Learn about the legacies that courageous, daring, and bold women have left on history with these women’s history movies for kids and teens.
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Women’s History Month Movies for Kids
The amazing true story of Helen Keller, a girl unable to speak, hear, and see after experiencing a period of illness during her childhood. With the help of her teacher, Annie Sullivan, Helen begins to flourish. The Miracle Worker is a sweet story both kids and adults can enjoy.
After discovering she has a gift for the game of chess, a Ugandan girl’s life is changed forever. This Disney film can be slow at times (it’s about chess after all) but is a great family movie with valuable lessons.
In order to protest unfair working conditions and wages, a single mom helps to organize a union in the cotton mill in which she works. Although reluctant to join the efforts at first, she soon realizes that there is great power in numbers.
Soul Surfer is an incredible movie about a 13-year-old girl who loses her arm in a shark attack. Despite the loss, Bethany went to become a champion surfer whose story has inspired millions. This is her inspiring documentary.
Katherine Johnson, often referred to as a “human computer”, overcame countless gender and racial barriers to help NASA get a man on the moon and beat the Soviets in the Space Race. This is a great choice for family movie night and will encourage children to work to achieve even those “impossible” dreams.
Six-year-old Ruby Bridges was the first Black girl to attend a public school during the 1960s. Despite facing pervasive racism, Ruby persevered and is an excellent role model for youth today. It’s a sweet movie about a brave young girl. Grab the Movie Guide Here.
Women’s History Month Movies for Tweens/Teens
In 1921, Bessie Coleman became the first female African-American pilot. She was also the first black person to earn an international pilot’s license. During her short lifetime, Bessie earned several nicknames, including “Brave Bessie.”
Irena Sendler was a Polish Catholic social worker who rescued 2,500 Jewish children in the Warsaw Ghetto during WWII. Incredibly, she and all of the children she saved survived the war. Although this film is rated PG, parent previewing is suggested because of a mild torture scene. Grab The Courageous Heart of Irena Sendler Movie Study
The story of a courageous woman who, along with her family, sheltered Jews in their upstairs closet during WWII. Even after facing torture, abuse, and imprisonment, Corrie held fast to her faith and refused to give in to despair. Grab The Hiding Place Movie Study
This film is based on the book of the same name, the published diary of a Jewish teenager hiding in a hidden room from Nazi soldiers. Her observations of the happenings outside her window and musings about humanity will both move and inspire you. Historical movies for kids relating to the Holocaust can be tough to find, but Anne Frank’s story can be a gentle introduction to the subject.
The story of Misty Copeland, the first Black principal dancer of the American Ballet Theatre, who overcame racial prejudices and difficult circumstances to take to the stage in pointe shoes.
During the years of WWII, sports teams emptied themselves of many of their players who were otherwise engaged fighting overseas. In response, the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League was formed. This league would last for just over a decade and proved that baseball wasn’t a sport reserved just for men. Although this movie itself tells a fictional story, the women who played and the League are entirely historical.
Pofessor of Holocaust studies Deborah Lipstadt wrote a book about Holocaust deniers. When one of the men featured in her book, David Irving, sues her for libel, Deborah must prove the Holocaust existed and that Irving is a liar. It’s a great introduction to the differences between the American and British legal systems. While the movie doesn’t have much objectionable content, it’s a tough topic dealt with appropriately.
Aviatrix Amelia Earhart was an American pilot who worked hard to overcome gender bias in her chosen career and search for adventure. In 1937, she made a courageous attempt to fly all the way around the world and disappeared into a cloud of legend and mystery.
The remarkable true story of Harriet Tubman, perhaps the most famous Underground Railroad conductor. This heart-pounding story has some profanity and violence, but nothing too graphic. It is recommended for ages 10+. Grab the Harriet Movie Guide.
Loosely based on the true story of Joy Mangano, Joy is a rags-to-riches story of a divorced mom who grows a business enterprise. It’s more fiction than fact, but is still an entertaining film with great lessons on facing challenges. Grab the Joy Movie Guide
This movie depicts the beginning of the suffragette movement in England in 1912, following a group of women who fearlessly fought for the right to vote. It does not water down the brutality suffered by the women leading the charge for equal rights. For this reason, parent previewing is suggested.
While walking to school one morning, teenager Malala was viciously attacked by Taliban soldiers. She was not silenced, however, and today has become one of the loudest voices advocating for the right to education for all people in all places.
You’ve heard of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and Malcom X, two of the Civil Rights Movement’s most prominent faces. But you might not have heard as much about Dr. Betty Shabazz or Coretta Scott King, their wives. These two women were also on the frontlines of the fight for racial justice, and after their husbands were killed they had to find a way to continue on and keep the legacy alive.
Dr. Temple Grandin, now renowned Colorado State University professor and animal behavior consultant, was once just known as ‘the girl with autism’. This movie tells the story of her life and the challenges she faced growing up in a society without much patience for anyone that didn’t match the mold. Not only does this movie give a glimpse into the workings of the autistic mind, we also learn about the amazing advances to understanding animal behavior that we owe to Dr. Grandin.
Meryl Streep plays the great Margaret Thatcher, who was the first and only female Prime Minister of England.
The story of the first all-female car racing team in the Middle East. Despite facing gender bias and barriers while competing in the male-dominated field of racing, these women rose to the challenge and kept their eyes on the road and their feet on the gas pedal. Also provides a look at life for women living in the West Bank.
Hidden in Silence is the true story of a courageous Polish teenager and her 8-year-old sister who hid 13 Jews in their attic for 2.5 years. Their courage and bravery will inspire and uplift the whole family.
Selena tells the uplifting story of Selena Quintanilla-Perez, famous Tejano singing superstar, whose career was cut short when she was killed just 16 days before her 24th birthday.
Missionary Gladys Aylward
Women’s History Month Documentaries for Students
I have not seen this documentary, but it’s rated PG-13. The documentary follows the stories of 9 girls and shows the power of education in a girl’s life especially.
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The above might prompt the question: why are girls frequently less educated than men in developing countries? Often, lack of menstrual products is a strong factor. This short Netflix documentary tells the story of a group of women in India fighting taboos and stigmas around menstruation, along with providing options for women and girls. It’s a great documentary for tweens and teens with plenty of room for discussion. (Another video about the pervasive misogyny and sexism in India is Jubilee’s video about acid attack survivors. It is very sad, but an important watch.)