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Wise words for women
May 09, 2019 Anniversary Wishes 3 comments

Empowering quotes from wise women some of the most empowering statements made by women throughout history - rousing words that are.

These quotations were submitted in anticipation of the Women’s March, January 21, 2017 in Washington, DC, and other cities throughout the world.

Gathered or written by women from all walks of life, they offer hope, anger, love, introspection, and humor
— but above all, strength:


Do you have favorite quotations from strong women? Did you participate in one of the Women’s Marches in DC or other US city? 

Your thoughts and opinion are always welcome by scrolling down or emailing

Judy O Haselhoef, a social artist, story-teller, and author of “GIVE & TAKE: Doing Our Damnedest NOT to be Another Charity in Haiti,” blogs regularly at her website,

Copyright @2017: If you’d like to use any part of it (up to 200 words), please give full attribution and this website,

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Category: Social JusticeTags: social justice, Washington DC, women, Women's March

A beautiful woman delights the eye; a wise woman, the understanding; a pure one, the soul. A lot of people hear the word 'diva' and think of it as a negative.

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wise words for women

Sadness. Disappointment. Anger. Hate. Love. Hope.

These emotions have been oscillating around the ELLE office this morning, ever since the news broke that Donald Trump had been elected the 45th President of the US.

Yesterday, American citizens had their chance to elect a first ever female president, inspiring a generation of women to finally see that equality is no longer an idealistic dream but a viable option in a world that so often fails to recognise the value of women and tries to stifle our voices beneath a seemingly immovable glass ceiling.

However, unfortunately, our dreams of seeing a woman elected to the White House remain, for now, just that – a dream.

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While many of us around the world may be feeling confused, disillusioned with the state of US politics and looking for someone to blame – it's important to realise that in times of despair, fear and anguish, we should not dwell too long on the circumstances, but instead conceive of ways to take action.

After all, just think of the women throughout history who have resisted the temptation to fall in line, who have fought and survived misogyny, racism, political oppression and elitism; the fight for female suffrage, sexual reproductive rights, education, recognition.

Remember, in times of inequality and lost hope, we do not fall, we fight. We do not become quietened, we shout. We do not hide away in sorrow, we act.

Above all, we do not hate, we find love.

In times like these, it helps to look back on some of history's most inspirational women to remember that whatever the storm, we are strong enough to fight for justice.

So, it seemed fitting that we start with the most prevalent of females today:

'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.' Hillary Clinton, former Democratic presidential candidate.

[pullquote align='C']'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.

'If you want something said, ask a man; if you want something done, ask a woman.' Margaret Thatcher, former Conservative Prime Minister of Great Britain.

'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, the first woman to win a Nobel Peace Prize.

'Make a difference about something other than yourselves.' Toni Morrison, American novelist.

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'The question is not whether we are able to change but whether we are changing fast enough.' Angela Merkel, German Chancellor.

'If it is true that men are better than women because they are stronger, why aren't our sumo wrestlers in the government?' Kishida Toshiko, women's rights activist, and Japan's first female orator.

'I'm not afraid of storms, for I'm learning to sail my ship.' Louisa May Alcott, American Novelist of 'Little Women'

[pullquote align='C']'The greater part of our happiness or misery depends on our dispositions and not our circumstances.' Martha Washington, considered to be the first First Lady of the United States.

'To the wrongs that need resistance, to the right that needs assistance, to the future in the distance, give yourselves.' Carrie Chapman Catt, president of the National American Woman Suffrage Association.

'Courage allows the successful woman to fail- and learn powerful lessons- from the failure- so that in the end, she didn't fail at all.' Maya Angelou, author and civil rights activist.

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'The education and empowerment of women throughout the world cannot fail to result in a more caring, tolerant, just and peaceful life for all.' Aung San Suu Kyi, Nobel Peace Prize Laureate, leader of Burma's democracy movement.

'You are the stars and the world is watching you. By your presence, you send a message to every village, every city, every nation. A message of hope. A message of victory.' Eunice Shriver, founder and honorary chairperson of Special Olympics.

'Each person must live their life as a model for others'. Rosa Parks, known as the 'first lady of civil rights'.

'I am an example of what is possible when girls from the very beginning of their lives are loved and nurtured by people around them. I was surrounded by extraordinary women in my life who taught me about quiet strength and dignity.' Michelle Obama, First Lady.

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'No person is your friend (or kin) who demands your silence, or denies your right to grow and be perceived as fully blossomed as you were intended.' Alice Walker, Pulitzer Prize winning author for 'The Colour Purple'.

'Somewhere out in this audience may even be someone who will one day follow in my footsteps, and preside over the White House as the President's spouse. I wish him well!' Barbara Bush, ex- First Lady.

'No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.' Eleanor Roosevelt, American politician, diplomat, and activist.

'Do not wait for leaders; do it alone, person to person.' Mother Theresa, Roman Catholic nun and missionary.

'It seems to me there's this tyranny that's not accidental or incidental, to make women feel compelled to look like somebody they're not. I think the effort is being made to get us to turn our time and attention to this instead of important political issues.' Eve Ensler, author of 'The Vagina Monologues'.

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'You must learn to be still in the midst of activity and to be vibrantly alive in repose.' Indira Gandhi, Indian politician and central figure of the Indian National Congress party.

If, like us, you're feeling disheartened and guilty for not having done enough to inspire women and men in the US to vote in a female president, remember that the fight for equality is not over.

Here are five feminist groups you can join today to start your journey on becoming real forces of change in the world:

The Fawcett Society

The UK's leading charity promoting gender equality and women's rights at work, at home and in public life. Visit here.

