By Tahiat Mahboob

To mark International Women's Day on March 8, watch eight inspiring documentaries that challenge stereotypes and redefine what it means to be a woman.

HERStory in Black

HERstory in Black gathered 150 women for a photo shoot to celebrate their life experiences and achievements. Eight of these women tell their inspiring stories and how they are making a difference in their communities​.

On the documentary Channel.

Shelina Stand Up!

This aspiring comedian uses stand up to shatter stereotypes and build bridges between communities.  Watch Shelina take centre stage and shatter stereotypes about what people think it means to be a Muslim woman in this 13-minute short documentary.

On CBC Short Docs.


Perfect dives beyond the sequins and mascara as it follows the Canadian synchronised swimming team through the most gruelling year of their lives. Behind these swimmers’ grace of movement lies a fierce competitiveness. “You should be a little bit afraid of us. We’re coming from behind, and we’re going to get you.”

On CBC Firsthand.

One Leg In, One Leg Out

After a decade as a sex worker, Iman takes the first step towards becoming a social worker. “Never say never, because you never know where you’re going to end up next.”

On CBC Short Docs.

Marilyn Monroe

Stories from the life of the screen icon, told through her most personal possessions including her glamorous dresses, private photographs, and intimate handwritten notes. Beneath her sex bomb façade we get to know a clever, imaginative self-made woman who came from nowhere and used everything she had to get ahead.

On The Passionate Eye.


JJ Neepin is a female Indigenous filmmaker who, with the help of photographer Nadya Kwandibens, plans to recreate her great-grandfather’s portrait, wearing a traditional headdress. In this journey, she explores the literal and symbolic weight of this symbol of leadership and what it means to see it reduced to a costume in popular culture. Headdress is the start of an ongoing conversation about tradition and cultural appropriation.

On CBC Short Docs.

Last Woman Standing

Follow world champion boxers and former friends, Ariane Fortin and Mary Spencer, as they fight for their Olympic dream in London 2012 — a dream that could only belong to one.

On the documentary Channel.

Mommy Wildest

Lions, elephants, and baboons: Three sisterhoods of the savannah, where the mothers rule, and the daughters inherit the wilderness.

On The Nature of Things.