What is a Strong Woman?

Part of SWSG’s mission is to use the skills of strong women to mentor girls, fostering their leadership, self-confidence, and internal strength.  Without strong women, the program would not exist.  But what is a strong woman?  In order to fully understand what lessons we are trying to impart on our girls, we must begin with square one.  What are the traits of a strong woman?

To find the answer, I gathered the opinions of a diverse sampling of several strong women I know.  I expected the answers to be drastically different, but I was delighted to unearth a few common themes that ran through the responses.

1. A strong woman knows who she is.

  • “She considers who she is and what she wants for herself.”
  • “She follows her heart.”
  • “She shows her authentic self and honors her instincts.”

But this is not static; rather, it is an ever-evolving process as she explores her interests.  She stays true to her values as this process continues.

  • “She is self-aware and continually growing into her true self.”
  • “She cultivates her own interests.”
  • “She can understand and appreciate her own strengths, then use those strengths to achieve her own success.”

2. A strong woman stands up for herself.  This one is not easy, and requires not only passion and confidence, but also tact and timing.  I think this is one of the most important characteristics for adolescents and girls to develop and maintain.

  • “She is not afraid to share her ideas and thoughts, regardless of what others think.”
  • “She speaks her heart and her mind.”
  • “She respects herself enough to stand up for herself, the causes she believes in, and the welfare of others.”

3.  A strong woman is happy! How could I almost forget about this one?  Thankfully, I have many jovial and energetic women in my life who reminded me of the importance of being happy and positive.

  • “She brings fun into her life and whatever she does.”
  • “She tries to develop a sense of balance.”
  • “She counts her blessings.”
  • “She strives to create a positive environment for herself and her family.”
  • “She lives fully, loves hard, has fun, and has a sense of humor.”

4. A strong woman challenges herself.  Even a woman who is capable, confident, and secure in her strengths must challenge herself to continue growing and pushing unfamiliar boundaries.

  • “Even if life is not easy, she makes a point to find the good and make things better.”
  • “She meets a challenge head-on.”
  • “She puts one foot in front of the other every day.”

And she admits she doesn’t have all the answers. She is willing to be flexible and seek more information in order to better her life and sharpen her mind.

  • “She asks questions.”
  • “She has a willingness to learn, but can be the teacher when needed.”
  • “She is confident in her abilities, but willing to learn more.”

Please share your thoughts with us.  What do you think encompasses a strong woman?


19 Comments

  1. I love this! I might also add that a strong woman is someone who strives to surround herself with other strong people and helps those in moments of weakness as she hopes someone would do for her if put in that position.

    • Such a great post! A strong woman also makes mistakes but learns from them and inspires others setting a positive example.

    • Athira

      I agree

    • I am sorry, but I disagree, I do not believe that I need to surround myself with strong people in order to be strong. I would consider myself a strong woman. I currently manage three Aged Care Facilities and three Retirement Villages. I have raised two children, both with disabling conditions and I cared for one child on my own until he died. I own my own home and obtained a degree while also working full time. I not only manage, but have flourished under challenging circumstances. I am strong because life has given me opportunities for growth and I made sure that I rose to this challenge. My strength is separate to whomever I may surround myself with. I stand on my own terms, my own feet and I do not need to view myself through any reflection of myself.

      I am simply strong. I think your comment is more relevant to women wishing to surround themselves with strong women, in order that they may learn to be strong women also.

  2. Just goes to show that the collective wisdom of women is always amazing! Thanks for gathering these ideas.

  3. Great post! It’s so interesting to read the other responses…thanks for sharing!

  4. This is fantastic! It’s so interesting to see that there were common threads. A truly inspiring post.

  5. Another great post! I love hearing how all of the ideas came together. A nice inspiring way to end the day!

  6. Thank you for this post Catherine. It captures why I am so glad I recently found your organization!

  7. Great post and organization!

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  9. yes and a strong woman is one who never gives up! well the one song which always keeps me going is the climb by Miley Cyrus. it’s a lot uplifting.!

  10. I really love the way you have explained a strong woman..

    From my experience:
    A strong woman is the one who is independent and also respects others in all aspects. She is the one who tries to mould herself to her betterment in her hard times. She tries to make her surrounding lively.. She loves the ones who love her and also loves the one who hates her. She gets emotional many a times but these emotions does not become a barrier to her success journey. All the more, she loves herself.

    -To her every strong woman out there.. Be strong as much as you can and also take care of yourself.

    • Vidhya you make a great point ” . . . and respects others in all aspects.” Many women stop at being independent and speaking their mind without respect for others or positive intent. I plan to reorder the five themes before sharing with my daughters. Know herself, challenges herself, is happy, doesn’t have all the answers, and stands up for self.

  11. I really appreciate ur views,but to me,I believe a strong woman is the one talking about in micah 7 v 8 .a strong woman is dat woman dat falls and rise back,not a woman of lamentation,but a woman with focus irrespective of the obstacle

  12. I disagree. These are characteristics of a strong person. These traits aren’t gender locked for what makes someone strong.

  13. Athira

    Really nice 1

  14. Carlotta

    Wondering what the differences are between a strong woman and a strong man? Not that I think it’s a contest or anything, just wondering what others think defines strong from a gender perspective.

  15. Thank you. What wonderful way to encourage young girls and all women true strength

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