By Tanvi Dubey

YourStory, March 5, 2018 —

Inspirational quotes from women leaders, change makers, and role models to inspire you to embrace who you are.

America is yet to get a woman President, Indian women cricketers still don’t get the same attention, adulation, and love as their male counterparts, and in the Middle East, women can now drive cars although that doesn’t necessarily transform into empowerment or their ability to make choices. Women in most parts of the world can’t make their own choices, and wear, speak, and do what they want. Women and men don’t get equal pay and female numbers dwindle at the top rung of leadership at most companies. Women entrepreneurs have more trouble getting funding for their ventures and women in tech are still a minority.

The list of challenges is long, but the aim is not to glorify the challenges but rather look at how at every step, women have fought back to make their voices heard and stand up for their rights and the rights of other women.


With the International Women’s Day around the corner, let’s rewind and look at some great women leaders, role models, activists, artists, and entrepreneurs and what we can learn from them. This year, let’s be inspired to do more to make our voices heard, make our presence felt, and break all boundaries and stereotypes that hold us back, starting with these inspirational quotes from women who made a difference:

“If one man can destroy everything, why can’t one girl change it?” – Malala Yousafzai, I Am Malala: The Girl Who Stood Up for Education and Was Shot by the Taliban

“As women, we must stand up for ourselves. We must stand up for each other. We must stand up for justice for all.” – Michelle Obama, Former First Lady, USA


“A woman with a voice is by definition a strong woman. But the search to find that voice can be remarkably difficult.” – Melinda Gates, Philanthropist

“The power to question is the basis of all human progress.” – Indira Gandhi, First Female Prime Minister of India

“There is a special place in hell for women who don’t help other women.” – Madeleine K. Albright, First woman to become the United States Secretary of State

“We do not need magic to transform our world. We carry all the power we need inside ourselves already. We have the power to imagine better.” – J. K. Rowling, Author of the popular Harry Potter series

“An important attribute of success is to be yourself. Never hide what makes you, you.” – Indra Nooyi, CEO, PepsiCo

“If your dreams do not scare you, they are not big enough.” – Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, President of Liberia, Nobel Peace Prize winner


“If you want something said, ask a man: if you want something done, ask a woman.” – Margaret Thatcher, Prime Minister of United Kingdom (1979-1990)

“No matter where you’re from, your dreams are valid.” – Lupita Nyong’o, Kenyan-Mexican Oscar-winning Actress

“I think it’s important not to get carried away when you are successful – and not to let yourself feel gloomy when times are bad.” – Zhou Qunfei, Chinese Entrepreneur and the richest woman in China

“I don’t go by the rulebook; I lead from the heart, not the head.” – Princess Diana

“We need to start work with the idea that we’re going to learn every day. I learn, even at my position, every single day.” – Chanda Kochhar, Managing Director and CEO, ICICI Bank


“Don’t feel stupid if you don’t like what everyone else pretends to love.” – Emma Watson, British Actor and Activist

“You may not control all the events that happen to you, but you can decide not to be reduced by them.” – Maya Angelou, American Poet, Civil Rights Activist

“Always aim high, work hard, and care deeply about what you believe in. And, when you stumble, keep faith. And, when you’re knocked down, get right back up and never listen to anyone who says you can’t or shouldn’t go on.” – Hillary Clinton, American Politician

“We must believe that we are gifted for something and that this thing, at whatever cost, must be attained.” – Marie Curie, Polish Physicist and Chemist who did pioneering research on radioactivity

“I am lucky that whatever fear I have inside me, my desire to win is always stronger.” – Serena Williams, American Tennis Player, Winner of 23 Grand Slam singles titles

“I’m tough, I’m ambitious, and I know exactly what I want. If that makes me a bitch, okay.” – Madonna, American Artist

“Optimism is the faith that leads to achievement.” – Helen Keller, American Author, Political Activist, and the first deaf-blind person to earn a Bachelor of Arts degree


“Never limit yourself because of others’ limited imagination; never limit others because of your own limited imagination.” – Mae Jemison, the first African-American woman in space

“Stand for something or you will fall for anything. Today’s mighty oak is yesterday’s nut that held its ground.” – Rosa Parks, American Civil Rights Activist

“The only thing that separates women of colour from anyone else is opportunity.” – Viola Davis, American Actress and Producer

“If you’re the smartest person in the room, you’re in the wrong room.” –  Marissa Mayer, Former President and CEO of Yahoo!

“I hate to say there are female and male ways of dealing with power because I think each of us has a male and a female part. But based on my own experience, women will tend to be inclusive, to reach out more, to care a little more.” – Christine Lagarde, Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund

“You have to fight because you can’t count on anyone else fighting for you. And you have to fight for people who can’t fight for themselves. To get anything of real value, you have to fight for it.” – Ronda Rousey, American Professional Wrestler

“Be faithful in small things because it is in them that your strength lies.” – Mother Teresa


“If you want to do something, what does it matter where you are ranked? Nor does being a woman make a difference.” – Kalpana Chawla,  American Astronaut and the first woman of Indian origin in space

“Women will have achieved true equality when men share with them the responsibility of bringing up the next generation.” – Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States

“Though we do need more women to graduate with technical degrees, I always like to remind women that you don’t need to have science or technology degrees to build a career in tech.” – Susan Wojcicki, CEO, YouTube

Let this International Women’s Day be a turning point in your life to change things for the better. Use this moment to promise yourself to speak out, have faith in yourself, and to follow your dreams and passion with unwavering