Every month we will share a movie top 5 for Global citizens. All featured movies are available on Netflix. Each month we will feature another topic. This month’s top 5 is all about gender equality & women empowerment. Unlike with any other top 5, the order of the movies is completely random. We leave the ranking to you.
Based on the book by Waris Dirie, the movie takes you along on a journey of a girl. Starting in the nomad community of rural Somalia, and ending as a world-famous fashion model and human rights ambassador for the United Nations. Dirie, who was born in Somalia, fled her community to escape child marriage. The movie depicts the harsh realities of growing up as a girl in the desert of Somalia and the struggle to adapt, after seeking refuge in London. Despite the serious topics of child marriage, poverty, female genital mutilation and social exclusion, the movie is easy to watch and holds all the characteristics of a feel-good story. It gives the viewer the opportunity to witness the difficulties that come with adapting to a new culture, as well as the perseverance needed to succeed.
The Invisible War
This investigative documentary addresses the problem of sexual assault in the United States military and the lack of action taken to prevent it. A combination of interviews with survivors, politicians and army officials, explore the long history ánd current situation around the defense force’s rape culture. Even though, the numbers show that today a female soldier is more likely to be raped by a fellow soldier than to be killed by enemy fire, many of these cases are covered up. The Invisible War and the movement behind it aim to make this problem visual and fight for legislative change. The movie does an excellent job at showing that gender inequality is not merely an issue of the developing world.
IRIS is a documentary about the 94-year-old New York fashion icon Iris Apfel and not your typical women empowerment document. It has not been produced with the theme of equality in mind. It’s a hang-out session with the extravagant lady. Showing the viewer just enough to stay interested but not nearly enough to get to know IRIS. Nevertheless, it is an interesting statement of gender equality. Nowadays feminism seems to be a label of responsibility pinned on men more often than on women. The mere fact of IRIS not seeing herself as a feminist and perceiving the gender gap as a hoax shows the importance of perception from women. When you are good at what you do.. demand to be treated equally. IRIS does this with so much flair and obviousness that we decided to feature her in this watch list anyway.
Girl Rising is not your average documentary. It is an introduction to 9 girls from 9 developing countries, formulated by 9 writers and narrated by 9 well-known actresses. Each story is presented in its own unique way using mixed-media.
Every girl faces her own challenges varying from arranged marriages, child slavery, no access to education and so on. But each girl proofs to be resilient in her own way.
Besides introducing the viewer to these inspiring girls, the film also allows us to gain an understanding of the living conditions of girls in the developing world. These girls might be inspiring, but they are ordinary girls, facing ordinary local challenges. The film provides the viewer with information on the impact of girl-empowerment and equal access to education on global development and wellbeing. In-between these 9 stories, actor Liam Neeson informs the viewer of the numbers and facts related to these ‘ordinary’ problems.
The production of Girl Rising is part of a global campaign for girls’ education initiated by a number of NGO’s, businesses and individuals. The goal of the campaign is to raise awareness of the importance of equal education for global development.
Statistics show that Pakistan is the third most dangerous country for women in the world, after the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Afghanistan. Even though Saving Face lifts the tip of the veil on a very dark topic, the Oscar-winning documentary manages to be a film of perseverance and strength.
Directors Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy and Daniel Junge succeed in not only showing the brutality of acid attacks against women in Pakistan but also the collision of two worlds in one nation. On the one hand, there are men, brought up with the notion of honour being linked to the ‘good’ behaviour or obedience of women. As, on the other hand, there are two women, a plastic surgeon, a lawyer and member of parliament who find honour in human rights, justice and the uprise of equality.
The film has an impressive way of portraying a single subject from different perspectives in such a short time (the movie is only 40 min). It’s a film that shows a glimpse of the strength of individuals and what they can accomplish when working together.