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This Gender Equality Playlist opens your eyes to the global problem of gender inequality, in particular the impact of inequality on women. Basic human rights are denied to people all over the world, because of norms and prejudice based on gender. The women in these films have fewer economic opportunities than men and are refused basic rights, such as access to education, health care, police protection, and political representation. Viewers will witness both their daily struggles and the ways in which empowered girls and women contribute to the health and productivity of their families, communities, and countries. These girls and women constantly prove that against all odds, they will not only rise to any occasion, but display their strength in numbers and unique power within one’s self.

Access all of these following films by subscribing to SIMA Classroom.


SIMA Classroom A Way Forward


Many in the U.S. take the bicycle for granted. Not so for students like Diana and Angela in Kakamega, Kenya. These brave young women used to have to walk hours to and from school, dodging the predatory advances of motorcycle taxi drivers, and often arriving exhausted and terrified of the return journey. Now, thanks to the bicycles that they received from World Bicycle Relief, these hurdles have disappeared. A Way Forward tells Diana and Angela’s story through the voices of three generations of women working to empower the girls in Kakamega to pursue their dreams.

6 min
Languages: English

SIMA Classroom Brazil's Warrior Women


The humble babassu palm provides a livelihood for communities of women across North Eastern Brazil. Bread, charcoal, oil and soap are produced from the nut and husk; the surplus is sold on. Brazil’s Warrior Women tells the story of the hard battle to maintain these communities’ way of life. These inspiring women are now able to plan for the long-term, diversifying their business and securing their future. They fight for their families, their forests and the Amazon as a whole.

7 min
Languages: Portuguese
Subtitles: English, French, Indonesian, Spanish

SIMA Classroom Can't Hide Me


Women and girls are often put down, silently, subtly. Bound by invisible chains in their homes, on the streets, in schools and public spaces. Always maintaining a low profile, always crushing their dreams. Is it possible for them to fight back? And what happens when they find the courage to do so? Parvati, Mallika and Heena haven’t met each other but they share more in common than you would think. For they are amongst those women who are taking extraordinary steps to reclaim the spaces that are rightfully theirs, fighting the often invisible barriers that keep women from freedom.

26 min
Languages: Hindi, Kannada, English
Subtitles: English

Gender Equality Playlist - SIMA Classroom Girls Like Us


In Tanzania, women are expected to stay home, cook, clean, and take care of the children while their husbands are away at work. Like a typical teenager, Winnie needed an outlet for her curious mind and in 2013, she joined Apps & Girls, an organization that teaches young girls how to code their own websites.

9 min
Language: English
Subtitles: English

SIMA Classroom Girl-Hearted


It’s quite plain to 7 year old Nori: She is a girl, because she has a girl’s heart. But her body is that of a boy. When mother Josephin realizes that she doesn’t have a son, that he had never existed – but that there is still a kid, a daughter, it becomes clear to her that she will have to break new ground to see her daughter grow up happily. The documentary GIRL-HEARTED portrays young Nori and her mother’s conflict of enabling her daughter a life worth living out of the norm. A film about being a girl.

37 min
Languages: German
Subtitles: English

SDGs Playlist


Kayayo means “girl-carrier” in the Ga language.
In the capital of Ghana, 10,000 girls from the ages of 6 work as real life shopping baskets – called Kayayo. This documentary is about Bamunu, an 8-year old girl who hasn’t seen her family since she was sent away from home two years ago to work as a Kayayo to support her family.
We follow her incessant longing to get away from the harsh markets, her journey back home and what awaits there.

30 min
Languages: Dagbani
Subtitles: English


Chuna Devi – a mother of three in Nepal – once said that “being born as a girl is worthless.” But at the age of 47, she found self-worth and changed her life by finally learning to read at a READ Center, starting a women’s study group, and investing in her family’s education. Today, her goal is to empower other illiterate women in Nepal, and convince them that it’s never to late to learn to read.

3 min
Languages: Dagbani
Subtitles: English

SIMA Classroom Vital Voices Tep Vanny


Anyone who has worked in a developing country in the last decade will have heard a similar story. Developers seize a valuable piece of land, throw the existing community out, and after protests ebb away, a new development arises: apartments, a mall, restaurants and stores for the newly wealthy. The people of Boeung Kak Lake, Cambodia have tried to rewrite the script. With Tep Vanny, a dedicated and energetic young woman as one of their spokespeople, they challenged the developer and the Cambodian government, and they have refused to go quietly.

3 min
Language: English
Subtitles: Spanish

SIMA Classroom Juanita


A glimpse into the everyday life of Juanita, a Mayan traditional doctor, midwife, nurse and activist. Leader of “The Awakening of the Women who Heal,” an organization of midwives in the Orient of Yucatan, Mexico. Juanita has dedicated her life to helping others with her gift for healing. The film follows Juanita as she redefines the meaning of ‘modern’ and ‘traditional’ medicine practices.

23 min
Languages: Spanish and Mayan
Subtitles: English

Facing The Myths

Lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people living in the Middle East and North Africa share their responses to myths and stereotypes about LGBT people in the region on a new video and special feature released today by the Arab Foundation for Freedoms and Equality (AFE) and Human Rights Watch. Although these myths can be harmful, activists who spoke to AFE and Human Rights Watch for this video face them every day with grace, determination, and humor. In the video, they debunk these myths and share their experiences with other LGBT people in the region, letting them know they are not alone.

Director: Amanda Bailly for Human Rights Watch and the Arab Foundation for Freedoms and Equality

Producers: Rasha Younes for Human Rights Watch and the Arab Foundation for Freedoms and Equality

12 min | USA/Lebanon
Languages: Bengali, English


Students will learn the power of visual storytelling by exercising their artistic skills through creative expression, igniting critical consciousness. After the screening the films, students form small groups and discuss gender equality issues in their community. In their groups, students come up with an idea for an art installation that makes a statement about their chosen issue, and create an action plan to implement the project in their community. Educators should provide clear guidelines depending on rules and regulations at their school – for example, no profane language, no defacing of property, etc.
Students work together to write an artist’s statement describing their art installation, the motive behind it and what they hope viewers will learn from the piece. Student groups present their art installation, artist statement, and concept to the class.

Lesson Plan Add-Ons
Students work together to create and install their art piece in their school or community, making sure to get all the requisite permissions. If possible, install the art in public places so that the community can participate and enjoy. Invite a local reporter to document the pop-up art gallery.