40 Movies For Women To Make Them Feel Proud and Empowered

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Abhishek Biju Nair

Abhishek Biju Nair

2 months ago|11 min read

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‘Women empowerment’ is a universal issue. But what is women empowerment? Women empowerment is used to inspire and celebrate women. It gives women the right and power to make their own decisions and also to resist discrimination imposed by the male-dominated society.

Empowering Movies for Women
Empowering Movies for Women

Women in today’s society have endured numerous struggles to fight for equality for decades; some struggles that we aren’t even aware of. But movies have played a huge role in bringing those struggles right in front of us through the big screens. Some of them are real-life struggles too. Most of today’s movies are a representation of modern women taking on the world.

Movies with a female lead always tell an inspiring story, which leaves a positive influence on young women. So here’s a list of 40 empowering Movies For Women To Make Them Feel Proud and Empowered that you should watch. Every movie is about women overcoming obstacles in their life and also encouraging the young ones to do the same!

1. Set it off

To start the list is a 1996 American crime action film which is the story about four black women who rob banks in Los Angeles. Directed by F. Gary Gary, the film stars Jada Pinkett, Queen Latifah, Vivica A. Fox and Kimberly Elise. The movie mainly focuses on the emotions of African-American women, living in poverty, face daily.  

2. The First Wives Club

Based on the novel of the same name by Olivia Goldsmith, the movie tells the story of three best friends who are all abandoned by their husbands for younger women. Starring Diane Keaton, Goldie Hawn, and Bette Midler; More than taking revenge, the film is about all of them sticking together to help each other with their relationships which embraces their bond!

3. Fried Green Tomatoes

The movie is about a housewife who is inspired to change by the stories told to her by an old woman in a nursing home. One of the most empowering movies for women, Fried Green Tomatoes is a comedy-drama directed by Jon Avnet, which represents many gender issues, including stereotypes of females and African-Americans as well.  

4. Brave

Brave is an animated movie produced by Pixar Animation Studio, which tells the story of chaos-causing princess Merida, who then takes the responsibility of saving her kingdom. The movie did a great job by portraying a princess as the lead role.

5. Miss Congeniality

Directed by Donald Petrie, the story is about an F.B.I. agent who must go undercover in a beauty pageant competition to prevent a group from bombing the event. Starring Sandra Bullock, the movie is funny and opened the eyes of audiences’ to the pageant world

6. Queen of Katwe

Next up in this list of empowering movies for women To Make Them Feel Proud and Empowered is the true story of Phiona Mutesi, who started playing chess to get out of a slum where one has to pay bribes to do a task. Directed by Mira Nair and written by William Wheeler, the movie is a celebration of chess, life, and woman and is a must-watch!

7. Wild

Wild is a true story of a woman, who goes on a thousand-mile solo hike to recover from a personal tragedy. Directed by Jean-Marc Vallee, the film stars Reese Witherspoon. The movie captures a young woman, going against all odds on a journey that strengthens her! You should watch it because it’s inspiring!

8. The Devil Wears Prada

Based on the novel of the same name, this movie is about a young journalist, who finds a job at a famous fashion magazine. Although she’s a journalist, she ends up as an assistant to the head of the magazine. Starring Anne Hathaway in the lead role, the movie promotes feminism in different ways.

9. Mona Lisa Smile

Taking place in 1953, the movie is about the everyday lives of schoolgirls at Wellesley college. The main character of the movie is Katherine Ann Watson, played by Jula Roberts. The movie is an inspiring story that conveys a message; Like men, women should also be given the freedom to chase and make their dreams come true.

10. G.I Jane

Starring Demi Moore, the movie is about a woman who attempts to be the first woman in the US Navy special unit. Directed by Ridley Scott, the movie is one of the best empowering movies for women!

11. The Blind Side

The movie is about the life of Michael Oher, who is a homeless black teen and is taken in by a married couple who becomes his legal guardian, transforming his and their lives. Directed by John Lee Hancock and starring Sandra Bullock and Quinton Aaron in lead roles, the movie is also about a woman who fought all odds to bring a child to her family and provide him a better life.

12. Legally Blonde

Directed by Robert Luketic and starring Resse Witherspoon in the lead role, the movie is a comedy film with tells the story of a girl, after getting dumped by her boyfriend, she follows him into law school and then figures out that she’s more than her looks. The movie exposed the idea of looks can’t determine who you are as a person.

