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Wangari Maathai Quotes

Wangari Maathai (1940 - 2011)

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Wangari Maathai was the first African woman to win a Nobel Prize. In Kenya, Wangari Maathai held several distinctions including serving as Deputy Minister in the Ministry of Environment, Natural Resources and Wildlife. She founded the Green Belt movement in Kenya.

Selected Wangari Maathai Quotations

• Women are responsible for their children, they cannot sit back, waste time and see them starve.

• African women in general need to know that it's OK for them to be the way they are -- to see the way they are as a strength, and to be liberated from fear and from silence.

• The privilege of a higher education, especially outside Africa, broadened my original horizon and encouraged me to focus on the environment, women and development in order to improve the quality of life of people in my country in particular and in the African region in general.

• All through the ages the African people have made efforts to deliver themselves from oppressive forces. It is important that a critical mass of Africans do not accept the verdict that the world tries to push down their throat so as to give up and succumb. The struggle must continue. It is important to nurture any new ideas and initiatives which can make a difference for Africa.

• All of us have a God in us, and that God is the spirit that unites all life, everything that is on this planet. It must be this voice that is telling me to do something, and I am sure it's the same voice that is speaking to everybody on this planet - at least everybody who seems to be concerned about the fate of the world, the fate of this planet.

• We can work together for a better world with men and women of goodwill, those who radiate the intrinsic goodness of humankind. To do so effectively, the world needs a global ethic with values which give meaning to life experiences and, more than religious institutions and dogmas, sustain the non-material dimension of humanity. Mankind's universal values of love, compassion, solidarity, caring and tolerance should form the basis for this global ethic which should permeate culture, politics, trade, religion and philosophy. It should also permeate the extended family of the United Nations.

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About These Quotes

Quote collection assembled by Jone Johnson Lewis. Each quotation page in this collection and the entire collection © Jone Johnson Lewis 1997-2009. This is an informal collection assembled over many years. I regret that I am not be able to provide the original source if it is not listed with the quote.

Citation information:
Jone Johnson Lewis. "Wangari Maathai Quotes." About Women's History. URL: http://womenshistory.about.com/od/quotes/a/wangari_maathai.htm . Date accessed: (today). (More on how to cite online sources including this page)

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