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Inspirational Quotes Written by Women

Updated on June 21, 2014


Many women far and wide, young, old and deceased have contributed to society in astounding ways. The waves and movements in time that women have endured has not always been smooth sailing and thereby many of the quotes below have some deep meanings that were time sensitive. One common thread between them all are their words are uplifting, mesmerizing and by their tongues have carried women to places never imagined. Enjoy what history has brought and savored all in the words created by women.


Anne Frank

Best known for her writing inspired by her experiences during the Holocaust where she and her family was forced into hiding as a result of her Jewish heritage. Anne wrote the “Anne Frank Diaries” amongst many others. A quote of hers that really resonated with me is:

“I don't think of all the misery but of the beauty that still remains.”

Barbara Streisand

An award winning actress and singer, song writer, Barbara a Brooklyn native quickly moved up in the ranks of Broadway landing her a recording contract that produced many long lived gold records. She said it best when it comes to life:

“I’m a work in progress.”


A powerhouse singer and half of the 1960’s duo Sonny and Cher. She set her acting skills free in the 1980’s with her stellar performance in the movie Moonstruck. Never taking a break Cher remains to be an iconic figure and powerful female image in the Hollywood industries. Her quotes demonstrate the epitome of her untimely strength:

Women have to harness their power - it's absolutely true. It's just learning not to take the first “no.” And if you can't go straight ahead, you go around the corner.”

Eleanor Roosevelt

The wife of President Franklin D. Roosevelt, Eleanor used her position as the first lady as her platform to fight for the rights of women. She did not shy away from media as she was very outspoken, giving press conferences and writing journal columns. Her many roles led her to be one of the most influential women during the women’s movement. As a result, her perseverance began to change the direction of this country and move toward an unimaginable direction. She expressed what that meant for women everywhere:

You must do the things you think you cannot do.”

Geraldine Ferraro

A powerful iconic woman that emerged in politics and paved the road for those that followed her. Before her time in the White House, Geraldine, was an assistant district attorney though set her sights much further. She was the first woman nominated for vice president in the US, running alongside Walter Mondale in 1984. Women everywhere in some ways have sat vicariously in the White House with her as she said:

“You don’t have to have fought in a war to love peace.”

Helen Keller

The epitome of strength, Helen, a blind and deaf woman overcame her own afflictions to become a leader for the rights of the blind in addition to contributing during the era of the women’s suffrage. Helen did not stop there, she pursued a college education and became a published author, telling her personal story. Despite her disabilities, Helen was able to embrace hardship which showed through her words such as:

“We could never learn to be brave and patient, if there were only joy in the world.”

Jane Fonda

The daughter of actor, Henry Fonda, Jane made her own impact in the world as an actress, fashion model and exercise guru. She also made her mark as a civil rights activist and anti-war activist. Jane was well-known both on and off screen as she made a political mark by openly criticizing the Vietnam war. During her life that included difficulties and heartbreak she coined the thought:

“When you can’t remember why you’re hurt, that’s when you’re healed.”

Judy Garland

The beloved Dorothy from the Wizard of Oz, where all children waited year after year for the broadcast of her fighting the wicked witch and returning to Kansas. Yet at a time where being the most beautiful got the job, Judy was overwhelmed by maintaining a tiresome image and ultimately succumbed to an overdose. Despite the tailspin and how her story finalized, she had some great words of wisdom to live by:

Always be a first-rate version of yourself, instead of a second-rate version of somebody else.”

Margaret Thatcher

A demonstration of conservative beliefs, Margaret became the first prime minister of Britain. She served 3 terms in office while reforming many programs that led her to be very unpopular and she finally resigned in 1991. After leaving office, Margaret tried her hand at writing and published two books. The premise of a good leader, Margaret demonstrated leadership without concern, however, that also contributed to her fall. Yet she left some words of wisdom along the way:

If you want something said, ask a man; if you want something done, ask a woman.”

