I’ve been binge watching documentaries on Netflix lately and almost every time I think “I should have the girls watch this!”  I think most of these are really only appropriate for Cadettes and older, but you may feel differently after you view.  I think that girls need to be in at least 6th grade to really begin having a sense of a “larger world” that is beyond their little town, but you might have younger girls that are ready for these concepts.

Living on One Dollar.  Four Americans travel to rural Guatemala where they plan to live on one dollar a day to experience extreme poverty for 30 days.  What touched me is how the community that they stayed in really embraced them as friends.

Salam Neighbor.   From the same guys that made Living on One Dollar, they spend 30 days in a Syrian Refugee Camp.  Absolutely eye-opening and brings humanity to the people who have been forced out of Syria.  You begin to understand that these are people that just want to work, to provide for their families, and to educate their children.  Just like you do.

The True Cost.  About how the clothing industry has been affected by the “fast fashion” chains that have super cheap clothing and styles that change every month.  Should open the eyes of the little fashionistas in your troop.  Hey, I love a good discount, but its important to know that it comes at a price.

He Named me Malala.  A look at the events leading up to the Taliban’s attack on Pakistani schoolgirl, Malala Yousafzai, for speaking out on girls’ education followed by the aftermath, including her speech to the United Nations.

Girl Rising.  I took my girls to this when they were Cadettes.  It does deal with some sensitive issues, but in a very respectful way.  There is an entire curriculum supporting this movie, so if your girls are interested in learning about the importance of education for girls around the world, this is the movie for them.

Starfish Throwers.  Showcases 3 people (including one young teen girl) and  what they are doing to end hunger in the world.

Miss Representation.  An older one (2011) but so pertinent after the recent Women’s March.  Explores the under-representation of women in positions of power and influence in America.

Print the Legend.  All about the birth of 3D printing and where the industry is now.  For the geeky of us out there.

Abstract – The Art of Design.  If you have creative girls, this will give them a glimpse into the lives of Design Icons and what inspires them.  Series of 6 one-hour documentaries.  Some are better told than others.  The first one about Christoph Neimann is really fun visually. (A great video to watch in conjunction with the Comic Artist badge for Cadettes).

For the documentaries that showcase other countries, and often times poor living conditions, it can sometimes be a stretch for the girls to really comprehend what they are seeing.  But empathy comes from education and with education comes good decisions.  Look at it as planting seeds of information that may one day inspire them.  Don’t expect lots of discussion after viewing from everyone.  Some of the topics are uncomfortable and girls are not quite ready to process, especially if it is asking them to change the way they view the world (or in the case of the “The True Cost” asking them to change the way they shop).  Remind them that this is not to make them feel guilty, but more informed, so that as they become the decision makers in the world, they have the full picture.

Let me know if you have watched any of the above documentaries and what you think about them.  Any other suggestions that you think are great for girls to view?