8 Quotes from Powerful Women to Motivate You this Week

Are you in a mid-semester slump?

If so, here are eight quotes by renowned, empowering female voices that are sure to bring your spirits up and inspire you to keep working for change.

1. “If you were born with the weakness to fall you were born with the strength to rise.” - Rupi Kaur, #1 New York Times Bestselling Poet and Illustrator

Source: New York Times

Rupi Kaur, who is known for her collections of poems titled Milk and Honey and The Sun and Her Flowers, has a way with words. Through her poetry, Kaur eloquently represents many key women’s issues and expresses her feelings in a touching, relatable manner.

2. “As I have always said, those closest to the pain should be closest to the power.” - Ayanna Pressley, Congresswoman MA 7th Congressional District

Source: The Slot

Congresswoman Pressley (BU alum!) is one of the shining stars of the 116th Congress of the United States, and there’s no doubt why. Her voice is powerful, honest, and progressive, and because of that, she is on the path to ignite change in her district and our nation.

3. “You can only become truly accomplished at something you love. Don’t make money your goal. Instead, pursue the things you love doing, and then do them so well that people can’t take their eyes off you.” - Maya Angelou, 34-Time Bestselling Author and Civil Rights Activist

Source: New Breed Marketing

Everyone knows Maya Angelou’s words are timeless. She is an icon for civil rights and women’s empowerment. Her poetry and other works will live on forever, and in this quote especially, she reminds us that passion is what should drive success and hard work. 

4. “Both men and women should feel free to be sensitive. Both men and women should feel free to be strong … it is time that we all perceive gender on a spectrum, not as two opposing sets of ideas.” - Emma Watson, Actress and Activist

Source: The Washington Post

Emma Watson is more than the actress who played Hermione. She is also an activist who plays a prominent role in HeForShe, a UN initiated organization standing for women’s rights and participation by all genders to fight for equality.

5. “The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.” - Eleanor Roosevelt, Former First Lady of the United States


Eleanor Roosevelt was First Lady of the United States during both the Great Depression and World War II. Her positivity and humanitarian efforts during these trying times are still inspiring today.

6. “You want to know what weakness is? Weakness is treating someone as though they belong to you. Strength is knowing that everyone belongs to themselves.” - Yaa Gyasi, Author and Recipient of the National Book Critics Circle's John Leonard Award

Source: Penguin Random House Speakers Bureau

This quote is from Yaa Gyasi’s award-winning novel Homegoing. Following the generational paths of two Ghanaian half-sisters, Gyasi’s novel seamlessly connects history with current times through personal narratives, and by doing so, reflects the ongoing struggle for black communities.

7. “There is a reason for hope. And I want everybody here to understand that there are dark days in so many of our journeys. But, we have to push that arc toward hope.” - Michelle Obama, Former First Lady of the United States, Author, and Activist

Source: Hindustan Times

Michelle Obama is one of today’s best icons for feminism, women’s education and progressive causes. Her novel Becoming is a popular read, and she holds a widespread fan base as she fights for change after leaving the White House.

8. “We cannot succeed when half of us are held back. We call upon our sisters around the world to be brave, to embrace the strength within themselves and realize their full potential.” - Malala Yousafzai, Nobel Prize Laureate and Activist for Women’s Education

Source: The Independent

Malala Yousafzai has been fighting for girls’ education and equality for years, and she is the youngest recipient of the Nobel Prize. She is fearless in her call for change and resilient in her actions.

Hopefully, these quotes left you feeling recharged and ready to keep working towards your goals. Remember — positive change begins with your mindset and your will to persevere. You’ve made it through half the semester. Give yourself a pat on the back, and then keep working hard. You got this!

When we are inspired and grounded in our efforts, we can make a change. Let us follow the wise words of these women, and so many others, and continue to educate ourselves, fight for justice and take steps to a better future.


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