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"She said What?": The best quotes from women in 2018

Michelle Obama, Mary Robinson, Meghan Markle and many more.

IT MAY HAVE been the Chinese year of the dog, but it felt more like the year of the women. Here’s 2018 summarised by the women at the forefront of music, activism, politics, sport and culture. 

Ireland abortion laws Source: Niall Carson

The country has listened. Women have spoken.

- Dr Rhona Mahony, Master of the National Maternity Hospital, on Ireland’s historic repeal of the Eighth Amendment on May 26th 2018.

Billboard's 13th Annual Women in Music Source: Lev Radin

remember when i was like hey i have no tears left to cry and the universe was like HAAAAAAAAA bitch u thought

-  Singer Ariana Grande’s expectations and reality of 2018 were somewhat contrasting.

Specsavers National Book Awards - London Source: PA Archive/PA Images

I am astonished that every single progressive political organisation in the world has not been beating a path to the door of the Repeal campaign and asking ‘How did you do it?’ It was magic.

- Caitlin Moran, author, comedian and broadcaster, on the success of the Repeal Campaign.

SCIENCE Mars Source: PA Archive/PA Images

There are other areas that seem to be similar. There’s no reason to say this [underground lake] is the only one.

- Elena Pettinelli, an Astrophysicist who co-authored the scientific paper in the Journal Science, which reported the monumental discovery of water on Mars and the possibility of life there.   

Students nationwide march to demand stricter gun laws Source: SIPA USA/PA Images

 We call BS.

- Emma Gonzalez, an 18 year old student who survived a shooting at her school in Florida in February Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. Three days after the shooting she gave a resilient and emotional speech, which called out Trump, Congress and the NRA for their lack of gun control legislation.

Creative Responses to Climate Change conference Source: Niall Carson

Feeling a complete inability to do anything – ‘This is too big for me, I give up’ – that’s no use to anybody. [With] despair, all the energy to do something goes out of the room.

- Rallying words from former Irish President Mary Robinson for those who feel overwhelmed by climate change.

The 75th Golden Globe Awards - Show - Los Angeles Source: SIPA USA/PA Images

And here are the all-male nominees.

- At the Golden Globes in January, actress Natalie Portman called out the lack of diversity in the nominees for Best Director. Some of the most critically acclaimed and financially successful films of 2017 (Lady Bird, Wonder Woman, and Mudbound) had been directed by female directors. 

School Shooting Survivor Harvard Source: Andrew Harnik

My grandfather had a dream that his four little children will not be judged by the colour of their skin, but the content of their character. I have a dream, that enough is enough. And that this should be a gun-free world. Period.

- Yolanda Renee King – Martin Luther King’s nine year old granddaughter speaking at the March For Our Lives anti-gun violence rally in March. 

2018 WGCI Big Jam in Chicago Source: Daniel DeSlover

Leave his texts on read, leave his balls on blue.

- Rapper Cardi B on her song “I Do” (featuring SZA) played around linguistically with two of the primary colours.

Royal tour of New Zealand - Day One Source: Kirsty Wigglesworth

…When talking about girls’ empowerment and women as well, you’ll often hear people saying, ‘You’re helping them find their voices’, I fundamentally disagree with that. Women don’t need to find their voice. They need to feel empowered to use it and people need to be encouraged to listen.

Meghan Markle, the Duchess of Sussex, speaking in February. Traditionally, the Royal Family has not been as overtly feminist in their speeches and remarks as the Royal Family cannot be politic. 

Saudi women hit the road of the Capital Source: DPA/PA Images

I always knew this day would come. But it came fast. Sudden. I feel free like a bird.

- Samar Almogren, a Saudi Arabian talkshow host and writer on Saudi Arabia lifting the ban on women driving in June.

White House Correspondents Dinner -Washington Source: Sachs Ron/CNP/ABACA

I would drag him here myself, but it turns out the president of the United States is the one pussy you’re not allowed to grab. 

- Comedian Michelle Wolf at the White House Correspondent’s dinner.   

India: LGBT Community Celebrate After SC Verdict on Section 377 Decriminalizes Gay Sex Source: SIPA USA/PA Images

I was turning into a cynical human being with very little belief in the system, but honestly this has really shown once again that we are a functional democracy where freedom of choice, speech and rights still exist.

- Ritu Dalmia, an Indian celebrity chef and restaurateur, who was one of five LGBT campaigners who put their name to the legal petition to decriminalise homosexuality in India. The British Colonial law was struck down in the Courts in September.

CervicalCheck programme Source: PA Wire/PA Images

If I do die, I do not want it to be in vain.

- Vicky Phelan, the Cervical cancer campaigner whose cervical smear test results incorrectly came back clear. Phelan subsequently exposed systematic inaccurate diagnoses of the cancer in Ireland and the subsequent cover up. At least 20 women are believed to have died after inaccurate results.   

India v Ireland - Vitality Women's Hockey World Cup - Pool B - Lee Valley Hockey and Tennis Centre Source: PA Archive/PA Images

It was the best moment of any of our lives, and none of us will ever forget it.

Anna O’Flanagan – Irish Hockey forward on winning silver in the Hockey World Cup this summer in London.  


I watch the video of you dancing in Galway’s 2011 St Patrick’s Day parade and am moved to tears by your thousand-watt smile and palpable enthusiasm. Sharing their mourning and hope with the world, your family publicly supported the Together for Yes campaign. Celebrating repeal, your father expressed his “gratitude to the people of Ireland”. In reciprocity, I heard Ireland’s ‘repealers’ say that they owe your family a great debt. 

-  Actress and activist Emma Watson writing for Porter Magazine on Dr Savita Halappanavar, whose untimely death in 2012 was a key turning point in reigniting the fight for women’s reproductive rights in Ireland. 

Michelle Obama Book Tour Source: Frank Franklin II

For me, becoming isn’t about arriving somewhere or achieving a certain aim. I see it instead as forward motion, a means of evolving, a way to reach continuously toward a better self. The journey doesn’t end. 

- Michelle Obama, the former First Lady, released her candid memoir ‘Becoming’, which became instantly became a best-seller.

LA Summit 2018 Source: DPA/PA Images

 We have to shift the narrative that it’s a gender war, that it’s anti-male, that it’s men against women, that it’s only for a certain type of person — that it’s for white, cisgender, heterosexual, famous women. That has to shift. And I think that it is shifting…

- Tarana Burke, the founder of the MeToo movement, on the media’s focus on salacious stories and its inaccurate portrayal of the movement as anti-men.

Nama annual report launch Source: PA Archive/PA Images

 We must never accept homelessness as normal. We must never accept people living with such fear and uncertainty as normal.

Niamh Randall, the national spokesperson for the Simon Communities in Ireland on the scale of homelessness in Ireland today. 

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