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50 powerful women empowerment quotes that'll leave you inspired

Let these words from feminist icons encourage you to embrace the power within.

Women’s History Month is a welcome reminder to celebrate the incredible efforts of all women — past, present and future.

Little by little, we're seeing a shift in the way the world looks at — and appreciates — women, but let it be known that the road to true gender equality remains long. When it feels like the odds are stacked against you and your fellow females, lean on other strong women for much-needed encouragement and hope that brighter days are indeed ahead.

While you can always turn to your real-life support system for inspiration, these women empowerment quotes will also motivate you to keep chipping away at the ever-present glass ceiling. Below, bold women like Maya Angelou, Serena Williams, Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Dolly Parton drive that point home, inspiring all of us to use power within us to make a change — for us and all the generations to follow.

Whether you're looking for something to post in honor of Women's History Month or simply need some motivation to keep fighting the good fight, read these powerful quotes from female founders, famous icons and feminist trailblazers. Once you get your fix, follow in the footsteps of the women before you and keep blazing that trail!

  • "As women achieve power, the barriers will fall. As society sees what women can do, as women see what women can do, there will be more women out there doing things, and we’ll all be better off for it." — Sandra Day O'Connor
  • "Girls are capable of doing everything men are capable of doing. Sometimes they have more imagination than men." — Katherine Johnson
  • "Technique and ability alone do not get you to the top; it is the willpower that is most important." — Junko Tabei
  • "We may encounter many defeats but we must not be defeated." — Maya Angelou
  • "Women, whether subtly or vociferously, have always been a tremendous power in the destiny of the world." — Eleanor Roosevelt, "It’s Up to the Women"
  • "It’s not about being perfect. It’s not about where you get yourself in the end. There’s power in allowing yourself to be known and heard, in owning your unique story, in using your authentic voice." — Michelle Obama, "Becoming"
  • “I never dreamed about success. I worked for it.” ― Estée Lauder
  • “A woman with a voice is, by definition, a strong woman.” ― Melinda Gates
  • “I try to live in a little bit of my own joy and not let people steal it or take it.” Hoda Kotb
  • “Women belong in all places where decisions are being made. It shouldn’t be that women are the exception.” ― Ruth Bader Ginsburg
  • “Women’s work is never easy, never clean.” ― Tayari Jones, "An American Marriage"
  • “You don’t know the background story of resilience, struggles and strength of beautiful and outgoing women. All you see is what is showcased.” ― Germany Kent
  • “Think like a queen. A queen is not afraid to fail. Failure is another stepping stone to greatness.” ― Oprah Winfrey
  • “There’s something so special about a woman who dominates in a man’s world. It takes a certain grace, strength, intelligence, fearlessness, and the nerve to never take no for an answer.” ― Rihanna
  • “I have chosen to no longer be apologetic for my femaleness and my femininity. And I want to be respected in all of my femaleness because I deserve to be.” ― Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, "We Should All Be Feminists"
  • “Feminism isn’t about making women stronger. Women are already strong, it’s about changing the way the world perceives that strength.” ― G.D. Anderson
  • “I raise up my voice — not so that I can shout, but so that those without a voice can be heard … we cannot all succeed when half of us are held back." ― Malala Yousafzai
  • “I myself have never been able to find out precisely what feminism is: I only know that people call me a feminist whenever I express sentiments that differentiate me from a doormat.” ― Rebecca West
  • “You educate a man; you educate a man. You educate a woman; you educate a generation.”― Brigham Young
  • “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
  • “There is no limit to what we, as women, can accomplish.” ― Michelle Obama
  •  “We need women at all levels, including the top, to change the dynamic, reshape the conversation, to make sure women’s voices are heard and heeded, not overlooked and ignored.” ― Sheryl Sandberg
