Actress Emma Watson, the newly-appointed UN Women Goodwill Ambassador, has helped to launch the HeForShe global campaign at the United Nations HQ, promoting gender equality.
In a speech, Watson calls on the global community to reconsider the word feminism which has become “an unpopular word”, clarifying that feminism is not about man-hating, rather the belief that men and women should have equal rights and opportunities.
She says: “How can we affect change in the world when only half of it is invited or feel welcome to participate in the conversation?”
Watson says it starts with women who are are choosing not to identify as feminists.
“Apparently, I am among the ranks of women whose expressions are seen as too strong, ‘too aggressive,’ isolating and anti-men, unattractive, even. Why has the word become such an uncomfortable one?”
She invites men and boys to join the fight for gender equality which she says “is your issue too”.
“We don’t want to talk about men being imprisoned by gender stereotypes but I can see that they are,” she says.
“When they are free, things will change for women as a natural consequence. If men don’t have to be aggressive, women won’t be compelled to be submissive. If men don’t need to control, women won’t have to be controlled.”
The English actress played the character Hermione Granger in the Harry Potter film series.
Here’s her speech in full.
Business Insider Emails & Alerts
Site highlights each day to your inbox.