Almost three years ago, Halimah Yacob became the president of Singapore. She is the first female and second Malay president for our country.

Prior to her appointment, she was a Minister of Parliament (MP) before she became the Speaker of Parliament in 2013.

She may have had an illustrious political career, but her pre-politics path was just as impressive: she made her way up from a legal officer to become the director of legal services at National Trades Union Congress (NTUC).

But everything wasn’t handed to her on a silver platter. The president reportedly was living in poverty after her father passed away when she was eight years old, leaving her mother to support her and her four siblings. She revealed in a previous interview that she had to skip school to help her mother sell nasi padang outside the former Singapore Polytechnic to support the family.

She eventually made it to National University of Singapore and graduated with an Honours degree in Law. The president walked the talk of lifelong learning, as she continued to pursue her Masters and Doctorate in Law even after making a name for herself.

This International Women’s Day, we take a look at some of her most inspirational quotes.

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