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29 Quotes About Strong Women, by Strong Women

"A woman with a voice is by definition a strong woman."

Abbey Slattery
Contributor

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What does it mean to be strong? It’s certainly not a simple question—and one that will likely have a different answer depending on whom you ask. That’s why we went straight to the experts. 

If you ever need to be reminded of the resilience of women, take note of these words from some of the strongest women in history. 

Strong women on leadership

1. “I would like to be known as an intelligent woman, a courageous woman, a loving woman, a woman who teaches by being.”

—Maya Angelou, poet and civil rights activist

2. “You know why I do it? I do it because I want women to see that you do not get pushed around. You don't run away from the fight.”

—Nancy Pelosi, Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives and the highest ranking woman in U.S. history

3. “Every woman's success should be an inspiration to another. We're strongest when we cheer each other on.”

—Serena Williams, professional tennis player and winner of 23 Grand Slams

4. “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, former U.S. Congresswoman 

5. “Each time a woman stands up for herself, without knowing it possibly, without claiming it, she stands up for all women.” 

—Maya Angelou, poet and civil rights activist

Read more: 24 Beyonce Quotes That’ll Make You Feel ***Flawless

On Confidence

6. “Life comes with many challenges. The ones that should not scare us are the ones we can take on and take control of.” 

—Angelina Jolie, actress and filmmaker 

7. “I know my worth. I embrace my power. I say if I'm beautiful. I say if I'm strong. You will not determine my story. I will.” 

—Amy Poehler, actress, comedian, director, producer, and writer

8. “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, author and activist

9. “The truth is nobody knows what’s inside of you. Only you know what’s inside of you. Only you know what you can accomplish, and what you’re capable of. Whatever you feel in your heart and in your gut, you should follow that.”

—Jennifer Lopez, actress, singer, dancer, fashion designer, producer, and businesswoman

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

—Eleanor Roosevelt, U.S. delegate to the United Nations and former First Lady of the United States 

Read more: 38 Powerful Quotes from Women Who Don’t Mess Around

11. “If you got it, flaunt it. If you don’t got it, flaunt it.” 

—Mindy Kaling, actress, author and television show creator, producer, and writer

12. “When I dare to be powerful—to use my strength in the service of my vision—then it becomes less and less important whether I am afraid.” 

—Audre Lorde, poet and activist

13. “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.”

—Cher, singer, actress, and TV host

14. “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 Spencer, humanitarian, activist, and member of the British royal family

15. “Do we want to progress? If we want to progress, let women be all they can be. Don’t get in their way.”

—Danai Gurira, actress and playwright

16. “I don't believe in luck. It's persistence, hard work, and not forgetting your dream."

—Janet Jackson, singer, songwriter, actress, and dancer

17. “A woman with a voice is by definition a strong woman.”

—Melinda Gates, philanthropist, former general manager at Microsoft, and co-founder of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

18. “Champions keep playing until they get it right.” 

—Billie Jean King, professional tennis player and winner of 39 Gram Slam titles

19. “Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage.”

—Anais Nin, diarist, essayist, novelist, and short story writer

Read more: 17 Memoirs to Inspire Working Women

On Struggle

20. “You deserve to be here. You deserve to exist. You deserve to take up space in this world of men.”

—MacKenzi Lee, author

21. “Always aim high, work hard, and care deeply about what you believe in. And, when you stumble, keep faith. And, when you're knocked down, get right back up and never listen to anyone who says you can't or shouldn't go on.” 

—Hillary Clinton, lawyer, author, senator, former Secretary of State, and former First Lady of the United States

22. “Worry about being respected, never worry about being liked. Because that's the trap.” 

—Jada Pinkett Smith, actress, comedian, singer-songwriter, screenwriter and businesswoman

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

—Madonna​​, singer, songwriter, actress, and businesswoman

24. “You can't be brave if you've only had wonderful things happen to you.” 

—Mary Tyler Moore, stage, film and television actress, as well as a producer and social advocate

25. “What makes you different or weird, that's your strength.”

—Meryl Streep, actress

26. “I'm fearless, I don't complain. Even when horrible things happen to me, I go on.”

—Sophia Vergara, actress

27. “A woman is like a tea bag—you never know how strong she is until she gets in hot water.”

—Eleanor Roosevelt, U.S. delegate to the United Nations and former First Lady of the United States 

28. “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, author and civil rights activist

29. “Above all, be the heroine of your life, not the victim.” 

—Nora Ephron, journalist, writer, and filmmaker

Read more: 9 Mantras of Successful Working Women We Can All Live By

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