10 defining quotes of the decade made by women - GulfToday

10 defining quotes of the decade made by women


Malala Yousafzai. Raphael Lafargue/TNS

Gulf Today, Staff Reporter

The 2010s have seen numerous firebrand women rise up to the occasion and tackle issues plaguing them and the larger interests of the world.

The decade has been a watershed moment for female empowerment, equal pay and gender equality, while global movements like #MeToo and Time’s Up have prompted major societal shifts in just the last two years.

Female leaders have also pioneered discussions on key issues such as climate change, education and gun violence. 

There are many speeches made by women in the last 10 years worth revisiting, but a few sound bites will stand the test of time in decades to come.

Below are the 10 best quotes from women in the last decade.


1. Malala Yousafzai - Activist and Nobel Prize laureate
"One child, one teacher, one pen and one book can change the world." United Nations Youth Assembly, New York, 2013


2. Michelle Obama - Lawyer, writer and former first lady of the United States
“Whether it was during my time as a lawyer, as an administrator at a university, a non-profit manager, even now as First Lady, I’ve never once asked someone I was interviewing to explain a test score or a grade in a class — never.

“I’ve never once made a hire just because someone went to an Ivy League school instead of a state school — never. What I have looked for is what kind of person you are.

“Are you a hard worker? Are you reliable? Are you open to other viewpoints? Have you stepped outside of your own self-interest to serve others? Have you found a way to serve our country, whether in uniform or in your community?” Commencement address at Eastern Kentucky University, Kentucky, 2013

Michelle Obama. Suzanne Cordeiro/TNS

3. Emma Watson - Actor and activist
"I have realised that fighting for women’s rights has too often become synonymous with man-hating. If there is one thing I know for certain, it is that this has to stop." United Nations, New York, 2014

Emma Watson. Chris Delmas/TNS

4. Patricia Arquette - Actor
“To every woman who gave birth to every taxpayer and citizen of this nation, we have fought for everybody else’s equal rights. It’s our time to have wage equality once and for all." Academy Awards, California, 2015

Patricia Arquette. David Niviere/TNS

5. Hillary Clinton - Politician
"All the evidence tells us that despite the enormous obstacles that remain, there has never been a better time in history to be born female. But the data leads to a second conclusion: That despite all this progress, we're just not there yet." Women in The World Summit, New York, 2015

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Hillary Clinton. Isabel Infantes/TNS

6. Gloria Steinem - Journalist and political activist
“We are here and around the world for a deep democracy that says we will not be quiet, we will not be controlled, we will work for a world in which all countries are connected. God may be in the details, but the goddess is in connections. We are at one with each other, we are looking at each other, not up." Women's March in Washington DC, 2017

Gloria Steinem. Mike Coppola/TNS

7. Oprah Winfrey - Talk show host, TV producer and philanthropist
“So I want all the girls watching here and now to know that a new day is on the horizon!

“And when that new day finally dawns, it will be because of a lot of magnificent women, many of whom are right here in this room tonight, and some pretty phenomenal men, fighting hard to make sure that they become the leaders who take us to the time when nobody ever has to say, ‘Me too’ again. Thank you.” Golden Globe Awards, California, 2018

Oprah Winfrey. Alyssa Pointer/TNS

8. Emma Gonzalez - Activist and advocate for gun control
"So we are speaking up for those who don’t have anyone listening to them, for those who can’t talk about it just yet, and for those who will never speak again.

“We are grieving, we are furious, and we are using our words fiercely and desperately because that’s the only thing standing between us and this happening again.” March for Our Lives rally, Washington DC, 2018

Emma Gonzalez. Nicholas Kamm/TNS

9. Tarana Burke - Civil rights activist and #MeToo movement founder
“So much of what we hear about the Me Too movement is about individual bad actors or depraved, isolated behaviour, and it fails to recognise that anybody in a position of power comes with privilege, and it renders those without that power more vulnerable.

“Teachers and students, coaches and athletes, law enforcement and citizen, parent and child: these are all relationships that can have an incredible imbalance of power.

“But we reshape that imbalance by speaking out against it in unison and by creating spaces to speak truth to power. We have to re-educate ourselves and our children to understand that power and privilege doesn't always have to destroy and take — it can be used to serve and build.

“And we have to re-educate ourselves to understand that, unequivocally, every human being has the right to walk through this life with their full humanity intact.” Ted Women, California, 2018

Tarana Burke. Craig Kohlruss/TNS

10. Greta Thunberg - Environmental activist

Greta Thunberg. David Niviere/TNS

"The eyes of all future generations are upon you. And if you choose to fail us, I say — we will never forgive you." UN Climate Summit, New York, 2019

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