Speeches by Great Women to Empower and Inspire

Elizabeth I, On the Spanish Armada, 1588

Fanny Wright, Of Free Inquiry, Considered as a Means for Obtaining Just Knowledge, 1829

Maria Stewart, Farewell Address, 1833

Angelina Grimké, Anti-Slavery Speech, 1838

Sojourner Truth, Ain’t I A Woman?, 1851

Victoria Woodhull, The Principles of Social Freedom, 1871

Sarah Winnemucca, Indian Affairs Statement, 1884

Elizabeth Cady Stanton, The Solitude of Self, 1892

Mary Church Terrell, What It Means to be Colored in the Capital of the United States, 1906

Ida B. Wells, This Awful Slaughter, 1909

Countess Markievicz, Women, Ideals and the Nation, 1909

Marie Curie, Nobel Lecture: Radium and the New Concepts in Chemistry, 1911

Emmeline Pankhurst, Freedom or Death, 1913

Nellie McClung, Should Men Vote?, 1914

Jutta Bojsen-Møller, Victory for Votes, 1915

Emma Goldman, Address to the Jury, 1917

Nancy Astor, Maiden Speech in Parliament, 1920

Margaret Sanger, The Morality of Birth Control, 1921

Virginia Woolf, Professions for Women, 1931

Huda Sha’arawi, Speech at the Arab Feminist Conference, 1944

Funmilayo Ransome-Kuti, A Talk About Women, c. 1949

Eva Perón,Speech to the Descamisados, 1951

Helen Keller, The Life and Legacy of Louis Braille, 1952

Eleanor Roosevelt, The United Nations as a Bridge, 1954

Shirley Chisholm, Equal Rights for Women, 1969

Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Argument in Frontiero v. Richardson, 1973

Sylvia Rivera,Y’all Better Quiet Down, 1973

Simone Veil,Speech to Parliament on Abortion Law, 1974

Indira Gandhi,True Liberation of Women, 1980

Margaret Thatcher,The Lady’s Not For Turning, 1981

Ursula K. Le Guin,A Left-Handed Commencement Address, 1983

Barbara McClintock,Nobel Lecture, 1983

Corazon C. Aquino,Speech During the Joint Session of the US Congress, 1986

Naomi Wolf,A Woman’s Place, 1992

Severn Cullis-Suzuki,Address to the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development, 1992

Wilma Mankiller,Northern Arizona University Commencement Speech, 1992

Toni Morrison,Nobel Lecture, 1993

Hillary Clinton,Remarks for the United Nations Fourth World Conference on Women, 1995

Wangari Maathai,Nobel Lecture, 2004

J. K. Rowling,Harvard University Commencement Speech, 2008

Angela Merkel, Speech to the US Congress, 2009

Sheryl Sandberg, Barnard College Commencement Speech, 2011

Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, Nobel Lecture, 2011

Asmaa Mahfouz, The Vlog that Helped Spark the Egyptian Revolution, 2011

Manal al-Sharif, The Drive for Freedom, 2012

Julia Gillard, The Misogyny Speech, 2012

Malala Yousafzai, Nobel Lecture, 2014

Emma Watson, HeForShe Launch Campaign, 2014

Jane Goodall, Caring for the Earth – Reasons for Hope, 2016

Michelle Obama, Speech at the Democratic National Convention, 2016

Gloria Steinem, Women’s March Speech, 2017

Beatrice Fihn, Nobel Lecture, 2017

Alicia Garza, An Ode to Black Women, 2017

Maya Lin, SVA Commencement Address, 2018