13. The Runaways

The movie is a biographical film of the first popular all-girl band to hit America in 1974, ‘The Runaways’. Directed by Floria Sigismondi, the movie stars Kristen Stewart, Dakota Fanning, Stella Maeve,  and Scout Taylor-Compton in lead roles. The film shows the strength of a young woman and how they prove that rock’n’roll is not just for boys!

14. She’s Beautiful When She’s Angry

This documentary gave us a summary of the Feminist movement from 1966 to 1971. Directed by Mary Dore, it was the first documentary film to cover feminism’s second wave! 

15. Under The Tuscan Sun

A story about a woman who goes into depression after she finds out her husband was cheating on her. To get her out of it, her best friend asks her to take a trip to Italy. She then buys a villa in Tuscany to change her life. Directed by Audrey Wells and starring Diane Lane the movie highlights the issues faced by the many women across the world. When they realize that they’re not happy with their relationship, it takes great courage to move on from it and start a new life.

16. A League of Their Own

Directed by Penny Marshall, the movie is about a woman’s baseball league that played during World War II. It tells the story of two sisters and how their relationship is affected when one becomes a star and one is still searching for attention. The movie highlighted a point of history when women were finally allowed to play baseball on a national level.

17. The Secret Life of Bees

This is the story of a 14-year old girl, who is haunted by the memory of her late mother. To escape from the troubled relationship with her father, she runs away with her caregiver to South Carolina. Directed by Gina Prince-Bythewood, the movie is adapted from the novel of the same name. The movie is sweet and sentimental.

18. The Help

Directed by Tate Taylor, the movie is based on a novel written by Kathryn Stockett of the same name. The film is about a writer, who writes a book on the African-American maids and the hardships they go through daily, working for white families. It portrays the struggles of African-American women fight for their rights during the civil rights movement in the 1960s

19. Hidden Figures

Next up on this list, is an inspiring movie! ‘Hidden Figures’ is an incredible story of three African-American woman mathematicians who worked at NASA and overcame gender and race bias by being the brains behind one of the greatest operations in history. The movie takes place in the ’60s when women and African Americans were looked down upon. The film stars Taraji P. Henson, Octavia Spencer, and Janelle Monae in lead roles.

20. Iron Jawed Angels

The movie is about young activists, putting their lives at risk to help American women win the right to vote. Directed by Katja von Garnier, the film is about women activists Alice Paul and Lucy Burns and their struggles that made women’s freedom possible.

21. Frida

‘A movie about art that is a work of art in itself!’ Directed by Julie Taymor, the film is a true story of Frida Kahlo and her husband, who is Mexico’s most acclaimed artist. Starring Salma Hayek in the lead role, the movie shows us the feminist artist’s bravery and legacy that empowered generations of women!

22. Moana

Moana is a musical animated movie that features the voices of Auli’i Cravalho and Dwayne Johnson. The movie is about Moana who is on the verge of becoming the first female chief in the history of her tribe, but then circumstances changes and she sails on a mission to save her people. The film is about that girl power with a lot of belief, faith, hope, and strength!

23. The Sisterhood Of The Travelling Pants

Directed by Ken Kwapsis, the movie stars Blake Lively, America Ferrera, Alexis Bledel, and Amber Tamblyn in lead roles. After being together for many summers, the four girls go separate ways for few months. But no matter where they are, They are connected by a pair of jeans that they take turns sharing. The movie shows how the pants served as a medium for the sisterhood of four working women.

24. Bend It Like Beckham

Starring Parminder Nagra and Keira Knightley, the movie tells the story of two ambitious girls, despite their parent’s wishes, set to make a career in professional soccer. Directed by Gurinder Chadha, the movie is about friendship, acceptance, and passion where family traditions take a back seat. The movie is a must-watch!

25. Mulan

Mulan is an adventure movie produced by Walt Disney Pictures. The story is about a young girl who secretly takes his dads’ place in the army to save him from death and becomes one of China’s greatest heroines in the process. ‘Mulan’ tells women if they know their place, they can have it all!

26. Suffragette

Directed by Sarah Gavron, the movie explores the passion and heartbreak of those who risked all they had for women’s right to vote; their jobs, their homes, their children, and even their lives.

27. Erin Brockovich

Starring Julia Roberts, the movie is about the real-life story of Erin Brockovich, who, despite her lack of education in law, played a huge role in building a case against the Pacific Gas & Electric company in 1993. The film shows how a single mother takes on all-powerful forces and wins against all odds.

