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45 Inspirational Quotes for Women That Empower and Motivate

Get ready for some serious girl power! These inspirational quotes for women will prompt you to take on whatever the world throws at you.

"I am woman phenomenally. Phenomenal woman, that's me." —Maya Angelou, poet
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Share these inspirational quotes for women with all the gals in your life

When women talk, we all should listen. The strong women quoted below are proof of that. Their words range from funny quotes to more serious ones. Some of them are happy quotes, others are calls to action. But they are all inspirational quotes for women from legendary ladies—some of whom can be credited with incredible female firsts. And they will all stay with you long after reading them.

These strong women and the wisdom they impart empower us to be bold, to dream big and to embrace ourselves and each other. So get ready for some serious girl power!

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"Females are the most beautiful, gorgeous creatures in the whole world. And I think that we are gorgeous no matter what size we are." —Alicia Keys, musical artist
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“Females are the most beautiful, gorgeous creatures in the whole world. And I think that we are gorgeous no matter what size we are.” —Alicia Keys, musical artist

Looking for something to read? Check out these great books by female authors.

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

A key to finding your voice? Knowing how to set boundaries and defining your non-negotiables.

"You don’t have to play masculine to be a strong woman." —Mary Elizabeth Winstead, actor
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“You don’t have to play masculine to be a strong woman.” —Mary Elizabeth Winstead, actor

Browse through these self-love quotes for more inspiration.

"Women are like teabags. We don’t know our true strength until we are in hot water." —Eleanor Roosevelt, former first lady
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“Women are like teabags. We don’t know our true strength until we are in hot water.” —Eleanor Roosevelt, former first lady

See other empowering quotes from strong women in politics after reading all these inspirational quotes for women.

"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, writer
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“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, writer

If you wish to learn more, read up on these gender inequality examples that show how men and women still aren’t on a level playing field.

"I say if I’m beautiful. I say if I’m strong. You will not determine my story—I will." —Amy Schumer, comedian
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“I say if I’m beautiful. I say if I’m strong. You will not determine my story—I will.” —Amy Schumer, comedian

"I always wanted to be a femme fatale. Even when I was a young girl, I never really wanted to be a girl. I wanted to be a woman." —Diane Von Furstenberg, designer
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“I always wanted to be a femme fatale. Even when I was a young girl, I never really wanted to be a girl. I wanted to be a woman.” —Diane Von Furstenberg, designer

Read up on these women pioneers who changed the world.

"A strong woman is a woman determined to do something others are determined not be done." —Marge Piercy, poet
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“A strong woman is a woman determined to do something others are determined not be done.” —Marge Piercy, poet

Snag one of these poetry books for more beautiful words.

"Think like a queen. A queen is not afraid to fail. Failure is another stepping stone to greatness." —Oprah, TV host and producer
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“Think like a queen. A queen is not afraid to fail. Failure is another stepping stone to greatness.” —Oprah, TV host and producer

Kavita Ramdas Strong Women Quote
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“We need women who are so strong they can be gentle, so educated they can be humble, so fierce they can be compassionate, so passionate they can be rational and so disciplined they can be free.” —Kavita Ramdas, advocate

Learn more about the war on women’s rights—and the best ways to fight back.

"Women must try to do things as men have tried. When they fail, their failure must be but a challenge to others." —Amelia Earhart, aviator
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“Women must try to do things as men have tried. When they fail, their failure must be but a challenge to others.” —Amelia Earhart, aviator

"Above all, be the heroine of your life, not the victim." —Nora Ephron, writer
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“Above all, be the heroine of your life, not the victim.” —Nora Ephron, writer

"Once you figure out what respect tastes like, it tastes better than attention." —P!nk, musical artist
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“Once you figure out what respect tastes like, it tastes better than attention.” —P!nk, musical artist

Check out more of the best quotes from famous people you certainly won’t forget.

