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Emma Watson speaks out for equality

UN Women/Simon Luethi

This past weekend, Emma Watson—actress and UN Women Goodwill Ambassador—gave a speech at the UN headquarters in New York in support of the HeForShe campaign.

The campaign is a new initiative in support of gender equality. The goals of this particular campaign are not only to appeal to women to help enact change, but men, too. After all, gender equality is not about women overpowering men, as some tend to think, but rather about evening the playing field.

Watson explained, “For the record, feminism by definition is: ‘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.’” / Georges Biard

She went on to say, “Men—I would like to take this opportunity to extend your formal invitation. Gender equality is your issue too…. I’ve seen young men suffering from mental illness unable to ask for help for fear it would make them look less ‘macho….’ 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. We don’t often talk about men being imprisoned by gender stereotypes but I can see that that they are and that when they are free, things will change for women as a natural consequence.”

The campaign describes itself as “A solidarity movement for gender equality that brings together one half of humanity in support of the other half of humanity, for the entirety of humanity.”

So, girls and boys: it’s time to take action. As Watson mused in her speech, “If not now, when?”

Visit for more information and details on how to get involved and to read Watson’s speech in its entirety.

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Emma Watson speaks out for equality