Imagine a world that had no women — no mother, wife, girlfriend, sister, daughter — and imagine how drab and colourless such a world would be. Women not only make up half the population, they also enrich the world with their vivacity and instinct to love, care, heal and connect.
This year on International Women's Day, some parts of the world will learn what it feels to spend "A Day Without a Woman" — a mass strike being planned in protest of employment discrimination, gender pay gap, violence against women as well as to assert reproductive rights.
Women's Day is celebrated on 8 March around the world to honour the female spirit; to acknowledge their fight against the injustices they suffer in almost every sphere of life. This year's theme for the special day is 'Be Bold For Change'.
The motto of the theme is to "help women and girls achieve their ambitions; challenge conscious and unconscious bias; call for gender-balanced leadership; value women and men's contributions equally; and create inclusive flexible cultures."
On the special occasion, IBTimes UK has compiled a list of powerful quotes on women empowerment and feminism.
1. No country can ever truly flourish if it stifles the potential of its women and deprives itself of the contributions of half of its citizens." — Michelle Obama
2. Being a healthy woman isn't about getting on a scale or measuring your waistline. We need to start focusing on what matters — on how we feel, and how we feel about ourselves." — Michelle Obama
3. Strong men don't need to put down women to feel powerful. — Michelle Obama
4. Women in particular need to keep an eye on their physical and mental health, because if we're scurrying to and from appointments and errands, we don't have a lot of time to take care of ourselves. We need to do a better job of putting ourselves higher on our own 'to do' list. — Michelle Obama
5. To all the little girls who are watching, never doubt that you are valuable and powerful and deserving of every chance and opportunity in the world to pursue and achieve your own dreams. —Hillary Clinton
6. If you want something said, ask a man; if you want something done, ask a woman. —Margaret Thatcher
7. A woman with a voice is, by definition, a strong woman. —Melinda Gates
8. There's something so special about a woman who dominates in a man's world. It takes a certain grace, strength, intelligence, fearlessness, and the nerve to never take no for an answer. —Rihanna to Harper's BAZAAR March Issue.
9. I think it is right I am paid the same as my male counterparts. I think it is right that I should be able to make decisions about my own body. I think it is right that women be involved on my behalf in the policies and decisions that will affect my life. I think it is right that socially, I am afforded the same respect as men. —Emma Watson
10. We need to reshape our own perception of how we view ourselves. We have to step up as women and take the lead. —Beyoncé
11. I think the best role models for women are people who are fruitfully and confidently themselves, who bring light into the world. —Meryl Streep
12. I consider myself to be a feminist, and I'd always wanted to show that just because a woman has made a choice, a free choice to say, 'Well, I'm going to raise my family and that's going to be my choice. I may go back to a career, I may have a career part time, but that's my choice.' Doesn't mean that that's all she can do. — J. K. Rowling
13. Think like a queen. A queen is not afraid to fail. Failure is another stepping stone to greatness. — Oprah Winfrey
14. Every woman I know, particularly the senior ones, has been called too aggressive at work. We know in gender blind studies that men are more aggressive in their offices than women. We know that. Yet we're busy telling all the women that they're too aggressive. That's the issue. — Sheryl Sandberg
15. I want men to take up this mantle so that their daughters, sisters and mothers can be free from prejudice, but also so that their sons have permission to be vulnerable and human too, reclaim those parts of themselves they abandoned and in doing so, be a more true and complete version of themselves. —Emma Watson