International Women’s Day has been celebrated since 1909, when the Socialist Party of America dedicated a day to women protesting against working conditions in the garment-making industry. Since then, it’s become a worldwide tradition to acknowledge and applaud all women every March 8.
Motto is all about celebrating women, so we’ve picked a handful of stand-out statements from women that focus on what womanhood really means. Whether you’re reading this on your commute, in between classes or before school carpool pickup, we hope they inspire and empower you in all aspects of life.
“Some women choose to follow men, and some women choose to follow their dreams. If you’re wondering which way to go, remember that your career will never wake up and tell you that it doesn’t love you anymore.” —Lady Gaga
“We need women at all levels, including the top, to change the dynamic, reshape the conversation, to make sure women’s voices are heard and heeded, not overlooked and ignored.” —Sheryl Sandberg
“For what is done or learned by one class of women becomes, by virtue of their common womanhood, the property of all women.” —Elizabeth Blackwell
“A woman is the full circle. Within her is the ability to create, nurture and transform.” —Diane Mariechild
“We teach girls to shrink themselves, to make themselves smaller. We say to girls: ‘You can have ambition, but not too much. You should aim to be successful, but not too successful. Otherwise, you will threaten the man.’ Because I am female, I am expected to aspire to marriage. I am expected to make my life choices, always keeping in mind that marriage is the most important. Now, marriage can be a source of joy and love and mutual support. But why do we teach girls to aspire to marriage and we don’t teach boys the same?” —Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
“The best protection any woman can have … is courage.” —Elizabeth Cady Stanton
“I am a trans woman. My sisters are trans women. We are not secrets. We are not shameful. We are worthy of respect, desire and love. As there are many kinds of women, there are many kinds of men, and many men desire many kinds of women, trans women are amongst these women. And let’s be clear: Trans women are women.” —Janet Mock
“A woman with a voice is, by definition, a strong woman.” —Melinda Gates