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Home > Living > People > International Women’s Day 2022: 35 inspiring quotes from famous women
International Women’s Day 2022: 35 inspiring quotes from famous women

Women’s voices have been underrepresented throughout history, which makes it even more important for us to honour and remember the female powerhouses who have worked towards bringing about a profound change in society. It’s important to remember the words of wisdom shared by incredible women from different walks of life, and learn from their inspiring quotes.

Whether it is business, politics, science, sports, philanthropy, social activism or entertainment, famous women, such as Rosa Parks, Frida Kahlo and Eleanor Roosevelt, have advocated women’s rights and gender equality in a male-dominated world.

Thus, to commemorate their incredible achievements, International Women’s Day is celebrated on 8 March every year. Let’s take this opportunity to pay tribute to these remarkable personalities, whose contributions have helped reshape women’s lives for generations to come.

Inspiring quotes from iconic women to keep you motivated throughout the year

serena williams
Image credit: Edwin Martinez/ CC-BY-2.0/Wikimedia Commons

Serena Williams, tennis player

“I really think a champion is defined not by their wins but by how they can recover when they fall.”

Shonda Rhimes, TV producer

“You can waste your lives drawing lines. Or you can live your life crossing them.”

Virginia Woolf, author

“There is no gate, no lock, no bolt that you can set upon the freedom of my mind.”

Rosa Luxemburg, revolutionary

“Women’s freedom is the sign of social freedom.”

Benazir Bhutto, former Pakistan Prime Minister

“You can imprison a man, but not an idea. You can exile a man, but not an idea. You can kill a man, but not an idea.”

Malala Yousafzai, activist

“When the whole world is silent, even one voice becomes powerful.”

alexandria cortez
Image credit: Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez @ SXSW 2019/CC-BY-SA-2.0/Wikimedia Commons

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, politician and activist

“Justice is about making sure that being polite is not the same thing as being quiet. In fact, oftentimes, the most righteous thing you can do is shake the table.”

Jackie Joyner-Kersee, athlete

“If I stop to kick every barking dog, I am not going to get where I’m going.”

B. Smith, Restaurateur, model and author

“I have stood on a mountain of no’s for one yes.”

Leymah Gbowee, Nobel Peace Laureate

“You can never leave footprints that last if you are always walking on tiptoe.”

frida kahlo quote
Frida Kahlo. (Image credit: Toni Frissell/Library of Congress/Wikimedia Commons)

Frida Kahlo, painter

“Nothing is worth more than laughter. It is strength to laugh and to abandon oneself, to be light.”

Ruth Reichl, chef

“One of the secrets to staying young is to always do things you don’t know how to do, to keep learning.”

inspiring quotes from famous women
Eleanor Roosevelt (Left). (Image credit: Roosevelt, Franklin D. (Franklin Delano)/U.S. National Archives and Records Administration/Wikimedia Commons)

Eleanor Roosevelt, former US First Lady

“No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.”

Indira Gandhi, former Indian Prime Minister

“Tolerance and compassion are active, not passive states, born of the capacity to listen, to observe and to respect others.”

Maya Angelou, poet

“I’ve learned that making a ‘living’ is not the same as ‘making a life.’”

Hillary Clinton, former US Secretary of State

“Every moment wasted looking back, keeps us from moving forward.”

 

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Beyoncé, singer-songwriter

“Power isn’t not given to you. You have to take it.”

Audre Lorde, writer

“When we speak we are afraid our words will not be heard or welcomed. But when we are silent, we are still afraid. So it is better to speak.”

Michelle Obama, former US First Lady

“No country can ever truly flourish if it stifles the potential of its women and deprives itself of the contributions of half its citizens.”

coco chanel
Coco Chanel. (Image credit: Time/Getty/Wikimedia Commons)

Coco Chanel, French fashion designer

“In order to be irreplaceable, one must always be different.”

Sudha Murthy, Indian businesswoman, author and social worker

“A fire cannot be extinguished with another fire. It is only water that can make a difference.”

inspiring quotes
Image credit: Sandra Oh/@iamsandraohinsta/Instagram

Sandra Oh, actress

“I think it’s just as important what you say no to as what you say yes to.”

Martha Beck, sociologist and author

“No matter how difficult and painful it may be, nothing sounds as good to the soul as the truth.”

Barbara Corcoran, businesswoman and investor

“The difference between successful people and others is how long they spend time feeling sorry for themselves.”

Rihanna, musician and entrepreneur

“There’s something so special about a woman who dominates in a man’s world. It takes a certain grace, strength, intelligence, fearlessness, and the nerve to never take no for an answer.”

Oprah Winfrey, talk show host and philanthropist

“Challenges are gifts that force us to search for a new centre of gravity. Don’t fight them. Just find a new way to stand.”

Vera Wang, fashion designer

“Success isn’t about the end result, it’s about what you learn along the way.”

Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, former Liberian President

“If your dreams do not scare you, they are not big enough.”

Diana, Princess of Wales

“People think that at the end of the day a man is the only answer. Actually, a fulfilling job is better for me.”

Rosa Parks, activist

“Stand for something or you will fall for anything. Today’s mighty oak is yesterday’s nut that held its ground.”

inspiring quotes from famous women
Margaret Cho. (Image credit: Charlie Nguyen/CC-BY-2.0/ Wikimedia Commons)

Margaret Cho, comedian, actress and fashion designer

“The power of visibility can never be underestimated.”

Michelle Yeoh, Malaysian actress

“Let’s empower men and help them take a stand to stop acts of violence against women.”

Marissa Mayer, businesswoman and investor

“If you’re the smartest person in the room, you’re in the wrong room.”

Emma Watson, actress

“Don’t feel stupid if you don’t like what everyone else pretends to love.”

Jane Goodall, primatologist and anthropologist

“The greatest danger to our future is apathy.”

Eesha Kulkarni
Eesha is a passionate digital nomad with a master’s degree in architecture and industrial design from Politecnico di Milano, Italy. A jack of all trades who enjoys writing art, architecture, travel and lifestyle features, she is found petting dogs, taking walks in nature and sniffing books in her free time.
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