10 Inspirational Quotes from Women Who Changed the World

Having trouble with your love life? Suffering with stress from work? Worried nothing you do will ever amount to much? You’re not alone! Take a look at these inspiring words from these women game changers who persevered no matter what. Let these quotes encourage you to work harder, find a new way of thinking, or just enjoy who you are and what you have in life, and remember that you are a strong woman capable of achieving amazing things.


1. “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 Woolf

Virginia Woolf was an English writer who authored books such as Mrs. Dalloway, A Room of One’s Own, and many more. She is also one of the foremost modernists and feminists of the 20th century.

Photo by George Charles Beresford via Wikimedia Commons

Photo by George Charles Beresford via Wikimedia Commons


2. “Nothing in life is to be feared, it is only to be understood. Now is the time to understand more, so that we may fear less.”

—Marie Curie

A gifted scientist, Marie Curie pioneered research on radioactivity and went on to become the first woman to win a Nobel Prize for Physics (1903) and Chemistry (1911),


3. “True forgiveness is when you can say, ‘Thank you for that experience’.”

—Oprah Winfrey

An actress, a talk show host, a producer, and a media mogul, Oprah Winfrey is called the Queen of All Media. She is ranked as the richest African American and known as the greatest black philanthropist in American history.

Photo by Alan Light via Wikimedia Commons (CC by 2.0)

Photo by Alan Light via Wikimedia Commons (CC by 2.0)


4. “I’ve reached a point in life where it’s no longer necessary to try to impress. If they like me the way I am, that’s good. If they don’t, that’s too bad.”

—Cory Aquino

Cory Aquino rose to prominence after the death of her husband, Senator Benigno S. Aquino Jr. She led the 1986 People Power Revolution, which toppled a 20-year-old dictatorship, and became the 11th president of the Philippines.

Photo from the Malacañang Palace archives via Wikimedia Commons (CC0 1.0)

Photo from the Malacañang Palace archives via Wikimedia Commons (CC0 1.0)


5. “I think it’s so foolish for people to want to be happy. Happy is so momentary—you’re happy for an instant and then you start thinking again. Interest is the most important thing in life; happiness is temporary, but interest is continuous.”

—Georgia O’Keeffe

Recoginzed as the mother of American modernism, O’Keefe was known for her painting of large flowers and New York skyscrapers. She also served as muse to photographer Alfred Stieglitz.

Photo by Alfred Stieglitz via Wikimedia Commons

Photo by Alfred Stieglitz via Wikimedia Commons

6. “Do not think that love in order to be genuine has to be extraordinary. What we need is to love without getting tired. Be faithful in small things because it is in them that your strength lies.”

—Mother Teresa

Blessed Teresa of Calcutta was called the Living Saint. She founded the Missionaries of Charity that sheltered the homeless and helped those who were sick with HIV/AIDS and leprosy.  She won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1979.

Photo by Evert Odekerken via Wikimedia Commons (CC by 2.5

Photo by Evert Odekerken via Wikimedia Commons (CC by 2.5


7. “Simplicity is the keynote of all true elegance.”

—Coco Chanel

Daughter to a laundrywoman, Coco Chanel became one of the most recognized fashion designers ever. She is the founder of the Chanel brand, and her signature scent Chanel No. 5 is considered an icon.

Photo by Laura Loveday via Flickr Creative Commons

Photo by Laura Loveday via Flickr Creative Commons (CC by NC-SA 2.0)


8. “The beauty of a woman is not in the clothes she wears, the figure that she carries, or the way she combs her hair. The beauty of a woman is seen in her eyes, because that is the doorway to her heart, the place where love resides. True beauty in a woman is reflected in her soul. It’s the caring that she lovingly gives, the passion that she shows and the beauty of a woman only grows with passing years.”

—Audrey Hepburn

Image from Breakfast at Tiffany's via Wikimedia Commons

Image from Breakfast at Tiffany’s via Wikimedia Commons

Audrey Hepburn won her Oscar for her first film Roman Holiday. She had gone on to star in other classics such as Charade and Breakfast at Tiffany’s. She is one of the few artists who has amassed an Emmy, Grammy, Oscar, and Tony awards. Later in life, she used her fame to good use and became a UNICEF Ambassador.



9. “Everyone has ocean’s to fly, if they have the heart to do it. Is it reckless? Maybe. But what do dreams know of boundaries?”

—Amelia Earhart

Perhaps best known as having disappeared on a solo flight across the Pacific Ocean, Earhart achieved new heights in aviation having been the first woman to fly solo across the Atlantic Ocean.




10. “I think women are concerned too much with their clothes. Men don’t really care that much about women’s clothes. If they like a girl, chances are they’ll like her clothes.”

—Hedy Lamarr

Hedy Lamarr was an Austrian/American film star who with George Antheil co-invented a technology that was essential to the American military operations during World War II. This technology became the blueprint of wi-fi and GPS.


Of course, these aren’t the only admirable women who changed the face of history—far from it. If you have any inspiring quotes to share from women who show the world what girl power means, we’d love for you to share them in a comment.

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