How many famous political speeches by women can you name or quote? Probably not many.
This is at least in part because there are very few included in collections, either in book form or on the internet. Rathertellingly, even the best known speech by a woman - Queen Elizabeth I at Tilbury - is almost certainly apocryphal, written up by a man 25 years later as part of a campaign (ultimately successful) to stop Charles I marrying a Spanish princess.
If the speeches women really made are not preserved they cannot inspire others. So, to redress the balance a little, here – in alphabetical order - are a number of speeches by women to download.
If you know of others we should add, please let us know at firstname.lastname@example.org
Burmese opposition leader who spent many years under house arrest, finally being freed in 2011. She was elected to the Burmese parliament in the recent elections.
‘It is not power that corrupts but fear.’ Freedom from Fear, 1990.
‘Today in this world, in the fight for the liberation of women, there can be no neutrality.’ UN 4th World Conference on Women Beijing, 4 September 1995
‘There can be no doubt that this afternoon we are witnessing another historic advance in the struggle against discrimination in our society…’ Speech on the Second Reading of the Equal Pay Act, House of Commons, 9 February 1970
‘Human rights are women’s rights and women’s rights are human rights.’ UN World Conference on Women, 5 September 1995
‘The people of Northern Ireland want votes, not for the sake of voting, but for the sake of being able to exercise democratic rights over the controlling powers in their own areas.’ Maiden speech, House of Commons 22 April 1969
‘While there is bondage anywhere, we ourselves cannot be fully free. While there is oppression anywhere, we ourselves cannot soar high.’ Speech at the presentation of the Nehru Award for International Understanding to Coretta Scott King, New Delhi, 24 January 1969
‘It is right that we should take the opportunity now of rolling back over 130 years of legislative prohibition which is discriminatory, (and) which reflects an inadequate understanding of the human condition’ Speech moving the Second Reading in the Dáil Eireann of the Bill to decriminalise homosexuality in the Republic of Ireland, 23 June 1993
‘No power on earth can govern a human being, however feeble, who withholds his or her consent.’ Speech delivered in Hartford, Connecticut, 13 November 1913.
‘As a woman, I want women who have felt themselves outside history to be written back in …’ Presidential inauguration speech, Dublin, 3 December 1990.
‘If you think morality is a luxury business can't afford, try living in a world without it.’ Speech top the International Forum On Globalisation, Seattle, Washington, 27 November 1999.
‘We will make the children smile again.’ Inauguration speech, Monrovia, 16 January 2006.
‘You turn if you want to. The lady’s not for turning.’ Speech to the Conservative Party Conference in Brighton on 10 October 1980.
‘I have plowed and reaped and husked and chopped and mowed, and can any man do more than that? I have heard much about the sexes being equal. I can carry as much as any man, and can eat as much too, if I can get it. I am as strong as any man that is now. And ain’t I a woman?’ Speech to Women's Convention, Akron, Ohio, December 1851