“Because She Watched” collection celebrates the power of storytelling this International Women’s Day

Netflix and UN Women has launched “Because She Watched” – a special Netflix collection of series, documentaries, and films to celebrate International Women’s Day. The collection, which will be available all year, is curated by female creators from behind and in front of the camera – including Sophia Loren, Janet Mock, Salma Hayek, Yalitza Aparicio, Millie Bobby Brown, Laurie Nunn, Lana Condor, Petra Costa and Ava DuVernay. 

“This collaboration is about taking on the challenge of telling women’s stories and showing women in all their diversity. It’s about making visible the invisible, and proving that only by fully representing and including women on screen, behind-the-camera and in our narratives overall, society will truly flourish,” said Anita Bhatia, UN Women Deputy Executive Director. 

Created for International Women’s Day, whose official theme this year is “I am Generation Equality: Realizing Women’s Rights,” the collection celebrates the stories that have inspired the women who inspire us. These series, films and documentaries – Unbelievable, Luna Nera and Followers to Orange Is the New Black, Lionheart and Sex Education – have started important, often hard, conversations that have helped to challenge the way we see the world. 

“Having a world where everyone is truly represented is about true democracy. And truly seeing ourselves allows us to envision endless possibilities for ourselves and each other”, said actress Laverne Cox. “Orange Is the New Black is the first project where I felt genuinely empowered as a woman thanks to the woman at the helm of the show, Jenji Kohan, and the many women directors, writers, producers, and crew members as well as the stories that centered diverse women in an unprecedented way. This show created a space and platform for me as a black openly trans woman that created space for other openly trans women of all races to be truly seen in the depth of our humanity”.

The collection is available at Netflix.com/BecauseSheWatched – or by searching “Because She Watched” on Netflix. Every title in the collection will be labeled “XXXX’s Women’s Day Pick” so members can easily see who picked which story. In addition, members will be able to choose from a selection of “Because She Watched” profile icons to celebrate their favorite female characters from the collection. 

“TV and film have the power to reflect and shape popular culture, which is why we believe it’s so important that more people see their lives reflected in storytelling”, said Dr. Stacy L. Smith, Founder of the USC Annenberg Inclusion Initiative. “Our research has shown that inclusion behind the camera leads to greater inclusion on screen. We’re encouraged that last year, 20% of the directors of Netflix original films were women and we are excited to celebrate these female creators on International Women’s Day. There’s still more to do to reach equality, but by recognizing female talent from around the world, we hope more women will feel encouraged to tell their stories, pushing that number even higher.” 

UN Women and Netflix’s partnership in support of the  Generation Equality campaign comes on the twenty-fifth anniversary of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action, recognized as a visionary agenda for women’s rights. We hope that it will spread the message that realizing women’s rights means putting women front and center to achieve gender equality.

Please find the women who curated the Because She Watched collection below: 

Alejandra Azcárate  (Colombia) – Vis a Vis

Alice Wu  (United States) – Frances Ha

Andrea Barata Ribeiro  (Brazil) – Sex Education

Anna Winger  (Germany) – Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt

Ava DuVernay  (United States) – A Wrinkle in Time

Barbara Lopez  (Mexico) – Scandal 

Beren Saat  (Turkey) – Bird Box

Bruna Mascarenhas  (Brazil) – Quien Te Cantará

Cecilia Suárez  (Mexico) –  Marriage Story

Chris Nee  (United States) – Orange is the New Black

Christian Serratos  (United States) – The Goop Lab 

Cindy Bishop  (Thailand) – Anne with an E

Elena Fortes  (Mexico) – Atlantique 

Esther Acebo  (Spain) – Chef’s Table: Bo Songvisava 

Fadily Camara  (France) – How to Get Away with Murder

Fanny Herrero  (France) – Je Parle Toute Seule

Fatimah Abu Bakar  (Malaysia) – Babies

Francesca Comencini  (Italy) – What Happened, Miss Simone?

Giovanna Ewbank  (Brazil) – The Most Beautiful Thing

Hanna Ardéhn  (Sweden) – Silence of the Lambs

Hazar Erguclu  (Turkey) – House of Cards

Hend Sabry  (Egypt) – Joan Didion: The Center Will Not Hold

Ida Elise Broch  (Norway) – RuPaul’s Drag Race

Janet Mock  (United States) – Paris Is Burning

Joyce Cheng  (Hong Kong) – Queer Eye

Juliana Vicente  (Brazil) – When They See Us

Kemi Adetiba  (Nigeria) – King of Boys 

Kiara Advani  (India) – Lust Stories

Lali Espósito  (Argentina) – Notting Hill

Lana Condor  (United States) – Grace and Frankie

Lauren Morelli  (United States) – Julie & Julia

Laurie Nunn  (England) – The Keepers

Laverne Cox  (United States) – A Call to Courage

Liz Garbus  (United States) – She’s Gotta Have It

Logan Browning  (United States) – Someone Great 

Lynn Fainchtein  (Mexico) – 2001: Space Odyssey

Marcela Benjumea  (Colombia) – Dead to Me

Mercedes Morán  (Argentina) – Aquarius

Mika Ninagawa  (Japan) – In the Realm of the Senses

Millie Bobby Brown  (United Kingdom) – Miss Americana

Mina El Hammani  (Spain) – ¿Qué Co#o Está Pasando?

Mindy Kaling  (United States) – Chewing Gum

Mira Lesmana  (Indonesia) – ROMA

Mithila Palkar  (India) – Hannah Gadsby’s Nanette

Nahnatchka Khan (United States) – Young Adult

Ngô Thanh Vân  (Vietnam) – Wonder Woman

Nosipho Dumisa  (South Africa) – Gravity 

Pathy Dejesus  (Brazil) – Raising Dion

Paulina Garcia  (Chile) – Deux Jours, Une Nuit

Petra Costa  (Brazil) – Feminists: What Were They Thinking?

Salma Hayek  (Mexico) – Unbelievable

Sandi Tan  (Singapore) – Russian Doll

Shefali Shah  (India) – Delhi Crime

Sophia Loren  (Italy) – The Crown

Yalitza Aparicio  (Mexico) – Knock Down the House