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13 Films About Women’s History to Watch in 2023: Netflix, Prime Video & Hulu

With the core movement in women’s liberation stripped right from under us after the overturn of Roe v. Wade in June of 2022, I felt compelled to go back to the root of it all and ask myself the question: How did we get here?

While I’m still uncovering the long-winded answer to that question, I’ve since been doing my best to get informed about the women’s movement over the past 50 years. I do not take lightly my access to education and information. In focusing on women’s literature amidst achieving my master’s degree in English, I’ve been awarded the opportunity to analyze some of the most impactful women in writing history from Toni Morrison, Betty Friedan, Audre Lorde, Bell Hooks, Gloria Steinem, Kate Millett, and beyond.

But reading the books stopped feeling like enough. So, I went down a rabbit hole of documentaries, shows, and movies produced in the past 10 years available to me on my streaming platforms that I felt were relevant to potentially expand my knowledge of women’s history since the women’s liberation movement.

I must say that in my research of this type of content, I met the imbalance between the representation of women of color in the women’s movement versus that of the wealthy, white woman. While I idolize the likes of Jane Fonda and Bella Azbug, I would have appreciated more contemporary films depicting the likes of Shirley Chisholm and Angela Davis and other influential Black and Indigenous women of that era. I felt I had to dig much deeper to find resources about these narratives and believe it needs to be noted. However, I did find some valuable films, especially “In Our Mothers’ Gardens.”

While I remain on this cinematic journey, I’m sharing 13 of the films I’ve watched thus far, organized by their streaming platform. I encourage you to do your own research, too, making use of the access you have to education in your corner of the world.


Mrs. America

2020 - Hulu fictional series based on true events

Mrs. America is a miniseries that follows some of the most prominent women of the 70s era including Shirley Chisholm, Gloria Steinem, and Betty Friedan as they fight for the ratification of the Equal Rights Amendment in efforts to secure equality for women. The show also tells the story of Phyllis Schlafly, a conservative political activist who opposed the movement, believing that women were fundamentally different from men. Not only does the show do well to depict the internal divisions of the feminist movement during that era, but it sheds light on its key players.


Abortion: Stories Women Tell

2020 - HBO documentary on Hulu

The strength of this documentary is in giving a voice to choice. Zoning in on the abortion debate in the state of Missouri—which has one of the toughest abortion laws—you’ll hear from abortion providers, clinical staff members, activists, and women who have had unplanned pregnancies share their views on abortion, giving a face to the issue from both sides. It also includes the perspective of a Planned Parenthood in Illinois to amplify the ethical complexities of the abortion issue.


She’s Beautiful When She’s Angry

2014 - Prime Video documentary film

The second wave of feminism is recounted in this documentary, showcasing some of the bold women who paved the way for the modern women’s movement from 1966-1971. With plenty of raw, historic footage, the film features the roadblocks and accomplishments of the movement and the women who advanced it. The material highlights the founding of the National Organization of Women (NOW) and the ways in which the movement impacted (whether positively or negatively) the needs of BIPOC and the LGBTQ+ community.


The Glorias

2020 - Prime Video fictional movie based on true events

This biopic of Gloria Steinem time hops between her childhood growing up in 1940s Ohio and the journey of her essential role in women’s liberation, highlighting the human behind the activist. You’ll go through her founding and launching Ms. Magazine and her involvement in the ERA movement. In telling the story from two points in time, you have the ability to see that despite 50 years, Gloria’s fight is still relevant and necessary.


Feminists: What Were They Thinking?

2018 - Netflix documentary film

Between Bella Abzug, Jane Fonda, Florynce Kennedy, Lily Tomlin, and Laurie Anderson, this documentary is jam-packed with some candid interviews by influential women of the movement. Openly discussing identity, race, motherhood, and abortion, the film is centered around a 1977 book of feminist portraits by Cynthia MacAdams called “Emergence.” Women from the book reflect on the snapshot in time, as well as calling out our current culture’s need to continue pushing for progress.


Reversing Roe

2018 - Netflix documentary film

This documentary’s primary focus is to show the political agenda to overturn Roe v. Wade, discussing women’s reproductive rights throughout history leading to that moment. We hear riveting interviews from healthcare professionals offering abortion care in states with harsh reproductive laws, informing us of the public health issue caused by illegal abortions. It argues that individual liberty and choice are the essence of pro-life and offers a straightforward approach with eye-opening revelations to illuminate the topic.


Period. End of Sentence.

2018 - Netflix documentary short film

The stigma of menstruation is deeply rooted. Through the women of a rural Indian village near Delhi, this film passes the mic to those confronting the stigma head-on, finding ways to empower the women of their village. The documentary shows that without access to menstrual health hygiene education and products, women’s health issues arise, and opportunities for women lessen as they miss school and struggle to maintain work. Its rousing content highlights how the installation of a menstrual pad system offers women in the remote village a chance to take control of their menstruation, presenting the power of agency.


