10 Books & Movies for International Women’s Day

Laura Blog - Book and glasses - 10 Books & Movies for International Women's Day
Credit: nessylove/Unsplash

Note: Some of the movies and books discussed deal with sensitive subject matter.

International Women’s Day is an important day for many reasons. Not only is it a time to celebrate women’s achievements, it’s also dedicated to recognizing women who have changed the world. It’s the strong female figures throughout history who empowered women like Laura Wolstein, the founder of Laura Canada, to make a mark that would last for generations.

To honour remarkable women everywhere, we’ve put together a list of movies and books that highlight women and their powerful contributions to women’s rights.

Pop culture icon Rosie the Riveter said it best: We can do it!


1. Battle of the Sexes
Directed by Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Faris, starring Emma Stone and Steve Carell

Laura Blog - Battle of the Sexes - Movies for International Women's Day
Credit: IMDb

In 1973, Billie Jean King is the number 1 tennis player in the world. Driven by the fact that she makes only 10% of what male tennis players earn, she fights for equality and respect on the court. In response, Bobby Riggs, the former tennis world champion, challenges her to a match now known as the most watched sports event of all time.

Watch the trailer | Rent on iTunes

2. The Color Purple
Directed by Steven Spielberg, starring Danny Glover, Whoopi Goldberg and Oprah Winfrey

Laura Blog - The Color Purple - Movies for International Women's Day
Credit: IMDb

Set between 1909 and 1949, The Color Purple tells the story of a young black woman named Celie in the Southern United States. After surviving years of child abuse, she tries to rebuild her life, but ends up in an abusive arranged marriage. She finds the strength to leave and start her life over. Now on her own, she works as a seamstress to support herself in a society that is still hostile toward racial minorities.

Watch the trailer | Rent on iTunes

3. Gulîstan, Land of Roses
Directed by Zaynê Akyol

Laura Blog - Gulîstan, Land of Roses - Movies for International Women's Day
Credit: IMDb

In the armed ranks of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party, the female rebels are united by their shared vision of freedom. Despite the danger they face, they fight relentlessly to defend their territory and defeat ISIS. Gulîstan, Land of Roses offers a look into the lives of these women while uncovering their roles in the highly publicized war.

Watch the trailer | Rent on the ONF website

4. Suffragette
Directed by Sarah Gavron, starring Carey Mulligan, Helena Bonham Carter and Meryl Streep

Laura Blog - Suffragette - Movies for International Women's Day
Credit: IMDb

It’s the beginning of the 20th century and women in the United Kingdom are rallying in large numbers to demand the right to vote. Among the protestors is a laundry worker, Maud, who is one of the newest suffragette recruits. The peaceful protests do not spark change, so the movement begins to radicalize quickly. The activists will risk everything in their struggle for equality.

Watch the trailer | Rent on iTunes

5. Vera Drake
Directed by Mike Leigh, starring Imelda Staunton and Phil Davis

Laura Blog - Vera Drake - Movies for International Women's Day
Credit: AlloCiné

London, 1950. When Vera isn’t at her sick mother’s bedside or lending a hand to her neighbours, she’s providing young women with illegal abortions for unwanted pregnancies. Her and her family’s world is turned upside down when unforeseen medical complications pique the interest of British authorities.

Watch the trailer | Rent on iTunes


1. Caliban and the Witch: Women, the Body and Primitive Accumulation
Written by Silvia Federici

Laura Blog - Caliban and the Witch, Silvia Federici - Books for International Women's Day
Credit: Google Books

In Caliban and the Witch, Silvia Federici explores the transition period between feudalism—succeeding a system based on slavery—and capitalism that leads to the oppression of women. During this time, their most important role in society is reproduction and this comes at a traumatizing cost.

Available at Indigo

2. The Break
Written by Katherena Vermette

Laura Blog - The Break, Katherena Vermette - Books for International Women's Day
Credit: House of Anansi Press

In Winnipeg’s North End, a community is shaken by the assault of a young Indigenous girl, Emily. People directly and indirectly connected to her share their accounts of what happened that night. The Break is a harrowing story about a family and a circle of friends that are now more connected than ever.

Available at Indigo

3. We Should All Be Feminists
Written by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

Laura Blog - We Should All Be Feminists, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie - Books for International Women's Day
Credit: Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie humorously shares her definition of feminism by highlighting unnoticed discrimination in day-to-day life. Through anecdotes about her experience living in Nigeria and now in the United States, Adichie demonstrates how gender inequalities affect everyone—including men.

Available at Indigo

4. Black Feminist Thought
Written by Patricia Hill Collins

Laura Blog - Black Feminist Thought, Patricia Hill Collins - Books for International Women's Day
Credit: Amazon

Black Feminist Thought sheds light on the African-American experience while advocating for a more inclusive idea of feminism. Inspired by the perspectives of anti-racism activists, this essay discusses the contributions black women have made to feminist ideas. Patricia Hill Collins explores oppression and resistance in fiction, poetry, politics, and sociology.

Available at Indigo

5. Fed Up: Emotional Labor, Women and the Way Forward
Written by Gemma Hartley

Laura Blog - Fed Up, Gemma Hartley - Books for International Women's Day
Credit: Amazon

Gemma Hartley believes a woman’s work is never done. Women take on the thankless emotional labour of keeping everyone around them happy at home and in the workplace. It’s draining and ultimately fuels gender inequality. Discover insights from Hartley’s on-the-ground reporting and personal stories to find out how to strike a better balance in all aspects of life.

Available at Indigo

Wishing you happy reading, happy viewing and of course, happy International Women’s Day!


Adapted from French by Kylee Ross


Written by Jessica Paquin

Whenever anyone in Jessica’s entourage needs fashion advice, they go straight to her. As an active feminist, (fighting for women and not against men) Jessica is also known for being involved in her community. A self-proclaimed part-time geek, she’s an expert in dad jokes—a talent she was graced with through genetics—loves Japanese animated films, and is obsessed with adorable animal videos.

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