50 Strong Women Quotes

By on February 3, 2015

No one is born a strong woman; they become one. To develop independence and strength, women spend a lifetime going after their ambitions. Although it is easy to feel self-doubt at times, these inspirational quotes will help you get back on track. Compiled from some of history’s strongest women, these quotes are guides toward becoming empowered.


1. “When one door of happiness closes, another opens; but often we look so long at the closed door that we do not see the one which has been opened for us.” -Helen Keller

She spent the first portion of her life unable to see, hear or communicate. Finally, she learned how to communicate with others and the world opened up for her.

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2. “When you lose a couple of times, it makes you realize how difficult it is to win.” -Steffi Graf

Falling down is perfectly normally. What defines you is how you pick yourself up again.

3. “Being an intellectual creates a lot of questions and no answers. You can fill your life up with ideas and still go home lonely. All you really have that really matters are feelings. That’s what music is to me.” -Janis Joplin

Everyone has something that they are passionate about. If you are lucky, you can pick a career that involves your personal passions.

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4. “A woman is like a tea bag – you never know how strong she is until she gets in hot water.” -Eleanor Roosevelt

This quote makes sense for Eleanor Roosevelt to say. As one of America’s most active First Ladies, she probably demonstrated this quote many times.

5. “We ask justice, we ask equality, we ask that all the civil and political rights that belong to citizens of the United States, be guaranteed to us and our daughters forever.” -Susan B. Anthony

Thanks to women like Susan B. Anthony, women in the United States have the right to vote.

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6. “If you look at what you have in life, you’ll always have more. If you look at what you don’t have in life, you’ll never have enough.” -Oprah Winfrey

This is basically Oprah’s version of the glass half full or half empty conundrum. You have to always focus on what you have in life because all of us have things that we lack.

7. “When we do the best we can, we never know what miracle is wrought in our life, or in the life of another.” -Helen Keller

You will never know what you can achieve unless you try. It is better to fail and know that you couldn’t do it, then spend an entire lifetime wondering “what-if”?

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8. “You take your life in your own hands, and what happens? A terrible thing, no one to blame.” -Erica Jong

Your life should be decided by you. If you do not like where your life is going now, then you should be the person to change it.

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9. “The best protection any woman can have … is courage.” -Elizabeth Cady Stanton

As one of the brave suffragists, Elizabeth Cady Stanton lived this sentiment.

10. “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

If it was possible to meet anyone in history, Eleanor Roosevelt would have to top the list. Classy, intelligent and courageous, she was a woman to be admired.

11. “One likes people much better when they’re battered down by a prodigious siege of misfortune than when they triumph.” -Virginia Woolf

This could explain why writers like Virgnia Woolf like to have a hero with flaws. A flawless hero is unbelievable and unlikeable.

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12. “If you obey all the rules, you miss all the fun.” -Katharine Hepburn

There are some rules that are made to be broken. You just have to figure out which ones.

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13. “Destiny is a name often given in retrospect to choices that had dramatic consequences.” -J. K. Rowling

When you look back, all of your smaller decisions will make sense in retrospect. Do not worry right now if you do not understand the hidden meaning in your life.

14. “A strong woman understands that the gifts such as logic, decisiveness, and strength are just as feminine as intuition and emotional connection. She values and uses all of her gifts.” -Nancy Rathburn

As a strong woman, Nancy Rathburn is the exact person to give this type of advice.

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15. “You move totally away from reality when you believe that there is a legitimate reason to suffer.” -Byron Katie

No matter what you have done, you do not deserve a life of suffering. Everyone deserves a chance to live a happy and fulfilled life.

16. “The day will come when men will recognize woman as his peer, not only at the fireside, but in councils of the nation. Then, and not until then, will there be the perfect comradeship, the ideal union between the sexes that shall result in the highest development of the race.” -Susan B. Anthony

There are now women in Congress and women running Fortune 500 companies—Susan B. Anthony’s dream finally came true.

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17. “Women are never stronger than when they arm themselves with their weaknesses.” -Madame Marie du Deffand

If you can turn your personal weakness into a strength, you are both clever and strong.

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18. “Courage is like a muscle. We strengthen it by use.” -Ruth Gordon

Courage is not the absence of fear. Everyone feels scared, but the courageous continue ahead despite their fears.

19. “Any woman who understands the problems of running a home will be nearer to understanding the problems of running a country.” -Margaret Thatcher

I always thought that running a country would be more difficult. Then again, Margaret Thatcher makes running a nation seem easy.

20. “Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one’s courage.” -Anais Nin

You can accomplish anything if you set your mind to it. Be bold and work toward achieving your dreams—you will be able to accomplish more than you ever imagined.

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21. “A woman is the full circle. Within her is the power to create, nurture and transform.” -Diane Mariechild

Within your body, you represent the cyclical nature of the moon and tides. You have the ability to transform the world inside and outside of yourself.

22. “Always go with the choice that scares you the most, because that’s the one that is going to require the most from you.” -Caroline Myss

Most of our dreams only seem scary or impossible because we want them so much.

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23. “Love is anterior to Life, Posterior to Death, Initial of Creation, and The Exponent of Earth.” -Emily Dickinson

Leave it to a strong female poet to come up with this beautiful quote.

24. “Success breeds confidence.” -Beryl Markham

Likewise, confidence breeds success.

25. “ Life was meant to be lived.” -Eleanor Roosevelt

Instead of allowing life to pass you by, take action and live your dreams. Even if you fail, you will accomplish more than you ever imagined to be possible.

