An IWD2022 Playlist Of 21 Best Songs For Women Empowerment By Women!

Let's explore this curated list of songs for women empowerment this Women's Day- diverse music from all over the world. Can you think of more?

Art can empower the world. Music, in particular, has the magic to move us to the core and wear any mood we like. So why not explore some of these from a curated list of songs for women empowerment?

Here’s sharing my playlist that I fall back upon whenever I want to tap into my divine feminine and revel in being a woman.

1. Independent Woman by Destiny’s Child

Being independent comes naturally to me, and it’s not uncommon for me to hang out, travel, dine, watch a movie alone, or do things independently whenever the situation arises. I’ve always been like that, and so, this song speaks to me and my inner feminist, independent core.

2. Roar by Katy Perry

“Roar” was one of my daughter’s favourite songs as a toddler, when she’d be crooning endlessly to it. And why not! What a fun, empowering song “Roar” for children and adults alike. Apart from the empowering lyrics, the music video is cute as a button.

3. Girls Like To Swing by Sunidhi Chauhan

This is the Bollywood equivalent of Cyndi Lauper’s iconic feminist anthem, “Girls Like To Have Fun.” This song from the Hindi movie “Dil Dhadakne Do” is picturised on two women having unabashed fun that doesn’t cater to the male gaze. Even today, women enjoying themselves to the hilt is seen as an aberration, and so it counts as empowerment in several parts of the globe.

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4. Just A Girl by No Doubt

“Just A Girl” hits the nail on the head as it focuses on the restrictions placed upon women owing to gender. I love how the band keeps it realistic all along but ends it on a high cheeky note.

“Oh, I’m just a girl, lucky me
Twiddle-dum, there’s no comparison!”

5. Work That by Mary J. Blige

“Work That” has a quiet, self-assured quality that helps ease anxiety and restore your inner peace and calm. The song is a reminder that there is a divine force that always has your back. Also, Kamala Harris took her oath as the Vice-President of America, with this song playing in the backdrop.

6. Thalaivi by Vidya Vox

Born Vidya Iyer, Vidya Vox is among the Top 5 richest Indian YouTubers. It’s a joy to watch her do these mashups between Indian and Western songs in her inimitable style. Vidya Vox truly rocks! “Thalaivi” shatters the misconception that women are weak when Vidya Vox croons “Ladies, we’re no:1. We’ve already won! So let’s keep on fighting.”

If you want it more street style, check out the remix version along with ft. Navz47, which amps up the song a few notches higher. Very Tamil, very mass! Love it!

7. How You Like That by BLACKPINK

BLACKPINK has a nice, dark, edgy vibe to their songs and videos. Watching BLACKPINK is akin to sliding into the rabbit hole, as you can never have enough of one song. You’ll crave for more of their power-packed songs for women empowerment. “How You Like That” is about resilience and coming on top of life’s obstacles and your naysayers like a bawse. Like all their other videos, this one is just as opulent, aesthetic and makes for a fun watch.

8. Patakha Guddi by Nooran Sisters

This song composed by A.R Rahman from the movie “Highway” has a light, spiritual, and adventurous quality. Titled “Patakha Guddi” (Firecracker Kite), the song instantly sparks you to run and fly high to the limitless skies. It defies the entitled myth that the man is the favoured one, and it’s a man’s world. Bullocks!

9. Bad Girls by M.I.A

“Bad Girls” by M.I.A is an audacious song and was originally conceptualized to speak up about women’s rights, specifically the right to drive, in Saudi Arabia. This song will never age and is even more relevant in the current global climate. Especially after the Taliban takeover of Afghanistan, women’s rights to higher education are a big question mark. “Bad Girls” is an excellent case in point on how to use Art for socio-political causes.

10. Girl on Fire by Alicia Keys

We view an ambitious woman as an anomaly in our world. As a society, we tie a woman’s destiny to her womb. And so, she needs to be protected and drilled to rear the future generations primarily. The song “Girl on Fire” comes as a refresher that celebrates a woman’s unbridled ambition, ditching any guilt, remorse, or allusion to selfishness.

11. Hollaback Girl by Gwen Stefani

I love the “Hollaback Girl” song for its raw and gritty vibe. Stefani talks of cleaning her own shit, and dealing with bullies head-on. There’s nothing more empowering than a woman who can face her own problems and resolve them on her own too.

