We know the routine: after work, you want nothing more than to cuddle up on your couch with a good movie... or another episode of Orange Is The New Black. Your Netflix account can certainly help you relax after a long day, but did you know it's also a great way to educate yourself about important women's issues from around the world?
Cancel your weekend plans! We've compiled a list of 10 documentaries on Netflix that all Latinas need to watch:
1. Half The Sky
Husband-wife team Nicholas Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn first penned Half The Sky: Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women Worldwide to bring awareness to the fact that women's oppression is the 'paramount moral challenge' of the present era. The book sparked a movement, and a documentary film produced by PBS was released in 2012. The film follows the book's authors and celebrity advocates America Ferrera, Eva Mendes, Meg Ryan, Diane Lane, Gabrielle Union and Olivia Wilde to ten countries to explore women and girls fighting through difficult and heartbreaking circumstances. The film sheds light on problems caused by sex trafficking, forced prostitution, maternal mortality, and gender-based violence. It's a must-see for all women -- regardless of race, ethnicity or nationality.
2. Miss Representation
Miss Representation delves into the world of mainstream media -- and the role it plays in sexualizing and shaping young American women. The fascinating documentary explores how the media's disparaging portrayal of women negatively impact girls' self-esteem and, on a larger scale, affects the way society views women in power.
3. Dark Girls
Dark Girls explores the self-esteem issues and conflict associated with having darker skin in the African-American community. The documentary offers a heartbreaking portrayal of darker skinned women who've struggled throughout their lifetime with insecurities and the desire to have lighter skin. The acclaimed film also branches out and explores the multimillion dollar skin-bleaching industry, and white women's desire to look more exotic.
4. The Invisible War
The Invisible War focuses on an oft-overlooked issue in the U.S. Military: sexual assault and rape. The disturbing film explores the military's tendency to discount the experiences of sexually assaulted women, as well as their refusal to properly prosecute suspected rapists. The film received overwhelmingly positive reviews, and even sparked policy changes within the U.S. Military. It's a must-watch for all Latinos, because of its disturbingly honest portrayal of rape culture.
5. Chasing Beauty
Chasing Beauty peels back the glamour and allure of modeling to reveal a billion dollar industry that exploits and endangers the lives young female models. The thought-provoking documentary poses one tough question: "What is beauty -- and what is the cost?"
6. Orgasm Inc.
Filmmaker Liz Canner took a job editing erotic movies for a drug trial for a pharmaceutical company. When she received permission to film the company's work for her own documentary, she began by shooting a movie about science and women's pleasure. Soon, however, she began to realize that the company was taking advantage of women -- and putting their health at risk -- in order to gain billion dollar profits. The film is a must-see for all women curious about societal norms regarding pleasure and the drug industry's impact upon our everyday life.
7. It's A Girl
It's A Girl: The Three Deadliest Words In The World explores the practice of female infanticide around the world, primarily focusing on India and China. The bitterly poignant film delves into the cultural and economic reasons for the mass genocide of female babies -- profiling social workers, women in rural communities, and activists who deal firsthand with the horrifying problem.
8. 20 Feet From Stardom
The 2014 Academy Award winner for Best Documentary Feature follows the lives of backup singers Darlene Love, Judith Hill, Merry Clayton, Lisa Fischer, Tata Vega and Jo Lawry. 20 Feet From Stardom takes you behind-the-scenes, introducing you to the women who sung, unnoticed, 20 feet behind some of the greatest stars of all time. Bruce Springsteen, Stevie Wonder, Mick Jagger and Sting all appear in the documentary to discuss the incredibly talented women who spent their lives in the shadows.
9. The Interrupters
Yes, believe it or not, a documentary about crime and gang life on the South Side of Chicago has a lot to do with women's issues. The Interrupters tells the story of three Violence Interrupters -- including one woman -- who attempt to protect their neighborhoods by diffusing intense situations before they result in violence. The film is heartbreaking, but enlightening. It will open your eyes to the many ways violence can negatively impact a community -- and inspire you to do more to help.
10. Girl Model
Girl Model profiles an American model scout who recruits young Russian girls to be exploited in Japan. It's an unflinching look at the ruthless and desperate world of modeling.