The fight for gender equality has just gained another spokesperson. Actress Emma Watson has gone from casting spells in the Harry Potter film series to enchanting the United Nations (UN), after recently being appointed Goodwill Ambassador for UN Women. In her role, Watson will be responsible for the engagement of a young audience in order to spread a message of empowerment for women globally.
On September 20, Watson spoke on behalf of her recently launched HeForShe initiative according to CNN. The message, an invitation to a solidarity movement for gender equality, calls for everyone’s commitment to “take action against all forms of violence and discrimination faced by women and girls.”
So far, over 178,000 men have taken the pledge to assist in fostering language and interactions that promote the social, political, and economic equality of both sexes.
Reflecting on a lack of change noted from decades ago, Watson noted:
“In 1997, Hillary Clinton made a famous speech in Beijing about women’s rights. Sadly, many of the things that she wanted to change are still true today. But what stood out for me the most was that less than thirty percent of the audience were male. How can we effect change in the world when only half of it is invited or feel welcome to participate in the conversation?”
UN Women, founders of the HeForShe campaign, was created in July 2010 from the UN General Assembly, bring men together with women for the powerful cause of equality. The group works to bring together resources and mandates to make an impact on efforts focused exclusively on women’s empowerment, as well as support inter-governmental bodies, such as the Commission on the Status of Women, in their formulation of policies, global standards and norms.