12. Here We Go by Leah Anne Philip

This Malayalam song from the movie “2 Penkuttikal” brings a huge smile to my face. It’s fantastic to see fearless girls in mainstream cinema. This song reminds me of my feisty daughter, who questions the norm around her like the children in this video. As a feminist mother, I’m highly protective of my daughter’s individuality and independence. You go, girls! Loiter away!

13. Build a B*tch – Bella Poarch

One of the newer songs for women empowerment on this list, “Build a B*tch” released in May 2021 by Filipino-American singer, Bella Poarch. I’m sure that this song will age well and gain more relevance as we move into the age of transhumanism. The song defies men’s expectations and desires for what a perfect woman ought to look like.

14. Jeenay De Mujhe by Faiza Mujahid

PINK is one of Bollywood’s hallmark movies that introduced the concept of “consent” in relationships. The absence or even the manipulation of consent means rape, sexual abuse, and misconduct. The song “Jeenay De Mujhe,” sung by Pakistani singer, Faiza Mujahid makes for the perfect feminist anthem as it shows three women chilling out and having fun together just like the men. It also reminds me of the hypocrisy of our society when judging women who drink or smoke. Ironically, I’ve heard such comments from men who smoke and drink themselves. Hypocrites!

15. Rasathi Folk Version by Lalitha Vijaykumar

This song from the Tamil film “36 Vayadhinile” defines sisterhood in its truest essence. You see women across all age groups coming together in support and gay abandon. The earthy, rustic folk sounds add to the song’s appeal. It’s empowering to see women pep each other up to ring in a new dawn where women take as much space in the world as the men.

16. Ain’t No Angel by Kanchan Daniel & The Beards

“Ain’t No Angel” is the song equivalent of an espresso shot for me, and it gets me instantly pumped up and into the badass mood. I can relate so much to this song because I’ve learned over the years through life’s experiences that you need to be the right kind of wrong to stand up for yourself and against any form of injustice.

17. Let’s Get Loud by Jennifer Lopez

“Let’s Get Loud” is a cry to get loud to break down all barriers and be free. Who better than a Latinx role model to tell us that? Jennifer Lopez is a path-breaker in a predominantly white Hollywood. Simply watching her live her life or sing, dance, and act on screen is empowering—just her presence in the industry. It comes as no surprise that this JLo song has been adapted for the feminist version of the Cinderella (2021) movie, sung just as wonderfully by Camila Cabello, Nicholas Galitzine, and Idina Menzel.

18. Try Everything by Shakira

This Shakira song from the movie “Zootopia” is another go-to song whenever I want to push forward, despite the obstacles. I love how this song talks about trying everything, making mistakes, failing, having fun while pursuing your passions and living life. The movie has a strong feminist message, as it dispels the stereotypes of gendered jobs while advocating for gender and social equality.

19. Boss Bitch by Doja Cat

I’m a huge fan of Doja Cat for being wonderfully weird, ingenious, and versatile. She’s such a creative powerhouse that you can’t help but wonder how talented and multifaceted one individual can be. The “Boss Bitch” song channels your inner Harley Quinn and gets you instantly into your bossy pants.

20. Rules by Doja Cat

“Rules” is irreverent, deviant, and rebellious. I love how Doja Cat uses popular tropes men use to objectify women and subverts it on top of its head in all her videos. A woman is not defined and valued by her vagina, but her power lies in her fertile mind. The gangsta style “Rules” by Doja Cat is all about reclaiming the power of womanhood. Unapologetically. Shamelessly. My favourite lines-

“said play with my pussy but don’t play with my emotions.”

“if you spend some money then maybe I just might fuck ya.”

21. Jump by Madonna

Madonna changed the narrative for female artists all across the world. Donning her blasphemous stage name, Madonna was the female counterpart of Michael Jackson, back in the day. The Queen of Pop! “Jump” is a relatively less popular number by Madonna but it’s a huge favourite for me for its resilient, empowering, and futuristic theme.

What is your power playlist of songs for women empowerment?

(Disclaimer: Please note that I’ve steered away from listing songs that have references to love and relationships and kept it strictly to songs for women empowerment.)

First published here.

Image source: a still from the film Angry Young Goddesses

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Tina Sequeira

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