  • “Justice is about making sure that being polite is not the same thing as being quiet. In fact, oftentimes, the most righteous thing you can do is shake the table.” ― Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez
  • “Black women have had to develop a larger vision of our society than perhaps any other group. They have had to understand white men, white women and black men. And they have had to understand themselves. When black women win victories, it is a boost for virtually every segment of society.” ― Angela Davis
  • “Who made man the exclusive judge, if women partake with him the gift of reason?” ― Mary Wollstonecraft
  • “Behind every great woman... is another great woman.” ― Kate Hodges
  • “As long as she thinks of a man, nobody objects to a woman thinking.” ― Virginia Woolf, "Orlando"
  • “Men should think twice before making widowhood women’s only path to power.” ― Gloria Steinem
  • “I embrace the label of bad feminist because I am human. I am messy. I’m not trying to be an example. I am not trying to be perfect. I am not trying to say I have all the answers. I am not trying to say I’m right. I am just trying—trying to support what I believe in, trying to do some good in this world, trying to make some noise with my writing while also being myself.” ― Roxane Gay
  • “I am not free while any woman is unfree, even when her shackles are very different from my own.” ― Audre Lorde
  • “No woman can call herself free who does not control her own body.” ― Margaret Sanger
  • “If any female feels she need anything beyond herself to legitimate and validate her existence, she is already giving away her power to be self-defining, her agency.” ― bell hooks, Feminism Is for Everybody: Passionate Politics
  • “No woman should be made to fear that she was not enough.” ― Samantha Shannon, "The Priory of the Orange Tree"
  • “I’m not going to limit myself just because people won’t accept the fact that I can do something else.”― Dolly Parton
  • “One life is all we have and we live it as we believe in living it. But to sacrifice what you are and to live without belief, that is a fate more terrible than dying.” ― Joan of Arc
  • “Women, they have minds, and they have souls, as well as just hearts. And they’ve got ambition, and they’ve got talent, as well as just beauty. I’m so sick of people saying that love is all a woman is fit for.” ― Louisa May Alcott, "Little Women"
  • “The emerging woman ... will be strong-minded, strong-hearted, strong-souled, and strong-bodied...strength and beauty must go together.” ― Louisa May Alcott, "An Old-Fashioned Girl"
  • “Teach her that the idea of ‘gender roles’ is absolute nonsense. Do not ever tell her that she should or should not do something because she is a girl. ‘Because you are a girl’ is never reason for anything. Ever.” ― Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, "Dear Ijeawele, or a Feminist Manifesto in Fifteen Suggestions"
  • “Each time a woman stands up for herself, without knowing it possibly, without claiming it, she stands up for all women.” ― Maya Angelou
  • “Some leaders are born women.” ― Geraldine Ferraro
  • “I am a woman and a warrior. If you think I can’t be both, you’ve been lied to.” ― Jennifer Zeynab Joukhadar, "The Map of Salt and Stars"
  • “ not ‘women as victims’ but women refusing to be victims.” ― Gloria Steinem, "The Trouble With Rich Women"
  • “No country can ever truly flourish if it stifles the potential of its women and deprives itself of the contributions of half its citizens” ― Michelle Obama
  • “I am not ashamed to dress ‘like a woman’ because I don’t think it’s shameful to be a woman.” ― Iggy Pop
  • “Every woman’s success should be an inspiration to another. We’re strongest when we cheer each other on.” ― Serena Williams
  • “Women have always been the strong ones of the world.” ― Coco Chanel
  • “It’s not about how many times you get rejected or fall down or are beaten up, it’s about how many times you stand up and are brave and you keep on going.” ― Lady Gaga
  • “The biggest barrier for women is the thought that they can’t have it all.” ― Cathy Engelbert
  •  “A woman is like a tea bag — you can’t tell how strong she is until you put her in hot water.” ―  Eleanor Roosevelt
  • “A girl should be two things: who and what she wants” — Coco Chanel

Throughout the month of March, is celebrating women across generations who have made history and continue to move the conversation forward by breaking stigmas, sparking dialogue and inspiring the next generation.