6 Powerful Quotes for International Women’s Day

Happy International Women’s Day!

Today we celebrate women and girls around the world who are working to improve their lives and communities. To mark the day, here are quotes from six inspiring women on girls’ education:


Sheryl WuDunn | Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist, lecturer, business executive

“In the same way that slavery was a moral challenge for the 19th century and totalitarianism was a challenge for the 20th century, the challenge that women and girls face around the world is the moral challenge of our time.”

“It’s no accident that the countries that have enjoyed an economic take off have been those that educated girls.”

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Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka | UN Women Executive Director

“We want to construct a different world of work for women. As they grow up, girls must be exposed to a broad range of careers, and encouraged to make choices that lead beyond the traditional service and care options to jobs in industry, art, public service, modern agriculture and science.

We have to start change at home and in the earliest days of school, so that there are no places in a child’s environment where they learn that girls must be less, have less, and dream smaller than boys.”


Malala Yousafzai | Activist for female education, Nobel Peace Prize laureate

“I raise up my voice—not so I can shout but so that those without a voice can be heard…we cannot succeed when half of us are held back.”

“One child, one teacher, one book, one pen can change the world.”


Queen Rania of Jordan

Children who have an education grow up to lead healthier lives – earn higher income, take better care of their families, contribute to their economies.

“When you educate a girl, you kick-start a cycle of success. It makes economic sense. It makes social sense. It makes moral sense. But, it seems, it’s not common sense yet.”

“I’ve always believed that when you educate a girl, you empower a nation.”


Drew Faust | Historian, educator, President of Harvard University

“We educate women, first, because it is fair — a level field as we aspire to include women as full and equal participants in society.  We educate women also because it is smart — women are one-half of our human resources, and we increasingly see the beneficial effects of educated women in all realms of life and in all parts of the world.  Finally, we educate women because it is transformative.  Education doesn’t just boost incomes and economies, it elevates us, defusing differences, opening common ground, and making the most of all our human capacities.”


Audrey Hepburn | Actor, dancer, humanitarian

“A quality education has the power to transform societies in a single generation, provide children with the protection they need from the hazards of poverty, labor exploitation and disease, and given them the knowledge, skills, and confidence to reach their full potential.”

From all of us at Happy Hearts Fund, Happy International Women’s Day!