Sometimes you need a spark of inspiration from the strong women who came before you.
If you find yourself in need of encouragement, here is a list of the most influential strong women quotes available to get you through your week.
Strong Women Quotes
Women in Politics
Watching women make space for themselves in political circles is inspiring for a variety of reasons. It’s impactful that women have been able to find that voice to represent themselves when American women weren’t even allowed to vote until 1920.
- “The worst thing that can happen in a democracy–as well as in an individual’s life–is to become cynical about the future and lose hope: that is the end, and we cannot let that happen.” – Hillary Clinton
- “A woman is like a teabag – you can’t tell how strong she is until you put her in hot water.” – Eleanor Roosevelt
- “The biggest hurdle that our communities have is cynicism – saying it’s a done deal, who cares; there’s no point to voting. If we can get somebody to care, it’s a huge victory for the movement and the causes we’re trying to advance.” – Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez
- “What’s important for my daughter to know is that… if you are fortunate to have opportunity, it is your duty to make sure other people have those opportunities as well.” – Kamala Harris
- “Hope will be found by understanding that diversity is the essence of the American Dream and why we need each other to fulfill it.” – Ilhan Omar
- “If you don’t get out there and define yourself, you’ll be quickly and inaccurately defined by others.” ― Michelle Obama
- “It’s a story about what’s worth fighting for, and how sometimes, even when we fight against very powerful opponents, we can win.” ― Elizabeth Warren
- “My mother told me to be a lady. And for her, that meant be your own person, be independent.” ― Ruth Bader Ginsburg
Women in Literature
For centuries, women have used the written word as a way to search to find answers to the meaning of life, make impactful statements about the experience of womanhood, and create masterpieces treasured for generations.
- “We delight in the beauty of the butterfly, but rarely admit the changes it has gone through to achieve that beauty.” ― Maya Angelou
- “If I can stop one heart from breaking, I shall not live in vain.”― Emily Dickinson
- “You’ll learn, as you get older, that rules are made to be broken. Be bold enough to live life on your terms, and never, ever apologize for it.” ― Mandy Hale
- “Beware; for I am fearless, and therefore powerful.” ― Mary Shelley
- “Our backs tell stories / no books have the spine to carry” ― Rupi Kaur
- “I had a lot of hatred, but I realized that kind of hate didn’t do much. I had to start fueling myself with pride. We owe the ancestors that. So many of the souls who died in bondage just want us to recognize their struggle.” ― Marilyn Nelson and Tonya C. Hegamin
- “If there’s a book that you want to read, but it hasn’t been written yet, then you must write it.” ― Toni Morrison
- “I hate to hear you talk about all women as if they were fine ladies instead of rational creatures. None of us want to be in calm waters all our lives.” ― Jane Austen
Women in Business
Watching women succeed in business can inspire you to succeed in your own business! Here are inspirational quotes from women CEOs, thought leaders at the forefront of the industry, and more!
- “As women gain rights, families flourish, and so do societies. That connection is built on a simple truth: Whenever you include a group that’s been excluded, you benefit everyone. And when you’re working globally to include women and girls, who are half of every population, you’re working to benefit all members of every community. Gender equity lifts everyone. Women’s rights and society’s health and wealth rise together.” ― Melinda Gates
- “I never dreamed about success. I worked for it.” – Estée Lauder
- “The most courageous act is still to think for yourself. Aloud.” ― Coco Chanel
- “Rarely are opportunities presented to you in a perfect way. In a nice little box with a yellow bow on top. ‘Here, open it, it’s perfect. You’ll love it.’ Opportunities — the good ones — are messy, confusing, and hard to recognize. They’re risky. They challenge you.” – Susan Wojcicki
- “Run toward the hardest problems. This approach has helped me to learn a tremendous amount from both success and failure.” – Lisa Su
- “Have a dream, chase it down, jump over every single hurdle, and run through fire and ice to get there.” – Whitney Wolfe Herd
- “Not everything needs changing. Some things need protecting. And that can be just as important, challenging and rewarding as changing the world.” – Mary T. Barra
- “I believe very strongly in the value of having a diverse team around me that comes from very different backgrounds and different points of view.” – Irene Rosenfeld
Women in Art
Whether their medium is music, paint, or photography, these women use art to capture the way they see the world.