Seeing Allred

2018 - Netflix documentary film

This film will inform you about one of the most polarizing public figures and women’s rights attorneys, Gloria Allred, as she finds herself defending women against the likes of Donald Trump and Bill Cosby. Representing victims of sexual crimes and inequity, the documentary gives sight to the complexities of feminism over the decades. It reminds us that the revolutions and progressions of the movement are still not enough, and sexual abuse will continue to remain in the limelight until we see more systemic change.


9 to 5: The Story of a Movement

2019 - Netflix documentary film

Dolly Parton’s hit song “9 to 5” is so much more than a catchy, well-acclaimed track by an incredible songwriter. This documentary takes us back to the Boston-based movement that inspired the song and sheds light on a forgotten story of women’s efforts for equality in the workplace. The 9 to 5 movement was started by a group of Boston secretaries who fought for better pay, improved working conditions, and an end to sexual harassment. Dolly, Jane Fonda, and Lily Tomlin went on to turn this into a movie, 9 to 5, offering a fictional depiction of the movement.


What the F* Is Going on?

2019 - Netflix documentary film

Discussing the effects of gender inequality, this Spanish documentary looks into modern feminism across the country through a series of interviews with the very women who are directly impacted by the disparity. It, unfortunately, shows how little is being done to move toward the equality of men and women in Spain, and the battles women must fight to accomplish their goals despite struggles and an imbalance of power that’s against them.


Self Made: Inspired by the Life of Madam C.J. Walker

2020 - Netflix miniseries based on true events

Madam C.J. Walker was the first female self-made millionaire in America. This miniseries tells the story of the bold entrepreneur who broke boundaries and overcame intense adversity as she pioneered specialized hair products for Black women. Go through her failed relationships, racist and sexist discrimination in her personal life, and her journey to trailblazing a business of a lifetime. It speaks to self-sufficiency, autonomy awareness, and immense perseverance as a woman’s toolbelt to forging through the complexities of life.

I feel inclined to note the magnitude of what it means to have a Black woman holding such a monumental title despite very little recognition for her accomplishment. Walker should not be a forgotten story, yet despite receiving a public education for 18 years and achieving two college degrees, I can’t help but wonder why Walker has never been at the forefront of any academic lesson I’ve had (even with regard to Black history). I could add that the miniseries was only four episodes, and I believe viewers deserved more of Walker’s story.


In Our Mothers’ Gardens

2021 - Netflix documentary film

The core of this documentary is the vulnerable, honest spotlight it gives to the generational journey between Black mothers and daughters. The film goes into the ancestry of the women interviewed and highlighted, using a pristine storytelling structure to carry the narratives through. We hear from women like Tarana Burke, the #MeToo founder, and Brittney Cooper, professor and feminist researcher. With consistent touches of humor and outpouring love, there are strong discussions about the impact of generational trauma due to racism and sexism, along with showing how much Black women are expected to care for others while struggling to find self-love.


The Martha Mitchell Effect

2022 - Netflix documentary film

Though the term “gaslighting” has only been made popular in recent years, the psychological manipulation women have experienced to force them into submission and silence has been a primary depiction of systemic patriarchal misogyny for hundreds of years. If you’ve ever read Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s short story, “The Yellow Wallpaper,” or Sylvia Plath’s nonfiction work The Bell Jar, you know women have been trying to tell this story for decades. The Martha Mitchell Effect tells it again, on a political scale, amidst one of American history’s greatest controversies, the Watergate scandal. Mitchell’s attempt to whistleblow details about the scandal led her down a road of abuse, manipulation, and mistreatment by Nixon’s administration. They drugged her with the goal of diminishing her sanity, gaslighting her for being outspoken.

If you have more accessible films you feel belong on this list, I’d love for you to share them with me. Send an email to with the subject title “Films about Women’s History” and offer me your recommendations.


Christine Weimer is an award-winning author, publisher, creative copywriter, and spoken-word artist from Queens, New York. She is honing all the guts and glory of motherhood while promoting and supporting women writers as the Editor-in-Chief of Our Galaxy Publishing. Christine is the author of three poetry collections; Tainted Lionheart, which won the Gold Medal Poetry Award for Readers’ Favorite 2021, I Got to Know Nature, and Claiming the Throne. She is a contributing writer for Her View from Home whose most recent work is published in The Order of Us and Venus Rising anthologies along with Sunflower Station Press literary magazine. She is also the Publishing Advisor for Gearing Towards Engineering Foundation, a nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting the importance of STEM education to today's youth.

Our Galaxy Publishing is a New York City-based, women-owned, and operated independent press with a nationwide team serving aspiring authors the tools to write and publish. Our seamless publishing experience focuses on action-based tools and resources to publish, exploration of all core storytelling elements, and empowering an entrepreneurial mindset. Whether seeking to self-publish a book or find a traditional publisher, work with us for book publishing, book editing, book marketing, and writing mentorship to publish a successful book.

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