In 1987, the National Women’s History Project petitioned congress to declare March Women’s History Month. In the past 30 years, we have virtually, and in person, celebrated the great contributions that women make in this country. From medicine and technology to fashion and media, women have been innovators, revolutionaries, and humanitarians. To celebrate the third decade in female greatness, here are 30 inspiring quotes from notable women who have spread their wings so that we can fly.
Great minds discuss ideas; average minds discuss events; small minds discuss people.
– Eleanor Roosevelt, Former First Lady of the United States
Don’t sit and wait for the opportunities to come. Get up and make them.
– Madam CJ Walker, Entrepreneur
The most courageous act is still to think for yourself. Aloud.
– Coco Chanel, Fashion Designer
Nothing attracts me like a closed door. I cannot let my camera rest until I have pried it open.
– Margaret Bourke-White, Documentary Photographer
I’ve always believed that one woman’s success can only help another woman’s success.
– Gloria Vanderbilt, Fashion Designer
There is more to sex appeal than just measurements. I don’t need a bedroom to prove my womanliness. I can convey just as much sex appeal, picking apples off a tree or standing in the rain.
– Audrey Hepburn, Actress and Philanthropist
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, Author and Poet
Spread love everywhere you go. Let no one ever come to you without leaving happier.
– Mother Teresa, Calcutta Nun and Humanitarian
The great gift of human beings is that we have the power of empathy.
– Meryl Streep, Actress
Lock up your libraries if you like; but there is no gate, no lock, no bolt that you can set upon the freedom of my mind.
– Virginia Wolf, Author (Quote from A Room of One’s Own)
I am no bird; and no net ensnares me: I am a free human being with an independent will.
– Charlotte Brontë, Author (Quote from Jane Eyre)
The people must know before they can act, and there is no educator to compare with the press.
– Ida B. Wells, Journalist and Activist
I didn’t get there by wishing for it or hoping for it, but by working for it.
– Estée Lauder, Beauty Mogul
Every great dream begins with a dreamer. Always remember, you have within you the strength, the patience, and the passion to reach for the stars to change the world.
– Harriet Tubman, Abolitionist and Humanitarian
Above all, be the heroine of your life, not the victim.
– Nora Ephron, Film Director
In politics, If you want anything said, ask a man. If you want anything done, ask a woman.
– Margaret Thatcher, British Prime Minister
You can’t just sit there and wait for people to give you that golden dream. You’ve got to get out there and make it happen for yourself.
– Diana Ross, Singer, Actress, Designer
You can waste your lives drawing lines. Or you can live your life crossing them.
– Shonda Rhimes, Writer and Producer
You are the one that possesses the keys to your being. You carry the passport to your own happiness.
– Diane Von Furstenberg, Fashion Designer
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, Former First Lady of the United States
Cultivate your curves – they may be dangerous but they won’t be avoided.
– Mae West, Actress
I’d much rather be a woman than a man. Women can cry, they can wear cute clothes, and they are the first to be rescued off of sinking ships.
– Gilda Radner, Actress and Comedian
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, Former Prime Minister of India
I am not free while any woman is unfree, even when her shackles are very different from my own.
– Audre Lorde, Writer and Civil Rights Activist
You are only as beautiful as the many beautiful things you do for others without expectation.
– Janelle Monae, Singer and Actress
Don’t feel stupid if you don’t like what everyone else pretends to love.
– Emma Watson, Actress and Activist
I do not try to dance better than anyone else. I only try to dance better than myself.
– Arianna Huffington, Media Mogul and Entrepreneur
Cherish forever what makes you unique, cuz you’re really a yawn if it goes.
– Bette Midler, Actress
I have never been insecure, ever, about how I look, about what I want to do with myself. My mum told me to only ever do things for myself, not for others.”
– Adele, Singer and Songwriter