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40 Empowering Quotes to Share This International Women's Day

By Jayne Renault

International Women’s Day (IWD) is on March 8th and this year’s theme is #BreakTheBias.

IWD is not only a day for celebrating the achievements of women, but also a global call to action. This year, the organizers of IWD are calling on everyone to imagine a world with gender equality for all, where discrimination, stereotyping, and bias no longer exist; where diversity is celebrated for the richness it brings to the global community. 

Because empowerment is a group effort. When you empower yourself, you empower others. When you uplift marginalized voices, the entire community rises. Here are some quotes that inspire agency, bust down gender norms and the gender binary, champion the body you’re in, and celebrate pleasure.

​​1. Each time a woman stands up for herself, she stands up for all women.” - Maya Angelou

2. “I am not free while any woman is unfree, even when her shackles are very different from my own.” - Audre Lorde

3. If people were silent, nothing would change.” - Malala Yousafzi

4. "Not everyone who identifies as a woman has a pussy, nor does your identity as a woman have anything to do with pussy.” - Ericka Hart

5. "I can't think of any better representation of beauty than someone who is willing to be herself." - Emma Stone

6. “It’s okay if you fall down and lose your spark. Just make sure that when you get back up, you rise as the whole damn fire.” –Colette Werden

7. “Radical self-love demands that we see ourselves and others in the fullness of our complexities and intersections and that we work to create space for those intersections.” - Sonya Renee Taylor

8. “If any female feels she need anything beyond herself to legitimate and validate her existence, she is already giving away her power to be self-defining, her agency.” - Bell Hooks

9. “The one person who will never leave us, whom we will never lose, is ourself. Learning to love our female selves is where our search for love must begin.” - Bell Hooks

10. "Don't try to lessen yourself for the world; let the world catch up to you.” - Beyoncé

11. “I don’t kiss nobody’s butt.” - Dolly Parton

12. "What keeps me going is that quest for just being able to be present and be myself. Not for people, but for me." - Janet Mock

13. “A girl should be two things: Who and what she wants.” –Coco Chanel

14. “Of course I am not worried about intimidating men. The type of man who will be intimidated by me is exactly the type of man I have no interest in.” - Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

15. “Women aren’t broken versions of men; they’re women.”- Emily Nagoski

16. “Women deserve better than propaganda and lies to get into panties. Propaganda and lies to get into office, to get out of court, to get out of paying child support. Get the fuck out of our decisions and give us back our voice. Women deserve better; women deserve choice.” - Sonya Renee Taylor

17. "Every woman's success should be an inspiration to another. We're strongest when we cheer each other on." - Serena Williams

18. "If we love ourselves, and deeply feel that love, and deeply live that love, we cannot be defeated." - Alice Walker

19. “Girls should never be afraid to be smart.” - Emma Watson.

20. “I’m not going to limit myself just because people won’t accept the fact that I can do something else.” - Dolly Parton

21. “Women, like men, should try to do the impossible. And when they fail, their failure should be a challenge to others.” - Amelia Earheart

22. "My mom said to me, 'You know sweetheart, one day you should settle down and marry a rich man. And I said, 'Mom, I am a rich man.'" - Cher

23. “When girls are given the right tools to succeed, they can create incredible futures, not only for themselves but also for those around them.” - Meghan Markle

24. "Sometimes people try to destroy you, precisely because they recognize your power - not because they don't see it, but because they see it and they don't want it to exist." - Janet Mock

25. “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.” - Rihanna

26. “We need women at all levels, including the top, to change the dynamic, reshape the conversation, to make sure women’s voices are heard and heeded, not overlooked and ignored.” - Sheryl Sandberg.

27. “As women achieve power, the barriers will fall. As society sees what women can do, as women see what women can do, there will be more women out there doing things, and we’ll all be better off for it.” - Ruth Bader Ginsberg

28. “Well-behaved women rarely make history.” –Eleanor Roosevelt

29. “Think like a queen. A queen is not afraid to fail. Failure is another steppingstone to greatness.” –Oprah Winfrey

30. “We want a world where boys can feel, girls can lead, and the rest of us can not only exist but thrive. This is not about erasing men and women but rather acknowledging that man and woman are two of many—stars in a constellation that do not compete but amplify one another’s shine.” - Alok Vaid-Menon

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

32. “She has been through hell, so believe me when I say, fear her when she looks into fire and smiles.” –E. Corona

33. “I am done living in a world where women are lied to about their bodies; where women are objects of sexual desire but not subjects of sexual pleasure; where sex is used as a weapon against women; and where women believe their bodies are broken, simply because those bodies are not male. And I am done living in a world where women are trained from birth to treat their bodies as the enemy.” - Emily Nagoski

34. “What’s the greatest lesson a woman should learn? That since day one, she’s already had everything she needs within herself. It’s the world that convinced her she did not.” –Rupi Kaur

35. "The world said 'be invisible' but she heard 'be invincible'" - Unknown

36. “A woman is like a tea bag: You can’t tell how strong she is until you put her in hot water.” – Eleanor Roosevelt

37. “Remind yourself that the day you were born, your body was a cause for celebration, for love without condition, and that’s just as true today as it was then.” - Emily Nagoski

38. “Some of us are becoming the men we wanted to marry.” –Gloria Steinem

39. “A strong woman stands up for herself. A stronger woman stands up for everyone else.” –Unknown

40. “Women make up more than half of the world’s population and potential, so it is neither just nor practical for their voices, for our voices, to go unheard at the highest levels of decision-making. The way that we change that, in my opinion, is to mobilize girls and women to see their value as leaders, and to support them in these efforts.” - Meghan Markle

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