Emma Watson Delivers Powerful Speech on Feminism for the U.N.

Emma Watson, accomplished actress and U.N. Women Goodwill Ambassador, delivered an impassioned speech on feminism and gender at the U.N. Headquarters in New York this weekend to launch the “HeForShe” campaign. The campaign seeks gender equality and recognizes that women’s inequality is as much a man’s issue as it is a woman’s. Specifically the campaign aims to galvanize one billion men and boys as advocates for ending the inequalities that women and girls face globally.

Emma’s definition of feminism is refreshing, “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.”

She heralds Hillary Clinton’s galvanizing UN speech about women’s rights, but questions why only 30% of the audience were men, saying, “How can we affect change in the world, when only half of it is invited or feel welcome to participate in the conversation?” She receives rousing applause when she says, “Men, I would like to take the opportunity to extend your formal invitation.”

Emma’s speech took great courage, as critics could say she is “not qualified” to make it. She silences the would be critics saying, “All I know is I care about this issue. It is my responsibility to say something,” she says. “I told myself firmly, if not me, who? If not now, when?” Her authentic nervousness captivated me. Through a shaking voice, she spoke with conviction and poise, never once looking at her notes. I too have felt doubts about being under qualified, and as she hoped, I found her words inspiring.

Follow the movement on Twitter: #HeForShe

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