28. Roma

Written and directed by Alfonso Cuaron, it portrays a year in the life of a maid of a middle-class family. The film stars Yalitza Aparicio and Marina de Tavira and deals with the theme- the plight of poor, women domestic workers!

29. The Color Purple

Based on the novel of the same name by Alice Walker, the movie is about an uneducated African-American woman’s struggle for empowerment. Directed by Steven Spielberg, the movie was praised for its depth of female characters.  

30. Little Women

Little Women is a drama film written and directed by Greta Gerwig. The movie tells the story of the March sisters- four young women, each determined to live life on their terms. It is very inspirational and also has some great women empowering lines. You should watch it!

31. Mustang

Directed by Deniz Gamze Erguven, the film is set in a Turkish village, where five sisters become imprisoned in their own home, without any contact with the outside world, especially boys. Mustang did a great job by criticizing society for sexualizing everything women do. The sisterly bond they shared, gave them the strength to overcome the situation.

32. The Diary of a Teenage Girl

Directed by Marielle Heller, The Diary of a Teenage Girl is an audio diary of a girl which begins on her thirteenth birthday in 1942 and ends after her fifteenth in which she describes her girlhood experiences. The movie is a coming of age tale that delivers a strong message about sexual identity for both the young and those who remember being young.

33. Girlhood

Girlhood is a French drama written and directed by Celine Sciamma. The movie is about a girl who joins a gang and gains some self-confidence. But then after a while, she realizes that doesn’t make her any happier. It shows us the different perceptions of one black girl’s troubled journey.

34. Million Dollar Baby

Directed by Clint Eastwood and starring Hilary Swank and Morgan Freeman, Million Dollar Baby is the story of a female boxer who decides to go pro boxing in her early 30’s. The movie is inspirational and is groundbreaking in some aspects and also brings female professional boxing into the light.

35. Little Miss Sunshine

Directed by Jonathan Dayton, the film portrays the life of an American family and how their lives change on the road when they take their daughter to the Little Miss Sunshine beauty pageant. The movie is very funny and you should definitely watch it. 

36. Gone With The Wind

Next up on the list is a historical drama adapted from the novel of the same name by Margaret Mitchell. The film set in 1981, tells the story of Scarlett O’Hara who tries to stop her family plantation from destruction during the American Civil War. The most important element of this story is a strong female character.

37. Thelma and Louise

The movie is about two women; Thelma Dickinson and Louise Sawyer who are best friends and are bored with their lives. One day they decide to break out of their normal life and take a vacation together. The movie stars Geena Davis and Susan Sarandon in lead roles, the movie uplifts female liberation and remains at the top of feminist films that the younger generation should look up to!

38. Joy

Joy portrays a story of a girl who becomes the woman who founds the business dynasty of a family across four generations. Written and directed by David O. Russel, the movie stars Jennifer Lawrence as Joy Mangano. It’s the story of every woman, who is expected to look after her family. Her wings are cut off, burdening her with daily responsibilities. The film is uplifting at the same time is heartbreaking!  

39. Pitch Perfect

Pitch perfect is a musical-comedy directed by Jason Moore and stars Anna Kendrick with many others in lead roles. The movie is about an all-girl acapella group, who compete against other acapella groups to win Nationals. The central story is about how much they mean to one another and about female empowerment. If you’re a fan of college musicals, this movie is the right one for you!

40. Zero Dark Thirty

To end the list is a movie directed by Kathryn Bigelow and starring Jessica Chastain in the lead role. The movie is about a dedicated female operative that proves instrumental in locating Bin Laden after the 9/11 terror attacks.

The above list of movies shows that women have come a long way in every aspect including cinema! As we move forward, more women-centric movies will bring a revolution in our society because they’ve fought their way till here and they’re fearless. Such women, inspire other women to take up things in their own hands.

As we continue to fight for gender equality, this list of 40 empowering movies for women will make them feel proud and empowered and also set some examples for women of all backgrounds and also for those who deal with issues every day! 

These actors have put a huge amount of effort to do these inspirational movies, so the best thing you can do for them is to watch them and then urge people to watch them.

Also, if you liked this article or found it inspirational, make sure you share this with all the important ladies in your life so they’ll feel empowered and loved, every day they wake up!

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Abhishek Biju Nair

I grew up with immense love for Performing arts, Movies and Sports. I never thought that I could write an article. But life is worthwhile if you try! You never know what you’re capable of until you try. And then I tried writing for fun, and here I am!

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