclusivity, and to consider what I can do to be part of the solution—both personally and in my work.

I had planned to read and comment on We Should All Be Feminists by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie (but it hasn’t arrived as I write this!). In this book, adapted from her much-admired TEDx talk of the same name—Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie (award-winning author of Americanah) gives us an updated definition of feminism for the twenty-first century—rooted in inclusion—and what it means to be a woman in this day and age. I’m excited to read it!

I have also chosen quotes and movies that have a diverse representation of womanhood.

Here are 5 Inspiring Quotes for International Women’s Day 2022

Click each quote graphics below to get/save a larger version of each quote to share!

Then use one (or all) of these hashtags: #IWD2022, #BreakTheBias, #WomensDay, #InternationalWomensDay and #SeeHer.

  1. Every time you stand up for yourself, you are healing the wound for all of the women in your lineage who were silenced. Elizabeth Su
  2. Every woman’s success should be an inspiration to another. We’re strongest when we cheer each other on. Serena Williams
  3. Fill your life with women that empower you… Women that believe in each other can survive anything. Nikita Gill
  4. I think realizing that you’re not alone, that you are standing with millions of your sisters around the world is vital. Malala Yousafzai
  5. Do not live someone else’s life and someone else’s idea of what womanhood is. Womanhood is you. Viola Davis

Elizabeth-Su Quote

Serena-Williams Quote

Nikita-Gill Quote

Malala-Yousafzai Quote

Viola Davis Quote

So, what will you do for International Women’s Day this year?

The pandemic is loosening its grip, and some of us will be able to gather this year for International Women’s Day. One thing you could do is watch a movie all together—especially one that highlights women’s achievements—and/or struggles. You can also watch with your partner, children (sons and daughters!).

Still can’t gather in person? Have an “online watch party” with friends.

Here are 8 Great Movies to Watch

These movies are based on real women’s lives (with the exception of Suffragette) – feisty women who made a difference. The links below take you to IMDb (Internet Movie Database) so you can read up more about the movie.

These 5 Movies Celebrate “Real” Women’s Achievements

  1. Respect (2021). Jennifer Hudson plays Aretha Franklin in this biopic of her life. I learned many things about Aretha (some surprising and shocking) and the time she lived in. For example did you know she knew Martin Luther King and would sing before the marches? Please Note: Aretha had a tough childhood and this movie has some adult themes, so I wouldn’t recommend for younger children.
  2. Padmaavat (2018). Set in medieval Rajasthan, this movie is based around the legend (epic poem) of Padmaavat who was married to a King until an obsessive Sultan falls in love with her. It is a gorgeously shot and costumed movie, and won many awards. Be aware this is a LONG movie (2h 44min) and you will also need subtitles (unless you speak Hindi). I watched this movie as a girls night movie, and we all loved it. It speaks to women’s strength and endurance, and thankfully, how far we have come. There are also some fascinating cultural differences to “Western” countries as the women remain covered up, but the men—not so much…
  3. P!nk: All I Know So Far (2021). This documentary follows P!nk in her life leading up to her first ever Wembley Stadium performance in 2019.
  4. Mary J Blige’s My Life (2021). This documentary celebrates the 25th anniversary of her seminal 2nd album (1994) My Life. This movie is also about her journey from “the projects” to the very top of the music industry. In this movie she is open and honest about her life challenges and struggles with men, .
  5. Persepolis (2007). Set in the 1970s and 80s, this animated (but serious) movie follows an Iranian girl as she grows up and speaks up during the Islamic revolution. Based on a graphic novel.

Here are 3 more “Girl Power” Movies

  1. Gunpowder Milkshake (2021). First, you need to know this movie is violent. However it is also funny, and in places, tender. It’s a Quentin Tarantino-esque movie where the women fight large—and win. It is somewhat comic-book like, and yes, the violence is problematic (we don’t achieve equality through being equally strong/violent!), but if you like shoot ’em up movies and want to watch women in charge for a change, then this may be for you.
  2. Promising Young Woman (2020 ). This is a black comedy and thriller. It is powerful, and thought-provoking, as Cassie Thomas seeks vengeance for a sexual assault, after the perpetrator was referred to as a “Promising Young Man” and what a shame it would be if his future was ruined…
  3. If you haven’t seen it (or even if you have and need a refresher), for something light and funny, try Legally Blonde from 2001, where Reese Witherspoon triumphs over men who underestimate her in the legal world (and always seems to be wearing pink!). Just because we look girly doesn’t mean we’re stupid…

Lastly, an interesting documentary

  1. Subjects of Desire (2021). This link takes you direct to where you can watch it free online. Based around the “Miss Black America” pageant (set up in ‘opposition’ to the Miss America pageant which in the beginning insisted that you had to be white to enter) this thought-provoking documentary explores notions of beauty and how they (and we) are manipulated by the media. According to IMDb “Subjects of Desire is a culturally significant, thought-provoking documentary that ultimately deconstructs what we understand about race and the power behind the beauty.”

For even more ideas, see my 2021 Movie Suggestions here >>


Questions for you to “Go Deeper” this International Women’s Day

Whether to ask yourself, discuss with your children, loved ones, colleagues or friends, here are a few powerful questions on the theme of #BreakTheBias for this year’s International Women’s Day:

Celebrating Women

  • Which aspects of IWD most interest you? ie. celebrating women’s achievements, highlighting remaining issues, the 2022 themes around sustainability and diversity or something else?
  • What women’s achievements can you name from history?
  • How do you seek out and celebrate women’s achievements today?
  • If you are a woman, what could you do to own your own achievements?
  • What do you think we should focus on to make the world a fairer place for women?

IWD 2022

  • What are you doing to celebrate International Women’s Day this year?
  • How will you use this year’s IWD to shift how you think about women?
    • If you are a woman, how will you use IWD to shift what you think and feel about womanhood?

Considering Bias and Prejudice

  • What are your limiting beliefs and prejudices around women?
    • If you are a woman, consider what prejudices or limiting beliefs might you have around women & beauty, skin colour, size, age, education, ability, roles etc.
  • What do you do when you notice gender bias, discrimination or stereotypes?
  • Are you willing to actively call out gender bias, discrimination and stereotyping each time you see it? If not, why not?

Don’t worry about what you should do, worry about what you can do. Gloria Steinem

Wrap-upFierce Kindness Logo

While we continue to make steps forward, we know we still have a way to go to achieve equality and gender parity.

This year’s IWD invites us to consider that not all women are treated equally. It has been shown time and time again, that women of colour face more discrimination, and are especially under-represented where it matters for our society—in politics and places of power. In addition, our fellow women in less industrialised countries are still disrespected, disempowered and many experience ongoing brutality.

So when we see sexism, racism and other forms of prejudice, remember that (if you’re reading this, it’s likely) you can speak up without life threatening consequences. What’s a little embarrassment for calling out bias, discrimination and prejudice?

I’ll leave you with a quote to ponder—yes, a man on IWD 😉

Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter. Martin Luther King, Jr.

If you liked this International Women’s Day article, you may also like:

Image of Happy Women Friends for International Women’s Day by Rido via Shutterstock

Image of Theresa Malkiel by Unknown via Marxists Internet Archive Photo Gallery

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