Every day, women around the world inspire others, fight for change, and leave their mark. On January 18, people are coming together in the thousands for the fourth annual Women's March to fervently stand for equality in all spaces, whether that is at work, in life, or in politics because women's rights are human rights.
With movements like the Women's March, #MeToo, and Time's Up, women and allies built a platform to change the world for the better, but it didn't start there. Before movements were hashtags, protest signs were tweeted, and news spread as fast as it could be typed into a computer, women were marching, protesting, and demanding equality by having the courage to live the life they wanted without waiting for permission. Each generation has done its part to push equality forward.
For all the women on this list who aren't here today, we can't help but imagine that they would be overjoyed to see the progress that has been made for gender equality. They have inspired us countless times and now it is our time to encourage others.
If you can't quite put into words what the inspiring women in history and your life have meant to you, why not start with the empowering words of other women? We've compiled a list of 20 inspiring quotes by women for you to take to heart and share with others.
“My mother told me to be a lady. And for her, that meant be your own person, be independent.” — Ruth Bader Ginsburg
“The most difficult thing is the decision to act, the rest is merely tenacity.” — Amelia Earhart
“I am a woman with thoughts and questions and shit to say. I say if I’m beautiful. I say if I’m strong. You will not determine my story — I will.” — Amy Schumer
“If you don’t like the road you’re walking, start paving another one.” — Dolly Parton
“Step out of the history that is holding you back. Step into the new story you are willing to create.” — Oprah Winfrey
“If you don’t risk anything, you risk even more.” — Erica Jong
“There are opportunities even in the most difficult moments.” — Wangari Maathai
“Nothing is impossible, the word itself says 'I'm possible'!” ― Audrey Hepburn
"You are your best thing." — Toni Morrison
“She refused to be bored chiefly because she wasn't boring.” ― Zelda Fitzgerald
“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed, citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.” ― Margaret Mead
“Success is liking yourself, liking what you do, and liking how you do it.” ― Maya Angelou
"The only way to survive is by taking care of one another." — Grace Lee Boggs
“Don’t compromise yourself. You are all you’ve got. There is no yesterday, no tomorrow, it’s all the same day.” — Janis Joplin
"When girls are given the right tools to succeed, they can create incredible futures, not only for themselves, but also for those around them." — Meghan Markle
“You change the world by being yourself.” ― Yoko Ono
“What you do makes a difference, and you have to decide what kind of difference you want to make.” — Jane Goodall
“Nothing is impossible to a determined woman.” ― Louisa May Alcott
“Everyone has inside of her a piece of good news. The good news is that you don’t know how great you can be, how much you can love, what you can accomplish, and what your potential is.” — Anne Frank
“They'll tell you you're too loud, that you need to wait your turn and ask the right people for permission. Do it anyway.” — Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez