On August 18th, all the way back in 1920, the 19th amendment granted women the right to vote. Since this time in history, there has been so much growth in terms of the rights and freedoms of women around the world; however, at the same time, there is still plenty of ground to be covered. It is easy to take the inspirational women in history for granted because it’s easy to forget the struggle they went through to help our world get to where it is today.
Some (if not all) of the best leaders are women, and this article is dedicated to them. As a site centered on providing access to international education programs everywhere, the people here at GoAbroad hope to motivate even more ways to travel meaningfully by taking a look at some incredibly inspiring quotes from women from around the world and simultaneously remembering that the opportunity for great change and great success is always on a global scale.
As we reflect on the successes and achievements of all the influential women around the world and the inspirational women in history, we’re showing our appreciation by featuring inspiring quotes from women who’ve lived the fight, overcame the challenges, and inspired us all to never, ever give up on what we believe in.
Here’s to you, influential women. You let them hear you roar, and the echo continues to reverberate off history.
1. “I demanded more rights for women because I know what women had to put up with.” — Evita Peron, Former First Lady of Argentina
2. “A woman is like a tea bag — you can’t tell how strong she is until you put her in hot water.” — Eleanor Roosevelt, Former First Lady of the USA & American Politician
3. “There are two kinds of people, those who do the work and those who take the credit. Try to be in the first group; there is less competition there.” — Indira Gandhi, Fourth Prime Minister of India
4. “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, Chemist and Physicist
5. “The most common way people give up their power is by thinking they don’t have any.” — Alice Walker, Author of “The Color Purple”
6. “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 C. Jemison, First African-American Woman Astronaut
7. “Woman must not accept; she must challenge. She must not be awed by that which has been built up around her; she must reverence that woman in her which struggles for expression.” — Margaret Sanger, Founder of Planned Parenthood
8. “The best protection any woman can have…is courage.” — Elizabeth Cady Stanton, American Abolitionist
9. “Everyone has inside of her a piece of good news. The good news is that you don’t know how great you can be! How much you can love! What you can accomplish! And what your potential is!” — Anne Frank, Author of “Diary of a Young Girl”
10. “I speak not for myself but for those without voice… those who have fought for their rights… their right to live in peace, their right to be treated with dignity, their right to equality of opportunity, their right to be educated.” — Malala Yousafzai, Pakistani Schoolgirl and Education Activist
11. “I’ve learned that you shouldn’t go through life with a catcher’s mitt on both hands; you need to be able to throw something back.” — Maya Angelou, Celebrated American Poet
12. “African women in general need to know that it’s OK for them to be the way they are — to see the way they are as a strength, and to be liberated from fear and from silence.” — Wangari Maathai, Kenyan Environmental & Political Activist
13. “I have learned over the years that when one’s mind is made up, this diminishes fear; knowing what must be done does away with fear.” — Rosa Parks, African-American Civil Rights Activist
14. “What is important is that one utilizes one’s intellect and not to be 100 percent sure about one’s convictions. One should always leave room for doubt.” — Shirin Ebadi, Iranian Lawyer & Human Rights Activist
15. “It is impossible to live without failing at something, unless you live so cautiously that you might has well not have lived at all, in which case you have failed by default.” — J. K. Rowling, Author of “Harry Potter” Series
16. “Mine is a story about a teenage single mother who struggled to keep her young family afloat. It’s a story about a young woman who was given a precious opportunity to work her way up in the world. It’s a story about resilience, and sacrifice, and perseverance. And you’re damn right it’s a true story.” — Wendy Davis, American Lawyer and Democratic Politician
17. “My attitude to peace is rather based on the Burmese definition of peace — it really means removing all the negative factors that destroy peace in this world. So peace does not mean just putting an end to violence or to war, but to all other factors that threaten peace, such as discrimination, such as inequality, poverty.” — Aung San Suu Kyi, Burmese Opposition Politician & Chairperson of the National League for Democracy in Burma
18. “Most comedy is based on getting a laugh at somebody else’s expense. And I find that that’s just a form of bullying in a major way. So I want to be an example that you can be funny and be kind, and make people laugh without hurting somebody else’s feelings.” — Ellen DeGeneres, American Television Talk Show Host
19. “When it comes to human dignity, we cannot make compromises.” — Angela Merkel, Chancellor of Germany
20. “I am a person who believes in asking questions, in not conforming for the sake of conforming. I am deeply dissatisfied – about so many things, about injustice, about the way the world works – and in some ways, my dissatisfaction drives my storytelling.” — Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Nigerian Author
Women-Powered International Travel Opportunities
Women are the powerhouses of the world. They are incredible creatures with so much to offer. We’ve compiled a shortlist of just a few incredible organizations around the world, all founded by, run by, and powered by great, intelligent, inspiring women.
Organizations Run by Women
API Abroad: Founded by four women in 1997 who wanted to provide great and affordable study abroad programs to students. Fueled by their own passion for international travel and education, these women recognized the importance of getting to know the world and thus created an opportunity for students to grow and satisfy their international curiousity.
Global Experiences: Founder and CEO Emily Merson is an Australian go-getter who now resides on the East Coast of the U.S.A. Merson highly values international education for young professionals as a way to gain international job experience.
Athena Study Abroad: Stacy McKay Benander, the founder and president of Athena Study Abroad states, “Tolerance is built through knowledge, and knowledge is gained most effectively through experience. Study abroad teaches university students that knowledge has no borders.”
AMA Guatemala: This organization is a prime example of women empowering other women. Founded in 1994, The Highland Women Association (AMA) works with rural communities in Quetzaltenango, Guatemala, to help the women become powerful and educated agents within their communities.
Women’s Studies Volunteer/Study/Intern Abroad Programs
- Institute for Global Studies - Intern and see the world with a focus in Women’s Studies
- Athena Study Abroad - Study Women’s Studies in Italy
- Love Volunteers - Volunteer in Women’s Empowerment in Nicaragua
Women Make the World Go ‘Round
These inspiring quotes from women around the world say it all, and, it’s true: women do so much around the world, and sometimes it’s nice to bring these accomplishments to the forefront. Whether they’re seeking growth in their local communities, creating change and opportunity on a global scale, or wanting social justice for all, the women highlighted in this article are unified by common goals.
Education, equality, compassion, opportunity, intelligence, and perseverance are just a few of the many qualities that these influential women of the world bring to the table. As a global community, we owe so much to them.
What inspiring quotes by women did we miss? Share your favorites with us in the comments below!