Emma Watson charmed the world as Hermione Granger in the Harry Potter films and she is continuing to do so as an United Nations Goodwill Ambassador.
Watson delivered an impressive speech at the U.N. on Saturday and asked that men of all ages stand up and fight for gender equality.
The speech was part of the launch of Watson’s new campaign, HeForShe, which promotes gender equality.
Watson said that fighting for gender equality doesn’t mean that she is against men, and she hopes that men will start to stick up for women and help promote gender equality of all types.
“I was appointed as Goodwill Ambassador for U.N. Women six months ago and the more I’ve spoken about feminism, the more I have realized that fighting for women’s rights has too often become synonymous with man-hating. If there is one thing I know for certain, it is that this has to stop,” she said.
“Feminism,” Watson continued, “is, by definition, the belief that men and women should have equal rights and opportunities. It is the theory of the political, economic and social equality of the sexes.”
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She went on to say that everyone can benefit from gender equality and explained how gender inequality can negatively affect everyone.
“Gender equality is your issue too. Because to date, I’ve seen my father’s role as a parent being valued less by society despite my needing his presence, as a child, as much as my mother’s. I’ve seen young men suffering from mental illness, unable to ask for help, for fear it would make them less of a men—or less of a man. In fact, in the U.K., suicide is the biggest killer of men, between 20 to 49, eclipsing road accidents, cancer and coronary heart disease. I’ve seen men made fragile and insecure by a distorted sense of what constitutes male success. Men don’t have the benefits of equality, either,” she said.
Watson also said that she knows some people only know her as the girl from the Harry Potter movies, but hopes that everyone will soon see how passionate she is about the new campaign and how hard she is willing to work for it.