8 Women’s Rights Documentaries to Watch on Netflix

Photo credit: India’s Daughter.

Storytelling through film — a combination of human interest stories, compelling visuals and an emotional narrative — is becoming increasingly popular among those advocating for human rights, due to its success in putting injustice under a spotlight and giving a platform to those who are usually silenced.

At The Circle, one of our four key goals is to amplify the voices of women and girls, so they can tell their story and we can learn about the issues that they face.

From illegal abortions and the women’s liberation movement in the 60s, to first-hand accounts of girls who have been trafficked, we have selected the top women’s rights documentaries available on Netflix that highlight these issues and provide a much-needed voice to the women of the world.

1. Finding Home, 2014

finding home

Photo credit: Finding Home.

Telling the stories of three brave Cambodian women who were victims of sex trafficking at a young age, Finding Home highlights the difficulties and complexities of learning how to deal with life after horrific abuse by slave owners.

If you’re interested in helping children who have been trafficked, please consider donating to our project to stop child trafficking in Nepal.

2. The Testimony, 2015


Photo credit: The Testimony.

Chronicling the largest rape trial in Congo’s history, The Testimony takes an unprecedented glimpse into the lives of women standing up and fighting for justice against the soldiers accused of a brutal rampage on their own citizens. A truly moving, yet short, film on the unbreakable strength of the human spirit.

3.Born into Brothels, 2004

born into brothels

Photo credit: Born into Brothels.

This Oscar-winning documentary follows the lives of poverty-stricken children born to prostitutes in Calcutta’s worst slums. Given the opportunity to take up photography and document their own lives, the young boys and girls excel in the face of adversity.

4.India’s Daughter, 2015


Photo credit: India’s Daughter.

This haunting but incredibly important documentary recounts the brutal gang rape of medical student Jyoti Singh in 2012 and how, in its wake, the people of India took a stand to start changing the country’s attitudes and laws on gender-based violence.

Our Brave New World project is raising awareness about gender-based violence in rural communities in Chhattisgarh and Odisha, India, and is setting up shelters for women who have survived domestic violence. Click here to learn more about the project

5. #chicagoGirl: The social network takes on a dictator, 2013


Photo credit: #chicagoGirl.

Running an entire Syrian revolution from her bedroom in Chicago, 19-year-old Ala’a Basatneh is an inspiration to everyone wanting to help make a difference in the world. Armed with Facebook, Twitter, Skype and camera phones, she helps her friends on the ground in Syria show the world the human rights atrocities of a dictator, by arranging protests, sending videos to news organisations and smuggling in vital supplies to those in her social network.

6. The True Cost, 2015

true cost 2

Photo credit: The True Cost.

Insightful and heartbreaking, this film looks at the price workers around the world have to pay in order to keep the cost of clothing down. Including footage of the Rana Plaza collapse which killed 1,129 people in 2013, the groundbreaking documentary unravels the unseen world of the fast fashion industry.

The Lawyers Circle recently published Fashion Focus: The Fundamental Right to a Living Wage. This cutting-edge report sets out the arguments to defend the living wage as a fundamental right, and the duties of companies and governments to uphold this right. Please click here to find out more and donate.

7. The Vessel, 2014

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Photo credit: The Vessel.

Horrified by the realities created by anti-abortion laws around the world, activist and doctor Rebecca Gomperts set sail with her project, Women on Waves, to provide legal abortions in offshore waters to those in need. Beginning as a flawed spectacle faced with governmental, religious and military blockades, the doctor transformed what seemed an impossible task into a global movement.

8. She’s Beautiful When She’s Angry, 2014

she's beautiful when she's angry

Photo credit: She’s Beautiful When She’s Angry.

Focusing on the women’s liberation movement from 1966 to 1971, the film recounts the stories of women who fought for their own equality and in the process, created a world-wide revolution. Covering topics such as unequal pay, sexual harassment, domestic violence and reproductive rights, it’s an important story that will still resonate for women today.