International Women’s Day 2019 quotes that show the future is female

Words are a powerful force. They can change history, mobilise armies and start revolutions.

The word feminist itself can hold power or take it away depending on whose lips it falls from.

On International Women’s Day we focus on striving for gender equality and celebrating women’s accomplishments.

But what is a feminist? There are plenty of horrid stereotypes of women burning bras, hating men and screaming to be heard, but that’s not the case.

To mark the occasion we’ve put together the best quotes and messages throughout history that show what being a feminist really means to women.

From singers to actresses, activists to Nobel prize winners, they all have something to say – and they say it well.

Here are our some of the est quotes for International Women’s Day that show where we’re at and that the future is female.

Malala Yousafzai, activist & 2014 Nobel prize winner

“We cannot all succeed when half of us are held back.”

Gillian Anderson, actress and activist

"Feminism isn’t about making women stronger. Women are already strong. It’s about changing the way the world perceives that strength."

Annie Lennox, singer & political activist

“We all fight over what the label ‘feminism’ means, but for me it’s about empowerment. It’s not about being more powerful than men – it’s about having equal rights with protection, support, justice. It’s about very basic things. It’s not a badge like a fashion item.”

Bette Davis, actress

“When a man gives his opinion he’s a man. When a woman gives her opinion, she’s a bitch.”

Virginia Woolf, writer

"For most of history Anonymous was a woman."

Madeleine Albright, politician

“There is a special place in hell for women who don’t help other women."

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Rebecca West, writer

“I myself have never been able to find out precisely what feminism is: I only know that people call me a feminist whenever I express sentiments that differentiate me from a doormat.”

Hillary Clinton , politician

“I believe the rights of women and girls is the unfinished business of the 21st Century.”

Beyoncé, singer

“Who run the world? Girls.”

Lupita Nyong’o

“I hope that my presence on your screen and my face in magazines may lead you, young girls, on a beautiful journey. That you will feel the validation of your external beauty, but also, get to the deeper business of being beautiful inside.”

Yoko Ono, artist

“There’s many women now who think, ‘Surely we don’t need feminism anymore, we’re all liberated and society’s accepting us as we are.’ Which is all hogwash. It’s not true at all.”

Maya Angelou, writer

“I’m a feminist. I’ve been a female for a long time now. It’d be stupid not to be on my own side.”

Zaha Hadid, architect

“Women are always told, ‘You’re not going to make it, it’s too difficult, you can’t do that, don’t enter this competition, you’ll never win it,’ – they need confidence in themselves and people around them to help them to get on.”

Kate Nash, singer

“Feminism is not a dirty word. It does not mean you hate men, it does not mean you hate girls that have nice legs and a tan, and it does not mean you are a ‘bitch’ or ‘dyke’; it means you believe in equality.”

Emma Watson, actor & activist

“It is time that we all see gender as a spectrum instead of two sets of opposing ideals. We should stop defining each other by what we are not and start defining ourselves by who we are.”

Emmeline Pankhurst, suffragette

“We have to free half of the human race, the women, so that they can help to free the other half.”

Caitlin Moran, writer

“Do you have a vagina? And do you want to be in charge of it? If you said ‘yes’ to both, then congratulations – you’re a feminist!”

Ellen Page, actor

“Feminism always gets associated with being a radical movement – good. It should be.”

Mary Shelley, writer

“I do not wish women to have power over men; but over themselves.”

Michelle Obama, former first lady and campaigner

"No country can ever truly flourish if it stifles the potential of its women and deprives itself of the contributions of half of its citizens."

Taylor Swift, singer

“My hope for the future, not just in the music industry, but in every young girl I meet, is that they all realise their worth and ask for it.”

Angelina Jolie, actor & activist

“Women are still treated as secondary issues. It is still far too easy and accepted for leaders to ignore uncomfortable truths… Women, we know, are the first to be affected by war, and the last to be taken into account when it ends.”

Antonella Gambotto-Burke, journalist

“It is only through my daughter that I have come to realise that a life without femininity – devoid of mystery, emotion, gentleness and the unerring power of a woman’s love – is no life at all.”

J.K. Rowling, writer

“Very early on in writing the series, I remember a female journalist saying to me that Mrs Weasley, ‘Well, you know, she’s just a mother.’ And I was absolutely incensed by that comment. Now, I consider myself to be a feminist, and I’d always wanted to show that just because a woman has made a choice, a free choice to say, ‘Well, I’m going to raise my family and that’s going to be my choice. I may go back to a career, I may have a career part time, but that’s my choice.’ Doesn’t mean that that’s all she can do. And as we proved there in that little battle, Molly Weasley comes out and proves herself the equal of any warrior on that battlefield.”

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