Women in the World

03.16.12

Women in the World Summit: Most Memorable Quotes

Fierce, fiery, and funny: Read rousing quotes from Newsweek and The Daily Beast’s global summit on women and get inspired.

There was no shortage of memorable moments from Newsweek and The Daily Beast's Women in the World Summit this past week in New York City. Attendees were riveted by a woman's personal tale of being trafficked by Mexican drug cartels, outraged at the way in which the military treats victims of sexual assault, and inspired by countless tales of strength and perseverance. Amid three days of rich and remarkable programs, some moments stood out uniquely—particular turns of phrase that can embody a moment, galvanize a movement, and spread like wildfire online. Here, some of the fiercest, funniest, and most fiery things said at the summit:

“Where are the angry American women? In all honesty, I’ve also been watching the men talk about your reproductive issues and saying, Why are these women not angry and beating men left and right?’ It’s time for women to stop being politely angry.”
—Nobel Peace Prize winner and Liberian peace activist Leymah Gbowee

“If Lehman Brothers had been a bit more Lehman Sisters ... we would not have had the degree of tragedy that we had as a result of what happened.”
—IMF Chief Christine Lagarde

“I want to be remembered for what I do, not what happened to me.”
Jaycee Dugard, who was held captive by a kidnapper for 18 years.

“This is what you get when you play a world leader,” said Meryl Streep, showing off the Academy Award she won last month for The Iron Lady. “But this,” she continued, gesturing toward Hillary Clinton backstage, “is what you get when you are one."

"I'm just glad she didn't do a movie called The Devil Wears Pantsuits.”
Hillary Clinton, responding to Meryl Streep’s introduction.

“Why extremists always focus on women remains a mystery to me. But they all seem to. It doesn’t matter what country they’re in or what religion they claim. They all want to control women. They want to control how we dress. They want to control how we act. They even want to control the decisions we make about our own health and our own bodies. Yes, it is hard to believe but even here at home we have to stand up for women’s rights and we have to reject efforts to marginalize any one of us, because America has to set an example for the entire world.”
Hillary Clinton

“Female authority is still associated with childhood. The last time a lot of powerful guys saw a powerful woman, they were 8, and they feel regressed to childhood by a powerful woman in a way that they don’t feel with a man.”
Gloria Steinem

“We cannot accept that having 19 percent of women in Congress is OK. And I think as women we need to understand: it is in the politics. It’s politics that defines the economy, it’s politics that defines social norms, and until we get political power, we are not going to be able to make giant strides. Every woman in here needs to be involved in getting a woman elected.”
Kah Walla, president of Cameroon's People's Party

“People say there are not enough qualified women, that’s one of the biggest bullshit things I’ve ever heard.”
Madeleine Albright

“You women who shrink from public service—why should your life just be about you?”
Actress Holland Taylor, playing Gov. Ann Richards

“There is no spring without flowers, likewise there is no Arab Spring
without women.”
Dalia Ziada, Egypt director of the American Islamic Congress

“What inspires me is their strength if you talk about a Chinese woman, it’s
a woman whose strength is on steroids.”
—Designer Diane von Furstenberg

“I think the single best thing you can give your children if you want them to integrate well in the West is some sleepovers.”
—"Tiger Mom" Amy Chua, on her advice for Chinese parents

“Women are lionesses in terms of how we protect our families. That fierce
instinct to protect helps all of us perform security.”
—Former Congresswoman Jane Harman

“If the Taliban return to positions of power, the situation of Afghan women will become much worse; it would be a backward step. It’s time for us to stand up on our own two feet, to better our lives by ourselves. Who are the Taliban anyway? Who are they to have so much control over our lives?”
Bibi Hokmina, a provincial council member in Afghanistan who dresses like a man in order to carry out her public political role

“When I go out to dinner with my boyfriend, they always hand him the check and he says, ‘wrong economy’ and hands it to me.”
Amanda Steinberg, CEO and Founder of DailyWorth

“In a country as great as ours, it’s unacceptable that women still only earn 70 cents on the dollar. Equal pay is sound business and a woman’s income is more important than ever before.”
Valerie Jarrett, a senior adviser to President Obama

“We have to take the opportunity to make the change that is necessary so that nobody has to fight this fight again.”
Nancy Pelosi

“Hatred doesn’t solve a thing. Justice needs to be fought for and demanded. It can come from anyone even a teenager like myself.”
Sandra Uwiringiyimana, who survived a massacre in the Congo and is now a budding photographer and activist