UK Feminista

A feminist campaigning organisation working to end the continuing inequalities between women and men by training supporters on how to campagin, working with you people and teachers to tackle sexism in education and running campaigns with other organizations to tackle misogyny. Visit here.

The Women's Equality Party

The UK's first mainstream political party dedicated to seeing women enjoy the same rights and opportunities as men. Visit here.


An alliance of organisations and institutions working to make gender equality a reality and ensure women gain access to their human rights. NAWO works at a national level with the UK government and internationally with the United Nations. Visit here.

End Violence Against Women

A leading coalition of specialist women's support services, researchers, activists, survivors and NGOs working to end violence against women and girls. Visit here.

This is not the end. It's only the beginning. #Morewomen

'Activism is something that no one can fake. You get angry. You cry. But you never throw in your towel, because that anger is what is propelling you to further action.' Leymah Gbowee, Nobel Peace Laureate and Oxfam Ambassador.

'You must learn to be still in the midst of activity and to be vibrantly alive in repose.' Indira Gandhi, Indian politician and central figure of the Indian National Congress party.

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Encouraging Words and Sayings

wise words for women

Women Sayings and Quotes

Below you will find our collection of inspirational, wise, and humorous old women quotes, women sayings, and women proverbs, collected over the years from a variety of sources.

Women, like men, should try to do the impossible. And when they fail, their failure should be a challenge to others.

Amelia Earhart

You educate a man; you educate a man. You educate a woman; you educate a generation.     

Brigham Young

Women get the last word in every argument. Anything a man says after that is the beginning of a new argument.

Author Unknown

Think like a queen. A queen is not afraid to fail. Failure is another steppingstone to greatness.     

Oprah Winfrey

Being a woman is a terribly difficult task, since it consists principally in dealing with men.     

Joseph Conrad

As usual, there is a great woman behind every idiot.     

John Lennon

A woman has to live her life, or live to repent not having lived it.     

D.H. Lawrence

A woman is like a tea bag - you never know how strong she is until she gets in hot water.

Eleanor Roosevelt

I'd much rather be a woman than a man. Women can cry, they can wear cute clothes, and they're the first to be rescued off sinking ships.

Gilda Radner

In our society, the women who break down barriers are those who ignore limits.

Arnold Schwarzenegger

If women didn't exist, all the money in the world would have no meaning.

Aristotle Onassis

Women who seek to be equal with men lack ambition.

Timothy Leary

Women want love to be a novel, men a short story.     

Daphne du Maurier

Women do not find it difficult nowadays to behave like men, but they often find it extremely difficult to behave like gentlemen.     

Compton Mackenzie

This piece explores the wise and valuable council of women in the music industry going back many years, with inspirational and encouraging.

37 Inspirational Strong Women Quotes with Images

wise words for women

I love when magazine tag lines promise to help me discover “who I’m meant to be.” Am I not already that person? How does one go about doing this? Could there be a less scientific pursuit? Regardless, there are times when we could all use a little bit of encouragement. So! Here’s a round-up of words uplifting, witty and wise, courtesy of 12 amazing women…

“Do stuff. Be clenched, curious. Not waiting for inspiration’s shove or society’s kiss on your forehead. Pay attention. It’s all about paying attention. Attention is vitality. It connects you with others. It makes you eager. Stay eager.”
—Susan Sontag

“I began to understand that all of life is practice: writing, driving, hiking, brushing teeth, packing lunch boxes, making beds, cooking dinner, making love, walking dogs, even sleeping. We are always practicing. Only practicing.”
—Dani Shapiro

“If you are gracious, you have won the game.”
—Stevie Nicks

“It’s interesting how we often can’t see the ways in which we are being strong — like, you can’t be aware of what you’re doing that’s tough and brave at the time that you’re doing it because if you knew that it was brave, then you’d be scared.”
—Lena Dunham

“To me it is really important to live in what I call the spaces in-between. Bus stations, trains, taxis or waiting rooms in airports are the best places because you are open to destiny, you are open to everything and anything can happen.”
—Marina Abramović

“I cured myself of shyness when it finally occurred to me that people didn’t think about me half as much as I gave them credit for. The truth was, nobody gave a damn. Like most teenagers, I was far too self-centered. When I stopped being prisoner to what I worried was others’ opinions of me, I became more confident and free.”
—Lucille Ball

“The most important relationship in your life is the one you have with yourself. Because no matter what happens, you will always be with yourself.”
—Diane von Furstenberg

“There is always something to do. There are hungry people to feed, naked people to clothe, sick people to comfort and make well. And while I don’t expect you to save the world I do think it’s not asking too much for you to love those with whom you sleep, share the happiness of those whom you call friend, engage those among you who are visionary and remove from your life those who offer you depression, despair and disrespect.”
—Nikki Giovanni

“Think of yourself like a captain, and you’ve got this little boat. And sometimes the weather’s good, and you’re just sailing, and sometimes big storms hit, and you know, you’re in a stormy sea, but just ride it out, ride it out. Because it’s good to be alive.”
—Patti Smith

“Once we give up searching for approval, we often find it easier to earn respect.”
—Gloria Steinem

“People think you have to know what you want to do with your life by the time you’re 19. Wrong! Or that you have to be in a significant relationship in your twenties. Wrong! It’s all just nonsense.”
—Tilda Swinton

“You must not quote to me what I once said. I am wiser now.”
—Romy Schneider

Do you have any quotes to add to this list? What are your words to live by?

P.S. Funny life advice and 15 women share their best career tips.

(Photo of Nikki Giovanni in 1968 via Pictorial Parade Pictures.)

Tags: quoted

April 14, 2016 11:14am

Best wise women quotes selected by thousands of our users! Wise women tuck Godly wisdom into the words they speak and even more into the words they.

wise words for women
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