Nancy Pelosi Strong Women Quote
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“Women are leaders everywhere you look—from the CEO who runs a Fortune 500 company to the housewife who raises her children and heads her household. Our country was built by strong women, and we will continue to break down walls and defy stereotypes.” —Nancy Pelosi, former speaker of the House

"I believe in being strong when everything seems to be going wrong. I believe that happy girls are the prettiest girls." —Audrey Hepburn, actor
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“I believe in being strong when everything seems to be going wrong. I believe that happy girls are the prettiest girls.” —Audrey Hepburn, actor

Condoleezza Rice Strong Women Quote
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“I think the truth of the matter is, people who end up as ‘first’ don’t actually set out to be first. They set out to do something they love and it just so happens that they are the first to do it.” —Condoleezza Rice, former Secretary of State 

Read up on some quotes about the strongest woman you know with these mother-son quotes and mother-daughter quotes.

"I am woman phenomenally. Phenomenal woman, that's me." —Maya Angelou, poet
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“I am woman phenomenally. Phenomenal woman, that’s me.” —Maya Angelou, poet

Charlotte Whitton Strong Women Quote
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“Whatever women do they must do twice as well as men to be thought half as good. Luckily, this is not difficult.” —Charlotte Whitton, former mayor of Ottawa 

"In the future, there will be no female leaders. There will just be leaders." —Sheryl Sandberg, business executive
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“In the future, there will be no female leaders. There will just be leaders.” —Sheryl Sandberg, business executive

After you read these inspirational quotes for women, browse through these leadership quotes to fuel your success.

"Figure out who are you separate from your family. Find who you are in this world and what you need to feel good alone. I think that’s the most important thing in life. Find a sense of self. With that, you can do anything else." —Angelina Jolie, actor
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“Figure out who are you separate from your family. Find who you are in this world and what you need to feel good alone. I think that’s the most important thing in life. Find a sense of self. With that, you can do anything else.” —Angelina Jolie, actor

"Don’t hold back because you think it’s unladylike. We shouldn’t be shamed out of our anger. We should be using it. Using it to make change in our own lives, and using it to make change in the lives around us." —Jessica Valenti, writer
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“Don’t hold back because you think it’s unladylike. We shouldn’t be shamed out of our anger. We should be using it. Using it to make change in our own lives, and using it to make change in the lives around us.” —Jessica Valenti, writer

Rihanna Strong Women Quote
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“There’s something 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, musical artist

"I just love bossy women. I could be around them all day. To me, bossy is not a pejorative term at all. It means somebody’s passionate and engaged and ambitious and doesn’t mind learning." —Amy Poehler, comedian
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“I just love bossy women. I could be around them all day. To me, bossy is not a pejorative term at all. It means somebody’s passionate and engaged and ambitious and doesn’t mind learning.” —Amy Poehler, comedian

Margaret Thatcher Strong Women Quote
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“If you want something said, ask a man. If you want something done, ask a woman.” —Margaret Thatcher, former prime minister of the U.K.

Nancy Rathburn Strong Women Quote
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“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, educator

Ruth Bader Ginsburg Strong Women Quote
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“My mother told me to be a lady. And for her, that meant be your own person, be independent.” Ruth Bader Ginsburg, former Supreme Court Justice

Gloria Steinem Strong Women Quote
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“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, activist

"I am not free while any woman is unfree, even when her shackles are very different from my own." —Audre Lorde, writer
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“I am not free while any woman is unfree, even when her shackles are very different from my own.” —Audre Lorde, writer

"There is no limit to what we, as women, can accomplish." —Michelle Obama, Former First Lady
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“There is no limit to what we, as women, can accomplish.” Michelle Obama, former first lady

"Call me whatever you want. It’s not going to stop me from trying to do the right thing. Because it doesn’t just affect me, it affects all the other women who are in this with me, and it affects all the other men who are in this with me, too." —Emma Watson, actor
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“Call me whatever you want. It’s not going to stop me from trying to do the right thing. Because it doesn’t just affect me, it affects all the other women who are in this with me, and it affects all the other men who are in this with me too.” —Emma Watson, actor

