12 inspiring quotes by Indian women activists to be the change you want to see

HerStory brings you quotes to inspire you to help enable change in society and fight for the right cause

12 inspiring quotes by Indian women activists to be the change you want to see

Sunday January 19, 2020,

3 min Read

On January 1, 2019, women in Kerala formed a 385-mile ‘wall of protest’ to fight for gender equality. In Delhi and Bengaluru, women formed a barrier to protect men from police brutality. In this year and for decades, several women activists have stood up for the rights of women, the oppressed, human rights, the environment, equality, and more. 

Be it in India or elsewhere, women have been in the forefront of activism and protest movements. From the Women’s Suffrage movements in the late 19th century to women activists of the 21st century, they have endured a long battle for equality, rights, freedom, the environment, animals, and have been the change they wanted to see in society. 

Here are quotes by Indian women activists to inspire you to also be the change you want to see. 

Indian women activists quotes

“A political struggle that does not have women at the heart of it, above it, below it, and within it is no struggle at all.” - Arundhati Roy, Author 

Development issues cannot be contained within national boundaries. - Medha Patkar, Indian Social Activist and Social Reformer-turned politician

“For me, my work is my god, and the faith to do work is my dharma.” - Manasi Pradhan, Founder OYSS women; constituted ‘Nirbhaya Vahini’, which has over 10,000 volunteers

“My struggle is my message to the people.” - Irom Chanu Sharmila, ‘Iron Lady of Manipur’

“We are threatened everyday, our voices crushed; but we will continue to fight.” - Soni Sori, Adivasi activist, politician 

indian women activists quote

"Seeds of hatred are planted in the minds, reality is different." - Shabnam Hashmi, human rights activist

“We shall overcome and success will be ours in the future. The future belongs to us.” - Savitribai Phule, social reformer and India’s first female teacher

“We have to have dialogue. And if people are not on our side, it is a fault of ours, not theirs; we didn’t do enough to win them over.” - Shantha Shah, anti-child labour activist, Founder of Mamidipudi Venkatarangaiya Foundation


“Perhaps it’s the fear that some day I too will stop walking the talk. There is a fine line between living one’s truth and looking good. I hope I never choose to cross over.” - Amala Akkineni, animal welfare activist, founder of Blue Cross in Hyderabad

“Why don’t we root the positive in each and everyone’s life instead of searching the negatives in them”? Why don’t we love and accept others with their strengths and weakness? Why don’t we break the barriers and traditions that are followed blindly, which doesn’t help the community in which we are living? Why don’t we smile and acknowledge others at least for a second, which can cause a tremendous change in others lives?“ —  Tiffany Brar, founder of Jyothirgamaya Foundation, social activist and advocate for an inclusive society

(Edited by Rekha Balakrishnan)