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35 Feminist quotes to inspire you this International Women's Day

The best empowering quotes from influential women from Princess Diana to Taylor Swift, Emma Watson, Meghan Markle & more

35 Feminist quotes to inspire you this International Women's Day
Natalie Salmon
Fashion Digital Editor
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International Women’s Day takes place again this year, on 8 March 2024. The global holiday has become a focal point in the women's rights movement and brings attention to the fight for gender equality and women’s issues, ranging from reproductive rights to equal pay.

Why is International Women’s Day celebrated on March 8th?

International Women’s Day originated from the women’s suffrage movement. Initially, IWD had no set date, but it had always been celebrated in late February or early March. Russia observed International Women's Day for the first time in 1913. Then, in 1914, International Women's Day was held for the first time in Germany on March 8, this observance was dedicated to women's right to vote, which German women did not win until 1918.

That same day, there was a march in London in support of women's suffrage, during which Sylvia Pankhurst was arrested in front of Charing Cross station on her way to speak in Trafalgar Square.

Sylvia herself was an irrepressible campaigner, she wrote extensively, not only for women's suffrage but also for Ethiopian independence, socialism and international and domestic issues.

Sylvia Pankhurst sitting with her hand under her chin© Getty
Sylvia Pankhurst was the founder of the Women's Social and Political Union (WSPU)

From Princess Diana to Malala Yousafzai and Emma Watson, these are the 30 most inspiring quotes on feminism to live by this IWD: 

"As women, we may not be a minority, but there is a bond that we all share. It is not a bond of geography. Or religion. Or culture. It is a bond of shared experience - experiences that only women go through and struggles that only women face." - Amal Clooney

“I wanna thank me, for believing in me and doing what they said I could not do. And I want to say to myself in front of all you beautiful people, ‘Go on girl with your bad self! You did that!" - Neicey Nash

"I want to say to all the young women out there: There are going to be people along the way who try to undercut your success or take credit for your accomplishments or your fame, but if you just focus on the work and you don’t let those people sidetrack you, someday, when you get where you’re going, you will look around and you will know — it was you, and the people who love you, who put you there." - Taylor Swift

“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

“If they don’t give you a seat at the table, bring a folding chair.” - Shirley Chisholm  

“People think that at the end of the day, a man is the only answer. Actually, a fulfilling job is better for me.” - Princess Diana

“There is no limit to what we, as women, can accomplish.” –Michelle Obama

“A woman with a voice is, by definition, a strong woman.” - Melinda Gates

"You don't have to play dress up to be a feminist. You are a feminist exactly the way you are. You can be a woman who wants to look good and still stand up for the equality of women. There’s no uniform for feminism; you are a feminist exactly the way you are."

Meghan Markle, Duchess of Sussex
Meghan addresses a reception celebrating the 125th anniversary of women's suffrage in New Zealand on October 28, 2018© Getty
Meghan addresses a reception celebrating the 125th anniversary of women's suffrage in New Zealand on October 28, 2018

MORE: How to get your business stocked in John Lewis – plus all the ways the retailer is supporting women this IWD

“No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.” –Eleanor Roosevelt

“Human rights are women’s rights, and women’s rights are human rights.” –Hillary Clinton

“A feminist is any woman who tells the truth about her life.” –Virginia Woolfc

“I started questioning gender-based assumptions when at eight I was confused at being called ‘bossy’, because I wanted to direct the plays we would put on for our parents—but the boys were not. When at 14 I started being sexualized by certain elements of the press. When at 15 my girlfriends started dropping out of their sports teams because they didn’t want to appear ‘muscly’. When at 18 my male friends were unable to express their feelings. I decided I was a feminist and this seemed uncomplicated to me." 

Emma Watson

“A girl should be two things: Who and what she wants.” –Coco Chanel

“Each time a woman stands up for herself she stands up for all women.” –Maya Angelou

“Every woman’s success should be an inspiration to another. We’re strongest when we cheer each other on.” –Serena Williams

“It is not women’s liberation, it is women’s and men’s liberation.” –Ruth Bader Ginsburg

READ: Why International Women's Day still matters according to 13 powerful women in fashion

“Extremists have shown what frightens them most. A girl with a book.”

Malala Yousafzai
Malala Yousafzai delivers her acceptance speech during the Nobel Peace Prize Award ceremony in 2014© Getty
Malala Yousafzai delivers her acceptance speech during the Nobel Peace Prize Award ceremony in 2014

“Feminism is not just about women; it’s about letting all people lead fuller lives.” –Jane Fonda

“Woman is the companion of man, gifted with equal mental capacity.” –Mahatma Gandhi

“I believe in being strong when everything seems to be going wrong. I believe that happy girls are the prettiest girls. I believe that tomorrow is another day, and I believe in miracles.” – Audrey Hepburn

“Strong women don’t have ‘attitudes’, we have standards.” — Marilyn Monroe

“I can buy myself flowers” - Miley Cyrus

“I don’t know a woman alive who isn’t courageous.” ‒ Reese Witherspoon

“I think women are very powerful and I think we’re more powerful together than separate.”


“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

“No woman should be told she can’t make decisions about her own body. When women’s rights are under attack, we fight back.” – Kamala Harris

“Women make up more than half of the world’s population and potential, so it is neither just nor practical for their voices, for our voices, to go unheard at the highest levels of decision-making.” ‒ Meghan Markle

“There’s nothing a man can do that I can’t do better and in heels.” – Ginger Rogers

“One of the best things that ever happened to me is that I’m a woman. That is the way all females should feel.” — Marilyn Monroe

Feminism is not a stick with which to beat other women with. It's about freedom. It's about liberation. It's about equality," - Emma Watson

“Women are always saying, 'We can do anything that men can do.' But men should be saying, 'We can do anything that women can do.'” - Gloria Steinem

"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

“My mom said to me, 'you know sweetheart, one day you should settle down and marry a rich man. ' And I said, 'Mom – I am a rich man. '” - Cher

“I still believe that women should get paid equal and should be treated with respect.," - Dolly Parton

“I think every strong woman in history has had to walk down a similar path, and I think it’s the strength that causes the confusion and the fear.” - Princess Diana

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