- “At the end of the day, we can endure much more than we think we can.” ― Frida Kahlo
- “Be your own artist, and always be confident in what you’re doing. If you’re not going to be confident, you might as well not be doing it.” – Aretha Franklin
- Women should be someone and not something.” – Mary Cassatt
- “I’ve been absolutely terrified every moment of my life and I’ve never let it keep me from doing a single thing that I wanted to do.” ― Georgia O’Keefe
- “I live life in the margins of society, and the rules of normal society don’t apply to those who live on the fringe.” – Tamara de Lempicka
- “I’m not a nice girl; I’m a photographer.” (On being told by a Federal Art Project official, after she photographed the Bowery, that a nice girl should not go into such neighborhoods) – Berenice Abbott
- “To me, beauty appears when one feels deeply, and art is an act of total attention.” – Dorothea Lange
- “You have trust in what you think. If you splinter yourself and try to please everyone, you can’t. It’s important to stay the course. I don’t think I would have lasted this long if I’d listened to anyone. You have to listen somewhat and then put that to the side and know that what you do matters.” – Annie Leibovitz
Women in Science
Women in STEM fields today still must contend with sexism in the workplace. These scientists overcame the extra hurdles the opposite sex placed in front of them to become extremely influential figures in the scientific community.
- “Life is not easy for any of us. But what of that? We must have perseverance and above all confidence in ourselves. We must believe that we are gifted for something and that this thing must be attained.” ― Marie Curie
- “What you do makes a difference, and you have to decide what kind of difference you want to make.” – Jane Goodall
- “Don’t let anyone rob you of your imagination, your creativity, or your curiosity. It’s your place in the world; it’s your life. Go on and do all you can with it, and make it the life you want to live.” – Mae Jemison
- “Those who contemplate the beauty of the earth find reserves of strength that will endure as long as life lasts.” ― Rachel Carson
- “Hope and curiosity about the future seemed better than guarantees. The unknown was always so attractive to me…and still is. – Hedy Lamarr
- “I think it is a duty I owe to my profession and to my sex to show that a woman has a right to the practice of her profession and cannot be condemned to abandon it merely because she marries.” – Harriet Brooks
- “I will not be triumphed over.” – Cleopatra<
- “The more I study, the more insatiable do I feel my genius for it to be.” – Ada Lovelace
Women in History
Whether fighting a holy crusade or pushing the boundaries of flight, these women have left their mark on history through their courage and ingenuity.
- “All battles are first won or lost, in the mind.” – Joan of Arc
- “How wonderful it is that nobody need wait a single moment before starting to improve the world.” ― Anne Frank
- “We will not have failure – only success and new learning.” – Queen Victoria
- “A country’s greatness lies in its undying ideals of love and sacrifice that inspire the mothers of the race.” – Sarojini Naidu
- “If particular care and attention is not paid to the ladies, we are determined to foment a rebellion, and will not hold ourselves bound by any laws in which we have no voice or representation.” ― Abigail Adams
- “I want to do it because I want to do it. Women must try to do things as men have tried. When they fail, their failure must be but a challenge to others.” ― Amelia Earhart
- “I know I’m no glamour girl, and it’s not easy for me to get up in front of a crowd of people. It used to bother me a lot, but now I’ve got it figured out that God gave me this talent to use, so I just stand there and sing.” – Ella Fitzgerald
- “My grandfather once told me that there were two kinds of people: those who do the work and those who take the credit. He told me to try to be in the first group; there was much less competition.” – Indira Gandhi
Women in Sports
These women have pushed their bodies to the limit to achieve incredible athletic feats, but also show strength of character as they face sexism on and off the field.
- “I always wanted to be somebody…If I’ve made it, it’s half because I was game to take a wicked amount of punishment along the way, and half because there were an awful lot of people who cared enough to help me.” – Althea Gibson
- “I really think a champion is defined not by their wins but by how they can recover when they fall.” – Serena Williams
- “Somewhere behind the athlete you’ve become and the hours of practice and the coaches who have pushed you is a little girl who fell in love with the game and never looked back… play for her.” – Mia Hamm
- “When you fall, get right back up. Just keep going, keep pushing it.” – Lindsey Vonn
- “I would hope I would inspire kids everywhere to know that you can do anything you put your mind to.” – Simone Biles
- “I feel like it’s actually everybody’s responsibility to use whatever platform they have to do good in the world, basically, and to try to make our society better, whether you’re an accountant or an activist or an athlete or whatever it is. I think it’s everybody’s responsibility.” – Megan Rapinoe
- “Optimism is a happiness magnet. If you stay positive, good things and good people will be drawn to you.” -Mary Lou Retton
- “Literally falling on the ice and having to pick yourself up in front of thousands of people is not an easy thing to do. The thing that you learn is to pick yourself back up, to learn from your mistakes.” – Michelle Kwan
Women in Philosophy
Philosophy, like many academic fields, is overrun with masculine opinions. These women have chosen to ignore this precedent and share their philosophical views with the world.
