10 Quotes on Women’s Rights

It has been nine years since Hillary Clinton proudly declared “women’s rights are human rights” at the United Nations Fourth World Conference on Women.  Since then, world leaders have recognized that the key to economic, social and cultural development is rooted in the empowerment of women.

1. “More countries have understood that women’s equality is a prerequisite for development.”

— Kofi Annan, 7th Secretary-General of the United Nations, 2001 Nobel Peace Prize winner

2. “Everybody counts in applying democracy. And there will never be a true democracy until every responsible and law-abiding adult in it, without regard to race, sex, color or creed has his or her own inalienable and un-purchasable voice in government.”

— Carrie Chapman Catt, American women’s suffrage leader

3. “It is not gender which is destroying our culture…. it is our interpretations of culture which has destroyed gender equality.”

– A Cambodian civil society group

4. “This is no simple reform. It really is a revolution. Sex and race because they are easy and visible differences have been the primary ways of organizing human beings into superior and inferior groups and into the cheap labor in which this system still depends. We are talking about a society in which there will be no roles other than those chosen or those earned. We are really talking about humanism.”

— Gloria Steinem, American journalist

5. “Gender inequality, which remains pervasive worldwide, tends to lower the productivity of labor and the efficiency of labor allocation in households and the economy, intensifying the unequal distribution of resources. It also contributes to the non-monetary aspects of poverty – lack of security, opportunity and empowerment – that lower the quality of life for both men and women. While women and girls bear the largest and most direct costs of these inequalities, the costs cut broadly across society, ultimately hindering development and poverty reduction.”

– The Gender and Development Group -World Bank, from the report “Gender Equality and the Millennium Development Goals” (2003)

6. “The education and empowerment of women throughout the world cannot fail to result in a more caring, tolerant, just and peaceful life for all.”

— Aung San Suu Kyi, Daw Burmese-Myanmarese dissident and politician; Leader of National League for Democracy, Nobel Peace Prize Laureate

7. “No nation can ever be worthy of its existence that cannot take its women along with the men. No struggle can ever succeed without women participating side by side with men. There are two powers in the world; one is the sword and the other is the pen. There is a great competition and rivalry between the two. There is a third power stronger than both, that of the women.”

― Muhammad Ali Jinnah, founder of Pakistan

8. “Women will not simply be mainstreamed into the polluted stream. Women are changing the stream, making it clean and green and safe for all — every gender, race, creed, sexual orientation, age, and ability.”

— Bella Abzug, American politician, 1998 Defender of Democracy Award

9. “The connection between women’s human rights, gender equality, socioeconomic development and peace is increasingly apparent.”
— Mahnaz Afkhami, Iranian-American human rights activist

10. “Women’s chains have been forged by men, not by anatomy.”

–Estelle R. Ramey, American endocrinologist and psychologist

Stephanie Lamm

Sources: Women’s Rights World, Better World Quotes, Goodreads
Photo: Politic365