Maya Angelou

One of the most influential and poetic women spreading her voice far and wide, one can only hope to change their own adversities into that silver lining as Maya did. Not a glamorous childhood, yet, she used her tragedies to lift her and allow her to overcome the odds. Through rape, degrading employment and single parenthood, Maya rose above it all as a singer, actress, writer, educator and activist. To many quotes to mention, most of them exploding with power, here is one:

“We may encounter many defeats but we must not be defeated.”

Mother Teresa

Dedicated her life to missionary work to serve the poor, Mother Teresa is the prime example of selflessness. Called to Rome, this Catholic nun acknowledged what she expressed experiencing a “call within a call.” Therefore, mentioning women’s words of the past and present would be incomplete without her voice which depicted:

“We ourselves feel that what we are doing is just a drop in the ocean. But the ocean would be less because of that missing drop.”

Oprah Winfrey

Best known for her television show that she hosted for 25 seasons, Oprah’s television career began well before the Oprah Show. Becoming a television advocate that spoke against abuse of all types, she exposed her own personal story filled with child abuse. Along her journey she has helped many begin their own mark in the media world. Being able to see her come out on the successful side of tragedy is exhilarating and empowering as described by:

“Where there is no struggle, there is no strength.”

Princess Diana

The great Princess of Whales and the wife of Prince Charles of Britain was a supporter of many charities that sought out to eradicate homelessness and served children with AIDS and HIV. After her televised divorce and suspected new boyfriend was involved in a heart dropping car accident provoked by the paparazzi. Though she has left behind her legacy and her words:

“The greatest problem in the world today is intolerance. Everyone is so intolerant of each other.”

Rosa Parks

Widely known for her refusal to move to the back of the bus in Montgomery Alabama, the African American tired working woman who just wanted to get home after a long days work was immediately famous. Her actions spiraled into a city-wide boycott which left law makers no choice but to life the segregation laws that pertained to public transportation. As a result in her role during the equal rights movement, Rosa remained as a public figure for women and African American’s. Her words can only help to understand the suffering experienced by all African American’s at that time:

“Have you ever been hurt and the place tries to heal a bit, and you just pull the scar off of it over and over again.”

Roseanne Barr

Known for her role in the Rosanne Show and her edgy remarks and no-holds-barred persona showed that women have a choice to stand for what they believe and not to back down on something they believe because it may hurt someone else. Don’t forget that she has also used her comedic ability to continue to shine. Not without a rollercoaster of a personal life, Roseanne continues to be herself which shines through this quote:

The thing women have yet to learn is nobody gives you power. You just take it.”

Susan B. Anthony

The figure that comes to mind when the Women’s Suffrage Movement is mentioned, Susan was the president of the association and stood for change. A speaker and writer, Susan dedicated a great deal of her life fighting many social issues. A hero in every woman’s life Susan was commemorated by placing her portrait on the 1979 dollar coins, known as the Susan B. Anthony coin and becoming the first woman be honored in such way. Her words are ever lasting and in the hearts of all women as she spoke:

"We've chosen the path to equality, don't let them turn us around."


As the struggles define us they do not confine us. Women around the world live as they do at the hands of so many. The battles, sweat and tears, abundant as they are, can not be lost as women have rose above and best said by the late and great, Maya Angelou, “and still I rise.”


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    • mdscoggins profile imageAUTHOR

      Michelle Scoggins 

      4 years ago from Fresno, CA

      Thank you Torrs13 for reading the hub. I learned a lot from it and those women are truly inspiring to me.

    • Torrs13 profile image

      Tori Canonge 

      4 years ago from North Carolina

      I always enjoy reading quotes, especially those that inspire use to do something great, even if that something great is simply smiling at someone or choosing to be the bigger person in a situation. Well written hub!

    • mdscoggins profile imageAUTHOR

      Michelle Scoggins 

      4 years ago from Fresno, CA

      Thanks Torrilynn. Quotes or positive affirmation have been known to improve mood and motivation.

    • torrilynn profile image


      4 years ago

      great and well written piece. inspirational quotes are really need in these times of need. voted up.

    • Kathryn L Hill profile image

      Kathryn L Hill 

      4 years ago from LA

      Totally Great.


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