- “Aging is not ‘lost youth’ but a new stage of opportunity and strength.”― Betty Friedan
- “I do not wish them [women] to have power over men, but over themselves.” ― Mary Wollstonecraft
- “Glance at the sun. See the moon and the stars. Gaze at the beauty of the Earth’s greenings. Now, think.”― Hildegard von Bingen
- “Let us be certain of who we want to be. Let us choose for ourselves our path in life, and let us try to strew that path with flowers.” ― Émilie Du Châtelet
- “Do not be afraid of your difficulties. Do not wish you could be in other circumstances than you are. For when you have made the best of an adversity, it becomes the stepping stone to a splendid opportunity.”― H.P. Blavatsky
- “Believe me, the world won’t give you any gifts. If you want to have a life, steal it.” ― Lou Andreas- Salome
- Reserve your right to think, for even to think wrongly is better than not to think at all.” – Hypatia
- “Vulnerability is the birthplace of innovation, creativity, and change.” ― Brene Brown
Women in Medicine
Without these women, the landscape of modern medicine would look completely different. They pressed forward, even though being a woman in medicine was made remarkably difficult by their male counterparts.
- “It irritates me to be told how things have always been done. I defy the tyranny of precedent. I cannot afford the luxury of a closed mind.” – Clara Barton
- “None of us can know what we are capable of until we are tested.” – Elizabeth Blackwell
- “Don’t be afraid of hard work. Nothing worthwhile comes easily. Don’t let others discourage you or tell you that you can’t do it. In my day I was told women didn’t go into chemistry. I saw no reason why we couldn’t.” – Gertrude B. Elion
- “In my view, all that is necessary for faith is the belief that by doing our best we shall succeed in our aims: the improvement of mankind.” – Rosalind Franklin
- “When you see something wrong, you try to fix it.” – Mary-Claire King
- “I attribute my success to this:—I never gave or took an excuse.” ― Florence Nightingale
- Every evil has its good, and every ill an antidote. Dorothea Dix
- “Women are liberated from the time they leave the womb.” – Virginia Apgar
Women in Activism
These women stood tall in the face of oppression and their passion burned brighter as they spoke out against systematic injustice.
- “You have to act as if it were possible to radically transform the world. And you have to do it all the time.” ― Angela Davis
- “Women, if the soul of the nation is to be saved, I believe that you must become its soul.” – Coretta Scott King
- “If you hear the dogs, keep going. If you see the torches in the woods, keep going. If there’s shouting after you, keep going. Don’t ever stop. Keep going. If you want a taste of freedom, keep going.” – Harriet Tubman
- “One had better die fighting against injustice than die like a dog or a rat in a trap.” – Ida B. Wells
- “Homo Sapiens have not yet failed. Yes, we are failing, but there is still time to turn everything around. We can still fix this. We still have everything in our own hands.” ― Greta Thunberg
- “We realize the importance of our voices only when we are silenced.” ― Malala Yousafzai
- “We are going to be the kids you read about in textbooks.” – Emma Gonzalez
- “There are two conflicting philosophies that I love: “Everything happens for a reason,” as well as “you can change everything that you have control over.”” – Yara Shahidi
Women Working Together
Each one of these women is a role model and it is our job to continue pushing forward the fight for justice and equality.
There’s nothing as powerful as a woman with a voice that she isn’t afraid to use. While one voice can be remarkably powerful, when we speak out together, our voices form an inescapable chorus.
Author, Artist, Photographer.
Sarah Margaret is an artist who expresses her love for feminism, equality, and justice through a variety of mediums: photography, filmmaking, poetry, illustration, song, acting, and of course, writing.
She owns Still Poetry Photography, a company that showcases her passion for capturing poetic moments in time. Instead of poetry in motion, she captures visual poetry in fractions of a second, making cherished keepsakes of unforgettable moments.
She is the artist behind the Still Poetry Etsy shop, which houses her illustrations and bespoke, handmade items. She is the author of intricacies are just cracks in the wall, a narrative poetry anthology that follows a young woman discovering herself as she emerges from an abusive relationship.