International Women´s Day (March 8th)- some classroom resources

In 1977, the UN established March 8th as “International Women’s Day” (why March 8th?). It may be a good excuse to deal with issues of gender relations and gender equality, as well as the role of women along history, in the classroom. Here are some resources you might like to use:


One of the origins of the celebration is women’s fight for suffrage in Europe. This has been depicted in popular culture lately: extensively in the film Suffragette (2015), and as a subplot in a special episode of the BBC show Sherlock (“The Abominable Bride”, 2015):

  • Sufffragette (B1- B2)

(subtitled trailer in

  • Sherlock – “The Abominable Bride” (B2-C1)

A rather peculiar (and perhaps ideologically objectionable) depiction of a suffragette appears in Mary Poppins (1964), in the character of Mrs. Banks. (Maybe it’s time to deconstruct a children’s film):


You may use this video about Fatna, a girl in eastern Chad, and her struggle to be able to go to school (A2):

(subtitled in English here:

UNICEF Youtube channel


Different campaigns apparently aim at showing more empowered women roles, from Disney to sanitary towels brands, probably in order to suit their own marketing needs:

  • Disney- “I am a princess” (A2)

(subtitled in Spanish in Youtube- to watch with subtitles in English, click here)

It’s very classroom-friendly: use of comparatives, superlatives; lots of vocabulary related to relationships, personality adjectives…

  • Always- “Run like a girl” (A2-B1) (H/T Miriam A.)

(subtitles in English available on Youtube)


  • Beyoncé- If I Were a Boy (A2-B1)

(With the song, you also get to practise type 2 conditional clauses, obviously)

EMMA WATSON-  He for She campaign

The British actress Emma Watson, best known as Hermione Granger in the Harry Potter films, is the Goodwill Ambassador for UN Women. In September 2014, she gave a speech at the UN about gender inequality and how to fight it.


Since then, she has been actively involved in the He for She campaign. You may watch an interview with her, along with some comprehension exercises on the British council Learn English teens website


Read towards the end of this blog entry to find out about Ada Lovelace (Lord Byron’s daughter) and Hollywood actress Hedy Lamarr’s contribution to early computing.

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