Resources & 7 Inspiring Movies to Celebrate Women for International Women’s Day 2021

Girl boxing for International Women's Day

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.

Theresa Malkiel (circa 1910)

Theresa Malkiel (circa 1910)

These days International Women’s Day (IWD) is a United Nations sanctioned global celebration of women. It falls on March 8 every year, and in many parts of the world it’s an official holiday.

Depending on where you are in the world, IWD might be an acknowledgement 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.

In this article you’ll find:

2021 IWD Themes

The United Nations theme for IWD in 2021 is “Women in leadership: Achieving an equal future in a COVID-19 world”. The goal is to showcase the impact that women (and girls) worldwide have had during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The theme for 2021 at is #ChoosetoChallenge. The goal is to stay alert, because from challenge comes change. Let’s choose to call out gender bias, discrimination and stereotypes – and seek out and celebrate women’s achievements.

A Beautiful, Inspiring Quote to Share on Social Media

Amanda Gorman Woman Quote

Click to see and save larger quote image to share on Social Media

Inspired by Amanda Gorman (US National Youth Poet Laureate) reciting her poem at the 2021 Presidential Inauguration on CNN I did a little more research. And I found a video of her speaking at a women’s conference. She said:

“Where there’s a will, there’s a woman. And where there’s a woman, there is always a way.”

So I turned it into a beautiful quote we can all share on Social Media for International Women’s Day.

Use one (or all) of these hashtags: #IWD2021, #ChooseToChallenge, #WomensDay, #InternationalWomensDay and #SeeHer.

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

With COVID few of us will be able to gather (never mind go on a march!), but you could celebrate IWD by choosing to watch a movie that highlights women’s achievements – and struggles.

Why not watch with your partner, children (sons and daughters!), or have an “online watch party” with friends?

Here are 7 Great Movies to Watch that Celebrate Real Women’s Achievements

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.

  1. Frida (2002) – Salma Hayek plays artist Frida Kahlo (famous for her parties – and her ‘monobrow’), in this biographic movie showing (among other things) her tempestuous marriage, affairs and how she turned her pain into art.
  2. Suffragette (2015) – a historical drama, set in London follows the early members of the Women’s Social and Political Union (these were working women not the gentility) and how they shifted from peaceful protest to breaking the law and facing violence to achieve the vote for women .
  3. The Glorias (2020) – a Netflix biopic and movie that reviews Gloria Steinem’s life, the causes she embraces, the prejudice she experienced and how she became the woman we know today. (I did find having the different aged “Glorias” interacting with each other a little odd, but still really enjoyed the movie!)
  4. On the Basis of Sex (2018) – a movie about Ruth Bade Ginsburg which looks at her struggles for equal rights, and the early cases of a historic career that resulted in her nomination and confirmation as U.S. Supreme Court Associate Justice.
  5. Erin Brockovich (2000) – Julia Roberts plays an unemployed single mom who brings a California power company accused of polluting a city’s water supply to account for their actions.
  6. Hidden Figures (2018) – Following a team of female African-American mathematicians who served a vital role in NASA during the early years of America’s space program.
  7. Harriet (2019) – a movie about Harriet Tubman, her escape from slavery and how her courage, ingenuity and determination helped free hundreds of slaves and changed the course of history.

And a few other options for inspiring watching:

  1. What would Sophia Loren Do? (2021) This gentle, short and unexciting Netflix documentary (32 mins) takes a look at one woman’s life and her very personal admiration of Sophia Loren. This may be just the “nice” easy watch you need to relax and regain some faith in humanity. See the trailer on IMDb here.
  2. The Color Purple (1985) Based on the wonderful Alice Walker’s book, I love this movie which follows a young black woman’s hard life and struggle to find her identity in the early 1900s (even if they did change the ending and play down the relationship between Shug and Celie). Starring Oprah and Whoopi Goldberg (among many others).
  3. Being Serena (2018) – a 5 Episode Serena Williams docuseries. “Luck has nothing to do with it, because I have spent many, many hours, countless hours, on the court working for my one moment in time, not knowing when it would come.” Serena Williams
  4. RBG (2018) – A well reviewed documentary about – and featuring lots of – Ruth Bader Ginsburg. See the trailer on IMDb here.
  5. Watch the short video of Amanda Gorman (US National Youth Poet Laureate) reciting her poem at the 2021 Presidential Inauguration on CNN here >>
And a few questions 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 “Choose to Challenge” for this year’s International Women’s Day:

  • What women’s achievements can you name from history?
  • How do you seek out and celebrate women’s achievements today?
  • What could you do to own your own achievements as a woman?
  • What do you think the priorities are for women going forwards? What do you think we should focus on to make the world a fairer place for women?
  • What do you do when you notice gender bias, discrimination or stereotypes? What could or will you do next time?
  • What are you doing to celebrate International Women’s Day?

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

Wrap-upFierce Kindness Logo

While there have been huge steps forward, the last few years – the #MeToo movement and more – have shown us that women still have a way to go to achieve equality and gender parity. And around the world, many of our fellow women in less industrialised countries are still suffering brutality, forced marriage and much, much more.

I am not free while any woman is unfree, even when her shackles are very different from my own. Audre Lorde

A thought to leave you with: We’re very lucky because – if you’re reading this – you’re likely also free. Which means when we see sexism and misogyny we can speak up without life threatening consequences. When I think about it like that, what’s a little embarrassment for saying what’s on our minds?

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

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

Image of Girl with boxing Gloves for International Women’s Day by Just dance via Shutterstock


    • Emma-Louise Elsey

      Dear Melody, so glad you and your group loved and found these resources helpful <3 🙂 Warmly, Emma-Louise


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