13 Empowering Quotes from Influential Women That Will Inspire You Every Step of the Way

Written by Noemie Akridge

Over the span of a hundred years, women have raised their fists in the air, changed laws, created art to last for centuries, made history, accomplished great things fearlessly and made their strong voices heard. Empowered, free and united we stand today, helping each other to find our voices, strengths and spiritual selves.

A strong dose of feminine wisdom

These thirteen influential women have impacted and helped to shape our culture and history. They flew over oceans, fought battles, wrote life-changing essays, freed entire communities from silence or oppression and stood strong together. May you find nourishment and inspiration on your own journey of empowerment as we reflect on the insights of these extraordinary women. Enjoy it without moderation and share it with the women around you!

1. Amelia Earhart on accomplishing the impossible: “Women, like men, should try to do the impossible. And when they fail, their failure should be a challenge to others.”

One thing that Amelia Earhart represents like no other is courage and determination. Gone missing while flying over the ocean during what was meant to become the longest flight between continents, Amelia Earhart still is a role model for numerous women and young girls, embodying fearlessness and ambition.

2. Diane Mariechild on Women’s Nature: “A woman is the full circle. Within her is the power to create, nurture and transform.

Across her literary work, Diane Mariechild always insisted on the importance and sacred meaning of women’s nature. Believing strongly in the gifts a woman inherently received, she always described the spirituality of femininity and motherhood.

3. Coco Chanel on being a free thinker: “The most courageous act is still to think for yourself. Aloud.”

Gabrielle “Coco” Chanel is a French iconic fashion designer who liberated women from traditional corseted fashion and encouraged women to reclaim their bodies and their right to dress as they want. As of today, Chanel remains one of the chicest and praised haute couture brands in the world.

4. Emma Watson on opportunities and achievements: “If you want to run for Prime Minister, you can. If you don’t, that’s wonderful, too. Shave your armpits, don’t shave them, wear flats one day, heels the next. These things are so irrelevant and surface to what it is all really about, and I wish people wouldn’t get caught up in that. We want to empower women to do exactly what they want, to be true to themselves, to have the opportunities to develop. Women should feel free.”

Made famous by the “Harry Potter” saga movies in the earlier 2000s, Emma Watson built a prestigious cinematographic career and also made it a priority to fight openly for women’s rights all over the planet. Her social media posts and numerous feminist speeches have inspired many women to this day.

5. Gail Blanke on community: “Don’t just stand for the success of other women - insist on it.”

As one of the most renowned life coaches and motivational speakers in the United States, Gail Blanke encourages women to empower each other and share their inspiration with the world.

6. Virginia Woolf on freedom: “As a woman I have no country. As a woman I want no country. As a woman, my country is the whole world.”

Virginia Woolf is one of the most eminent feminist essayists and figures. Her many works on the emancipation and freedom of women shaped the aspirations and motivations of generations of young ladies everywhere.

7. Malala Yousafzai on standing for each over: “I raise up my voice—not so I can shout, but so that those without a voice can be heard...we cannot succeed when half of us are held back.”

Malala Yousafzai is only twenty-one years old but she is the most influential political leaders for Women’s Rights in her country, Pakistan. She directly opposed Talibans who wanted to prohibit access to school for girls. She is an empowering figure for many Muslim communities facing extremism and millions of women around the world.

8. Madeleine Albright on finding her voice: “It took me quite a long time to develop a voice, and now that I have it, I am not going to be silent.”

Madeleine Albright was the first woman Secretary of State in the United States of America. Known for her infinite motivation, commitment, and intelligence, she helped pave the way for many women aspiring for a career in politics or any other field.  

9. Maya Angelou on phenomenal women: “I am a Woman Phenomenally. Phenomenal Woman, that's me.”

Maya Angelou is probably one of the most influential civil rights activists and writers.  Standing strongly against racism and misogyny amongst other things, she always spoke the truth in the most direct and essential ways. Her legacy is invaluable.

10. Anaïs Nin on taking risks: “And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom.”

Anaïs Nin was a French-Cuban novelist, essayist, and diarist. Throughout her lifetime work, women held a particular place. Directly or indirectly, she wrote a lot about women’s place in society, in partnership, in intimate life and as artists. Her poetic and powerful writing style is remembered as one of the most memorable amongst female writers.

11. Dolly Parton on going with the flow: “The way I see it, if you want the rainbow, you gotta put up with the rain!”

Dolly Parton started her career in country music in 1967. Her unique style and unforgettable songwriting and composition quickly made her an icon across the globe. With unique titles like “Jolene” and “9 to 5”, she remains a role model for generations and generations of women and little girls.

12. Meryl Streep on role models: “I think the best role models for women are people who are fruitfully and confidently themselves, who bring light into the world.”

Meryl Streep is a timeless figure of cinema. Unforgettable and forever an activist, she always stood up and spoke for the women who could not. In the “me too” era, to denounce the pay gap in Hollywood and everywhere, she always had a public speech, an interview or a platform to defend our best interests and ensure a better future for women.

13. Agnes Varda on rebellion and cohesion: “Rebelliousness is part of being a woman. (…) It’s the margin that holds the pages of the book together. We shouldn’t suffer to be at the margin.

We’re on the side that holds.”

Agnes Varda just passed away but her words resound louder than ever. A fierce feminist and only feminine figure of the Nouvelle Vague in French Cinema, Agnes Varda always paved the way for other women directors and artists, the awakening that sparkle of rebellion and creativity we all need.

Feeling inspired and empowered?

It is both soothing and stimulating to read the inspiring words of other women who have left a footprint on our society. Whether they have changed the world with actions, revolutions, words or simply by existing, they will keep on elevating us with their feminine wisdom and presence. As we end the Aries season, it is a wonderful time to remember that empowerment is a beating heart that lives in each of us.

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Self-careSarah Engelhart