Voices of Powerful Women by Zoe Sallis


In this empowering book, 40 amazing women who have exerted an influence on others in many different ways discuss their work, their achievements, their hopes and their fears, offering women everywhere inspiration and optimism for the future through their fascinating explanations of what they have achieved. Featuring politicians, environmentalists, humanitarians, entrepreneurs, musicians, artists, actors, world leaders and Nobel Peace Prize winners, this book encourages readers to believe that they can achieve their greatest ambitions and help change the world for the better.

The book is structured around ten questions, with the 40 interviewees providing a pithy and insightful answer to each one. Topics range from influential early experiences, inspirations in life and most admired female figures to causes of anger, greatest fears, how to change the world and advice for the younger generation.

The full list of powerful women featured in the book is as follows: Isabel Allende, Christiane Amanpour, Maya Angelou, Hanan Ashrawi, Joan Baez, Benazir Bhutto, Mary Kayitesi Blewitt, Emma Bonino, Shami Chakrabarti, Jung Chang, Kate Clinton, Marie Colvin, Marion Cotillard, Severn Cullis-Suzuki, Carla Del Ponte, Judi Dench, Shirin Ebadi, Tracey Emin, Jane Fonda, Tanni Grey-Thompson, Dagmar Havlová, Swanee Hunt, Bianca Jagger, Nataša Kandić, Kathy Kelly, Martha Lane Fox, Dame Ann Leslie, Professor Wangari Maathai, Mairead Maguire, Mary McAleese, Soledad O’Brien, Sinéad O’Connor, Yoko Ono, Mariane Pearl, Kim Phuc, Paloma Picasso, Sister Helen Prejean, CSJ, Paula Rego, Louise Ridley, Mary Robinson, Jody Williams.


Genre: Nonfiction; Feminism

Page count: 240

Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐

I would like to thank NetGalley and the publisher for a free, electronic ARC of this novel received in exchange for an honest review!

„I believe fear is something you create yourself.”

Paloma Picasso

Voices of Powerful Women – what more explanation do anyone need? This book identifies as self-understood.

This book is as simple as the title indicates – there are 10 questions asked. Not less than 40 women answer these questions with their own answers, their own knowledge and their own beliefs. But they are no ordinary women. They are some exceptional women who fought their way in this world and also became someone recognised worldwide.

But this does not end here. These women are so diverse that you can feel every single personality trait that they bear. And at the same time, they seem to be driven by the same similarity in the way of thinking: they all believe in an equal, peaceful and resourceful world. 

„I think that regardless of where we come from, we potentially have the ability to create a new person – if not entirely, at least in our foundations of beliefs.”

Mariane Pearl

All those incredible women tried to make the world a better place because they understood that this world is more than themselves. In order to achieve a common goal, one must understand that there is no individualism in the world. And those selfless women understood it better than the rest of us who still struggle to comprehend.

Try to convince yourself that you’re not the only thing in the universe. It’s very important to have an idea that there’s something greater than you, so you can pull yourself away from your egomania.

Maya Angelou

I am a feminist too, I believe in the equality of the humankind. I believe in peace. I believe in love. And I believe in the capacity of women of making the world a better place, but given a chance. I am not asking for power, because power is like a medicine: if properly administrated, it can help and cure, but if abused, it can destroy. I am asking instead for chances: chances to prove, chances to rise, chances to help, chances to be.

„I think we have been living in a world that has been flying on one wing when we were given two.

Mary McAleese

Romanian women are known to be determined people, strong and hot-headed, with a powerful will of being. And so, I grew up surrounded by strong women. All the females in my family are strong and stubborn as hell and above all, there is me, most of them all. When someone, doesn’t matter who asked me, even as a little child, who my role model is, I would always answer – myself. Yes, I am the one who motivates myself, I am the only person I fully trust, I am the person I know best. The reason why I answer this is simple: I am who I want to be and if I am not, I work to become. The question seems peculiar to me. The real question is: who do you admire? or who inspires you?

„I am my own driving force (…) though I hate to say it, it’s definitely myself that inspires me.”

Tracey Emin

 Many women inspire me. It doesn’t matter if they are some historic or mythological figures, book characters, real-life persons, worldwide acknowledged or simply women who I happen to know and recognise as my friends and family. They are there and they inspire me. Even my names are those of fabulous, inspirational women: the first one belongs to the most loved of the saints, the purest mother on earth, Mother of Christ; the second one belongs to one of the most powerful and courageous empresses this world had; the one that, when the rulers of the world were male, she claimed the throne of the Eastern Roman Empire and ruled her people to victory when her husband ran away to save his own skin. The story about this great empress was told to me by my grandfather as a child and it stuck with me until today. And today, I realise that I admire the courage that other women have and I feel a sort of pride when I see that happening.

„We are definitely products of our childhood.”

Severn Cullis-Suzuki

These forty women are no exception, they are part of my answer to that question about inspiration. I find these women incredible and worth to be heard out. They are balls of pure energy and spirited souls with a gigantic power of will and a thirsty drive to help the world. 

For all these women and all the other women, I take my hat off. I respect and I admire every single one of you. And these two feelings I always feel together and also together, they grow into one of the most wonderful feelings of this planet – almost like when you feel love. 

It is a powerful book, filled with true thoughts of true women who believe in better causes.

I must admit that reading this book I had moments when my brain kept saying „Amen, sister!” because the words I was reading were so very true. But what made my hair raise on my body was, indeed, reading some short things about those forty women at the end of the book. Their achievements, pointed out in a couple of words, made me get goosebumps and I think this is fantastic. It is a target set and achieved.

„I admire all women.”

Yoko Ono

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