26. “I’ve come to believe that each of us has a personal calling that’s as unique as a fingerprint – and that the best way to succeed is to discover what you love and then find a way to offer it to others in the form of service, working hard, and also allowing the energy of the universe to lead you.” -Oprah Winfrey

If you can find your passion at an early age, you are one of the lucky ones. Those who have found their calling in life should do everything they can to find a career that takes utilizes their passions.

27. “Stop wearing your wishbone where your backbone ought to be.” -Elizabeth Gilbert

You can wish for things to happen, but it takes hard work to make your ambitions come true.

28. “I want to do it because I want to do it. Women must try to do things as men have tried. When they fail, their failure must be but a challenge to others.” -Amelia Earhart

Women can do anything that men can do. From flying planes to exploring space, women have lived up to men in almost every measurable way.

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29. “A lot of people are afraid to say what they want. That’s why they don’t get what they want.” -Madonna

If you are not willing to put your dreams onto paper or say them aloud, then you are not ready to achieve. Commit to your goals if you want to be successful.

30. “Whatever you do, be different – that was the advice my mother gave me, and I can’t think of better advice for an entrepreneur. If you’re different, you will stand out.” -Anita Roddick

So many people choose to live the exact same lives, in the same houses and drive the same cars. Stand out and be different.

31. “Because I am a woman, I must make unusual efforts to succeed. If I fail, no one will say, “She doesn’t have what it takes.” They will say, “Women don’t have what it takes.” -Clare Boothe Luce

Although women are gradually becoming true equals in society, this is still the truth. There have been times in the lives of most strong women when someone said “She failed because she is a woman.” Work harder to prove them wrong.

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32. “One of the most courageous things you can do is identify yourself, know who you are, what you believe in and where you want to go.” -Sheila Murray Bethel

If you know who you are, no one can stop you.

33. “Just watch, all of you men. I’ll show you what a woman can do…I’ll go across the country, I’ll race to the Moon… I’ll never look back.” -Edna Gardner Whyte

Women have often had to work harder in the same jobs to prove that they were as capable as men.

34. “It was we, the people; not we, the white male citizens; nor yet we, the male citizens; but we, the whole people, who formed the Union…. Men, their rights and nothing more; women, their rights and nothing less.” -Susan B. Anthony

Thankfully, Susan B. Anthony was successful at getting women the right to vote. Because of her, men and women have the same legal rights today. Even as recently as the 1960s, companies were loathe to give a credit card to a woman or hire her without her husband’s permission.

35. “It takes a great deal of courage to stand up to your enemies, but even more to stand up to your friends.” -J. K. Rowling

Although this was actually said by one of the characters in the Harry Potter series, J.K. Rowling’s quote still holds true.

36. “We still live in a world in which a significant fraction of people, including women, believe that a woman belongs and wants to belong exclusively in the home.” -Rosalyn Sussman

There is nothing wrong with being in the home, but women should be able to choose what they want to do.

37. “We must believe that we are gifted for something, and that this thing, at whatever cost, must be attained.” -Marie Curie

As a Nobel Prize winner, Marie Curie is one of history’s strongest women.

38. “The most common way people give up their power is by thinking they don’t have any.” -Alice Walker

Alice Walker is completely right. If you think that you do not have any power, you will never consider using it.

39. “The way in which we think of ourselves has everything to do with how our world see us and how we see ourselves successfully acknowledged by the world.” -Arlene Rankin

How other perceive us has an integral role in shaping our own identities.

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40. “The question isn’t who’s going to let me; it’s who is going to stop me.” -Ayn Rand

Once you have committed completely to a goal, there is no one who can stop you from achieving it.

41. “Taking joy in living is a woman’s best cosmetic.” -Rosalind Russell

Her second best cosmetic? Confidence.

42. “People think at the end of the day that a man is the only answer [to fulfillment]. Actually a job is better for me.” -Princess Diana

You can find your happiness in a relationship, a career or a hobby; just be happy.

43. “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

Express yourself fully and take steps toward achieving all of your goals.

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44. “Whatever women do they must do twice as well as men to be thought half as good. Luckily, this is not difficult.” -Charlotte Whitton

Although this quote is humorous at the end, it begins on a serious, but true, note. In some industries, women have to work twice as hard as men do to show that they are successful. With traditional male jobs, women have to be exceptional to be accepted as just another part of the team.

45. “You may encounter many defeats, but you must not be defeated. In fact, it may be necessary to encounter the defeats, so you can know who you are, what you can rise from, how you can still come out of it.” -Maya Angelou

Maya Angelou struggled in her personal life, but she was never defeated. Each defeat taught her a lesson that she used later in life. After you get knocked down, follow Angelou’s lead and get right back up again.

46. “A woman with a voice is by definition a strong woman. But the search to find that voice can be remarkably difficult.” -Melinda Gates

Most people are not born with natural confidence and self-assurance. They develop it throughout their lives. Even strong women quotes like this one show that a strong woman is created, not born.

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47. “You have to have confidence in your ability, and then be tough enough to follow through.” -Rosalynn Carter

You must follow through on your dreams if you want to achieve them.

48. “You can have unbelievable intelligence, you can have connections, you can have opportunities fall out of the sky. But in the end, hard work is the true, enduring characteristic of successful people.” -Marsha Evans

Nothing is a replacement for hard work.

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49. “A man’s got to do what a man’s got to do. A woman must do what he can’t.” -Rhonda Hansome

For a more humorous quote by a strong women, check out this saying from Rhonda Hansome.

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50.“One is not born, but rather becomes, a woman.” -Simone de Beauvoir

Simone de Beauvoir was a leading feminist and an exceptional woman. Her quote about becoming a woman still holds true today.

You can put these quotes on your binder or set them as your screensaver. Keep your favorite quote close at hand for those days when you find it impossible to find motivation.

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