As long as the playing field remains uneven between men and women, it’s our responsibility to empower girls and women. It’s not just necessary to instill in these girls and our fellow women just how important they are, but to make them realize their full potential and that, no matter what their dreams may be, they can, with enough gumption and tenacity, achieve them. Being a woman isn’t a handicap; it's actually an asset — even if the patriarchy would like us to believe otherwise. Seriously; what year is this again?
When we empower girls and women, we’re giving them a gift that maybe they haven’t been given before. We’re not just telling them, but showing them that the can absolutely make a difference in the world. To empower women is to strengthen our society; it’s taking our world up several notches and letting women have a greater influence; an influence we can all use in our lives.
In honor of Women’s History Month this March, here are a list of quotes about female empowerment that are my all-time favorites. I've actually memorized some of these, because there’s no better way to start the day than by telling yourself a Simone de Beauvoir quote to make you feel like you can take on the world.
1. “I am too intelligent, too demanding, and too resourceful for anyone to be able to take charge of me entirely. No one knows me or loves me completely. I have only myself.” — Simone de Beauvoir
2. "I could not, at any age, be content to take my place by the fireside and simply look on. Life was meant to be lived. Curiosity must be kept alive. One must never, for whatever reason, turn his back on life." — Eleanor Roosevelt
3. “It is easier to live through someone else than to complete yourself. The freedom to lead and plan your own life is frightening if you have never faced it before. It is frightening when a woman finally realizes that there is no answer to the question 'who am I' except the voice inside herself.” — Betty Friedan
4. “Women may be the one group that grows more radical with age.” — Gloria Steinem
5. "Whether I am meant to or not, I challenge assumptions about women. I do make some people uncomfortable, which I'm well aware of, but that's just part of coming to grips with what I believe is still one of the most important pieces of unfinished business in human history—empowering women to be able to stand up for themselves." — Hillary Clinton
6. "I love to see a young girl go out and grab the world by the lapels. Life's a bitch. You've got to go out and kick ass." — Maya Angelou
7. "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
8. “Here’s to strong women. May we know them. May we be them. May we raise them.” — Unknown
9. “A liberated woman is one who has sex before marriage and a job after.” ― Gloria Steinem
10. "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
11. "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
12. “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
13. "My life didn't please me, so I created my life." — Coco Chanel
14. “There is a stubbornness about me that never can bear to be frightened at the will of others. My courage always rises at every attempt to intimidate me.” — Jane Austen
15. "The question isn't who's going to let me; it's who's going to stop me." — Ayn Rand
16. "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
17. “You wanna fly, you got to give up the shit that weighs you down.” — Toni Morrison
8. “How wrong is it for a woman to expect the man to build the world she wants, rather than to create it herself?” ― Anaïs Nin
19. "Always be a first-rate version of yourself, instead of a second-rate version of somebody else." — Judy Garland
20. “In youth, it was a way I had, to do my best to please. And change, with every passing lad , to suit his theories. But now I know the things I know, and do the things I do, and if you do not like me so, to hell, my love, with you.” — Dorothy Parker
21. “Above all, be the heroine of your life, not the victim.” — Nora Ephron
Hopefully these words from remarkable women will empower you to do some of the things you've always wanted to do, but were a little too scared to try.