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Inspiring quotes by famous women

It's Women's Month and we want to pay homage to the heroes and pioneers who shaped the world and changed the course of history. This month, First Car Rental salutes the brave women who fought for women's rights, shattered stereotypes and broke barriers.

We want to share the voices of the great women who have shown leadership, charisma, humility and wisdom. Here is a collection of our most favourite quotes by notable women in history. Be inspired by the quotes of these extraordinary women and have a wonderful Women's Month!

  • Ayn Rand

    1. Ayn Rand (1905 - 1982): "The question isn't who is going to let me; it's who is going to stop me."

    Without a shadow of a doubt whale watching is something you have to do during winter and one of the best and most renowned whale watching spots in South Africa is Hermanus. Hundreds of Southern Right whales make their way to Hermanus' Walker Bay every winter to breed and watching these majestic creatures of the sea can be quite an amazing experience. Carry a pair of binoculars if you want to spot the whales from land or get adventurous and take a boat ride out to sea to get a closer look.

  • Anne Sweeney

    2. Anne Sweeney (1958 - ): "Define success on your own terms, achieve it by your own rules, and build a life you're proud to live."

    An American businesswoman, Anne Sweeny joined The Walt Disney Company in February 1996 as president of Disney Channel and executive vice president of Disney/ABC Cable Networks where she worked for 18 years. During her time at Disney, Anne grew the Disney Channel business into a global powerhouse and was the main brand driver of the company around the world.

  • Nadine Gordimer

    3. Nadine Gordimer (1923 - 2014): "Art is so wonderfully irrational, exuberantly pointless, but necessary all the same. Pointless and yet necessary, that's hard for a puritan to understand."

    Nadine Gordimer was a South African writer, political activist and recipient of the 1991 Nobel Prize in Literature. Gordimer is arguably the foremost chronicler of racial apartheid and the subsequent changes of democracy. Gordimer won the Booker Prize in 1974 for The Conservationist. The Nation mourned the passing of the Nobel Laureate in July 2014.

  • Virginia Woolf

    4. Virginia Woolf (1882 - 1941): "For most of history, Anonymous was a woman.'

    Born in 1882 in London, Virginia Woolf was one of the most important and celebrated writers of the twentieth century. Her most famous works include the novels Mrs Dalloway (1925), To the Lighthouse (1927) and Orlando (1928), and the book-length essay A Room of One's Own (1929), which contained the famous phrase, "A woman must have money and a room of her own if she is to write fiction."

  • Nora Ephron

    5. Nora Ephron (1921 - 2012): "Above all, be the heroine of your life, not the victim."

    Nora Ephron is best known for her romantic comedies. Her original screenplays for Silkwood (1983), When Harry Met Sally (1989) and Sleepless in Seattle (1993) are some of her best works. She won a BAFTA Award for Best Original Screenplay for When Harry Met Sally. Her last film was Julie & Julia (2009) for which Ephron won the Writers Guild of America Award for Best Adapted Screenplay.

  • Rosa Parks

    6. Rosa Parks (1913 - 2005): "I have learned over the years that when one's mind is made up, this diminishes fear; knowing what must be done does away with fear."

    Rosa Louise McCauley Parks was an African-American civil rights activist, whom the United States Congress called "the first lady of civil rights" and "the mother of the freedom movement". On December 1, 1955, in Montgomery, Alabama, Parks refused to obey a bus driver's order that she give up her seat in the coloured section to a white passenger. Park's act of defiance became an important symbol of the modern Civil Rights Movement in the US.

  • Anne Frank

    7. Anne Frank (1929 - 1945): "In spite of everything, I still believe that people are really good at heart."

    Jewish writer Anne Frank was one of the one million Jewish children who died in the Holocaust. During this time she wrote about her experiences in a diary, which has become a gripping memoir of a teenage girl's pain during World War II. Frank's diary is essentially a story of faith, hope and love in the face of hate.

  • J.K Rowling

    8. J.K Rowling (1965 - ): "It is our choices that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities."

    British novelist Joanne Rowling, who writes under pennames J.K Rowling and Robert Galbraith, is best known for her Harry Potter fantasy series. The best-selling books have delighted children and adults across the world, sold over 400 million copies and have won her a series of awards. Rowling is the first writer to become a billionaire.

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  • Mother Teresa

    9. Mother Teresa (1910 - 1997): "Not all of us can do great things. But we can do small things with great love."

    Born Anjezë Gonxhe Bojaxhiu, Mother Teresa was a Roman Catholic Religious Sister and missionary of Albanian origin who lived for most of her life in India. Mother Teresa founded the Missionaries of Charity that ran hospices and homes for people with HIV/AIDS, leprosy and tuberculosis; soup kitchens; dispensaries and mobile clinics. Mother Teresa was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1979.

  • Maya Angelou

    10. Maya Angelou (1928 - 2014): "I'm a woman. Phenomenally. Phenomenal woman, that's me."

    Maya Angelou was an African-American author, poet, dancer, actress and singer. She published seven autobiographies, three books of essays, and several books of poetry. Maya Angelou has been honoured by universities, literary organizations, government agencies, and special interest groups for her literary works. Some of her honours include the 1994 Grammy Award for Best Spoken Word for On the Pulse of Morning, and the 2006 Quality Award for Poetry for Amazing Peace: A Christmas Poem.


We hope you enjoy these quotes by famous women and don't forget to share with friends. If you would like to take the special woman in your life on an adventure travel you can always count on us for the best car hire services in South Africa.

First in Car Hire. First in Service.