International Women’s Day is an opportunity for all of us to reflect on where we are, and where we need to be.

Seeing one show can have a powerful effect when you see yourself represented and reflected on screen, it gives power to your experience.

Many of these are part of Netflix’s International Women’s Month Collection, which aims to highlight the voices of women behind and in front of the camera. Top tip: also look out for the “Strong Arab Women” and “Arab Women Behind the Camera” rows in the collection.

Emirates Woman shares five Netflix shows made by Arab women that feature strong female leads that we recommend adding to your watch list.

The Exchange

Netflix The Exchange

Inspired by actual events, two women set out to pioneer the cutthroat stock market of 1980s Kuwait — and disrupt its corrupt boys’ club along the way. The Exchange brings to life the glorious 1980s when the stock market was booming and fashion was bigger and brighter than ever before. It brought on a unique and untold women-centric story of Farida and Munira to screens across the world with a star-studded cast of Kuwaiti talent.

The Swimmers

Based on real-life events, this inspiring and heartfelt movie tells the story of two young sisters, Yusra and Sara Mardini who embark on a risky voyage – from war-torn Syria to the 2016 Rio Olympics, putting their heart and swimming skills to heroic use. Real-life sisters Nathalie and Manal Issa were cast in the roles of Yusra and Sara Mardini respectively, and the film is directed by Welsh-Egyptian Director Sally El Hosaini.

Finding Ola

Finding Ola Netflix

Finding Ola tells the story of a divorced mom who embarks on a journey of self-discovery while dealing with the challenges of raising two children and making ends meet. The Eat Pray Love meets Raising Helen made it to the Top 10 after launch and with a season 2 in the pipeline.

The show tackles the nuances of mother-daughter relationships, friendships, second chances and self-discovery, with Hend Sabry playing the role of Ola Abdelsabour and debuting as executive producer.


Netflix Whispers

Breaking the glass ceiling all the way is Whispers, a first-of-its-kind Saudi Arabian thriller series led by award-winning director, Hana Alomair. The eight-episode series is about a family facing the death of their patriarch, Hassan, just as his mysterious past begins to resurface days before the launch of a smart app owned by the family business. The fast-paced drama develops from different protagonists’ perspectives and features several unconventional women characters.

Al Rawabi School for Girls

Netflix Al Rawabi School for Girls

A young adult drama that sheds light on the impact of bullying on young women, through the eyes of a group of Arab teens navigating friendships, morality and difficult life choices. The series, made by a majority female cast and crew, is a true example of a story made in the Arab world and loved globally.

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