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As a woman and a mother of two very strong willed daughters, I care about women and the role they play in today’s world a lot, as you can just imagine! Some made music, some climbed mountains, some loved science. Women who overcame hardship, broke records and blazed trails – shattering glass ceilings and even tougher things!
After reading quotes of these legendary women, you’ll know you can contribute towards the society no matter what – you don’t need to be in a specific field, time or environment to make a difference to the world in this lifetime. Here are few of my favorites:
1. “Despite everything, I believe that people are really good at heart.” – Anne Frank (1929-1945)
2. “Not all of us can do great things. But we can do small things with great love.” – Mother Teresa (1910-1997)
3. “In societies where men are truly confident of their own worth, women are not merely tolerated but valued.” – Aung Sang Suu Kyi (1945)
4. “I thought it would set us back 50 years if I didn’t win that match. It would ruin the women’s tour and affect all women’s self esteem.” – Billie Jean King (1943)
5. “Everyone needs to be valued. Everyone has the potential to give something back.” – Diana (1961-1997), Princess of Wales
6. “Democracy is the best revenge.” – Benazir Bhutto (1953-2007)
7. “There are still many causes worth sacrificing for, so much history yet to be made.” – Michelle Obama (1964)
8. “Be thankful for what you have; you’ll end up having more. If you concentrate on what you don’t have, you will never, ever have enough.” – Oprah Winfrey (1954)
9. “I think one’s feelings waste themselves in words; they ought all to be distilled into actions which bring results.” – Florence Nightingale (1820-1910)
10. “I’m tough, I’m ambitious, and I know exactly what I want. If that makes me a bitch, okay.” – Madonna (1958)
11. “Please know that I am aware of the hazards. I want to do it because I want to do it. Women must try to do things as men have tried. When they fail, their failure must be a challenge to others.” – Amelia Earhart (1897-1937)
12. “You can bind my body, tie my hands, govern my actions: you are the strongest, and society adds to your power; but with my will, sir, you can do nothing.” – George Sand (1804-1876)
13. “We are here not because we are law-breakers; we are here in our efforts to become law-makers.” – Emmeline Pankhurst (1858-1928)
Politics, science, sport, technology and literature… it’s impossible to find an area where women haven’t made a powerful impact. So the task of finding the female figure who has made the greatest contribution was always going to be a tough one. But experts have finally narrowed it down – and named Marie Curie as the woman who did the most to change the world.
The scientist, whose discoveries in the field of radiation helped develop X-rays and cancer treatments, beat Margaret Thatcher, Princess Diana and Jane Austen in a poll by BBC History Magazine.
Curie was the first to win two Nobel prizes – one in physics and one in chemistry – and coined the word ‘radiation’. She had a tough childhood in her native Poland, then under oppressive Russian rule. Her mother died when she was ten and she had to work as a young governess for six years. Going on to study at the Sorbonne in Paris, she met fellow physicist Pierre Curie, and the pair dedicated their lives to science.
She began cracking the secrets of radioactivity in their primitive laboratory in a shed. Curie helped fit X-ray machines to ambulances in the First World War while working for the Red Cross, and suffered leukaemia from long-term exposure to radiation. She died in 1934 aged 66.
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