"A really strong woman accepts the war she went through and is ennobled by her scars." —Carly Simon, musical artist
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“A really strong woman accepts the war she went through and is ennobled by her scars.” —Carly Simon, musical artist

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

"Women have discovered that they cannot rely on men's chivalry to give them justice." —Helen Keller, advocate
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“Women have discovered that they cannot rely on men’s chivalry to give them justice.” —Helen Keller, advocate

"The beauty of being a feminist is that you get to be whatever you want. And that's the point." —Shonda Rhimes, TV producer
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“The beauty of being a feminist is that you get to be whatever you want. And that’s the point.” —Shonda Rhimes, TV producer

Check out early feminist quotes that still resonate today.

“Some people think that you have to be the loudest voice in the room to make a difference. That is just not true. Often, the best thing we can do is turn down the volume. When the sound is quieter, you can actually hear what someone else is saying. And that can make a world of difference.” —Nikki Haley, former UN Ambassador 
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“Some people think that you have to be the loudest voice in the room to make a difference. That is just not true. Often, the best thing we can do is turn down the volume. When the sound is quieter, you can actually hear what someone else is saying. And that can make a world of difference.” —Nikki Haley, former UN Ambassador 

"If fighting for women’s health care and paid family leave and equal pay is playing the women’s card, then deal me in." —Hillary Clinton, Former U.S. Secretary of State
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“If fighting for women’s health care and paid family leave and equal pay is playing the women’s card, then deal me in.” —Hillary Clinton, former U.S. Secretary of State

"Women that believe in each other can survive anything. Women who believe in each other create armies that will win kingdoms and wars." —Nikita Gill, poet
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“Women that believe in each other can survive anything. Women who believe in each other create armies that will win kingdoms and wars.” —Nikita Gill, poet

"I can do anything when I am in a tutu." —Misty Copeland, dancer
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“I can do anything when I am in a tutu.” Misty Copeland, dancer

"We need to get women to the point where they aren't apologizing.  Its time to take ownership in our success." —Tori Burch, designer
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“We need to get women to the point where they aren’t apologizing.  It’s time to take ownership in our success.” —Tori Burch, designer

"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, actor
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“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, actor

"I've always wanted to be a woman who isn't afraid to tell her story." —Andra day, musical artist
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“I’ve always wanted to be a woman who isn’t afraid to tell her story.” —Andra Day, musical artist

"What I want young women and girls to know is: You are powerful and your voice matters. You're going to walk into many rooms where you may be the only one who looks like you or who has had the experiences you've had. So you use that voice and be strong." —Kamala Harris, Vice President
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“What I want young women and girls to know is: You are powerful and your voice matters. You’re going to walk into many rooms where you may be the only one who looks like you or who has had the experiences you’ve had. So you use that voice and be strong.” —Kamala Harris, vice president

"I’ve often thought it unfair that women are expected to stay at home when there’s a fight to be won. If a woman has the strength to bear a child, she can swing a sword as well as any man." —Karen Hawkins, author
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“I’ve often thought it unfair that women are expected to stay at home when there’s a fight to be won. If a woman has the strength to bear a child, she can swing a sword as well as any man.” —Karen Hawkins, author

"There are no hopeless situations; there are only men who have grown hopeless about them.”—Clare Boothe Luce, former U.S. representative 
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“There are no hopeless situations; there are only men who have grown hopeless about them.” —Clare Boothe Luce, former U.S. representative 

Mary Wollstonecraft Strong Women Quote
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“I do not wish women to have power over men; but over themselves.” —Mary Wollstonecraft, writer

Now that you’ve read these inspirational quotes for women, browse through these powerful kindness quotes that will stay with you.

Reader's Digest
Originally Published in Reader's Digest

Emily Goodman
Emily is a writer, editor and puzzle creator who primarily contributes to the Reader's Digest print magazine, handling our "How To" and "13 Things" columns as well as the Brain Games section and our annual “America the Tasty” cover story. A former French teacher and all-around language lover, she speaks English and French fluently, gets by in Italian and Spanish, and knows just enough Norwegian and Greek to make native speakers laugh.