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Be Inspired by Women Extraordinaire


Graça Machel

"It is we, the people, that will have to decide the nature of the country, of the union we really want to forge."

Graça Machel, DBE (born Graça Simbine; 17 October 1945) is a Mozambican politician and humanitarian. She is the third wife of former South African president Nelson Mandela and the widow of the late Mozambican president Samora Machel. She is an international advocate for women’s and children’s rights and in 1997 was made a British dame for her humanitarian work. Graça Machel is also known for being the only woman in the world to have been first lady to two presidents


Nadine Gordimer

“Time is change, we measure its passing by how much things alter.”

“Responsibility is what awaits outside the Eden of Creativity.”

“Perhaps the best definition of progress would be the continuing efforts of men and women to narrow the gap between the convenience of the powers that be and the unwritten charter.”

Nadine Gordimer (born 20 November 1923) is a South African writer and political activist. She was awarded the 1991 Nobel Prize in Literature when she was recognised as a woman "who through her magnificent epic writing has – in the words of Alfred Nobel – been of very great benefit to humanity"


Oprah Winfrey

"You don’t become what you want, you become what you believe.”

“The key to realizing a dream is to focus not on success but significance - and then even the small steps and little victories along your path will take on greater meaning.”

“My philosophy is that not only are you responsible for your life, but doing the best at this moment puts you in the best place for the next moment.”

“The greatest discovery of all time is that a person can change his future by merely changing his attitude.”

Oprah Winfrey (born Orpah Gail Winfrey on January 29, 1954) is an American television host, actress, producer, and philanthropist, best known for her self-titled, multi-award winning talk show, which has become the highest-rated program of its kind in history and was nationally syndicated from 1986 to 2011. She has been ranked the richest African American of the 20th century, the greatest black philanthropist in American history, and was for a time the world's only black billionaire. She is also, according to some assessments, the most influential woman in the world.


Wangari Maathai

"The movement started as a tree planting campaign, but it is a little more than just the planting of trees.  It’s planting of ideas, it’s giving them reasons why they should protect their environmental rights, and giving them reasons why they should protect their women’s rights."

Wangari Maathai, winner of the 2004 Nobel Peace Prize, is a noted environmental and human rights activist who founded the Green Belt Movement in Kenya in 1976.  She was born in a rural area of Kenya, growing up among rolling hills and forests.  She received her bachelors and masters degrees in the United States, and later earned her Ph.D. in Germany – she is the first woman in East or Central Africa to obtain a doctorate.


Dr. Codou Diaw

"We are at a crossroads and must surmount enormous challenges in order to live up to our ambitions and expectations for the girls of Africa."

"If quality education for all is to be a reality, gender equity and equality issues must remain a priority in the African education agenda."

Dr. Codou Diaw is the Executive Director of the Forum for African Women Educationalists (FAWE), a Pan African NGO engaged in the promotion of girls’ education and gender equity in education in Sub Saharan Africa.


Ellen Johnson Sirleaf

"If your dreams do not scare you, they are not big enough."

"Leadership is never given on a silver platter, one has to earn it."

"Ethnicity should enrich us, it should make us a unique people in our diversity and not be used to divide us."

Ellen Johnson Sirleaf (born 29 October 1938) is the 24th and current President of Liberia. She served as Minister of Finance under President William Tolbert from 1979 until the 1980 coup d'état, after which she left Liberia and held senior positions at various financial institutions.


Millennia2015, Women actors of development for the global challenges

“Women should not only be considered as the beneficiaries of the realization of the Millennium Development Goals but also as those who can develop as well as implement projects and act for change. Thanks to initiatives such as Millennia2015 women are able to assume this role.”

Gülser Corat, Director of the Division of Gender Equality at the Office of the Director-General of the UNESCO and Representative of the Director-General, UNESCO Headquarters, Paris, 08.12.2010




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