'Educate a girl, empower a nation.' International Women's Day, in quotes

We celebrate gender equality and why it matters on International Women's Day 2015 with some of the women - and men - who know best

Around the world, women are making huge strides as leaders, innovators and wage-earners. To celebrate International Women's Day 2015, we hear from global leaders, celebrities and businesspeople on why gender equality and the empowerment of women in every corner of the world is critical for a bright, stable future.

"I've always believed that when you educate a girl, you empower a nation." Queen Rania of Jordan

"If we closed the gap in workforce participation between women and men around the world, GDP would grow by nearly 12 percent by 2030.” Hillary Clinton, former US Secretary of State

“Girls are the future mothers of any society. Every girl that receives an education is more likely to make education a priority for her children. It’s a ripple effect of positive change in the community and country.” Tariq Al Gurg, chief executive officer, Dubai Cares

"The world will never realize 100 per cent of its goals if 50 per cent of its people cannot realise their full potential. When we unleash the power of women, we can secure the future for all.” UN secretary-general Ban Ki-moon

“It’s time for women to stop being politely angry.” Leymah Gbowee, Liberian peace activist and Nobel Peace Laureate 

“On International Women’s Day this year, I want to pay tribute to the girls and women who dream big. Empowering women empowers humanity.” Ertharin Cousin, executive director, UN World Food Programme

"I decided I was a feminist and this seemed uncomplicated to me. But my recent research has shown me that feminism has become an unpopular word … Men – I would like to take this opportunity to extend your formal invitation. Gender equality is your issue too.” Emma Watson, UN Women Goodwill Ambassador

“Real change happens when we invest in girls. Every year, millions of girls are denied an education at a time when it has the power to transform their lives and the world around them. If a girl is able to make it through primary and secondary education, it can help them break the cycle of poverty and it can help put a stop to early and forced marriage. Nigel Chapman, CEO, Plan International

"No industry or country can reach its full potential until women reach their full potential." Sheryl Sandberg, chief operating officer of Facebook, founder of LeanIn.Org