Emma Watson, a U.N. Women Goodwill Ambassador, spoke about gender equality at the U.N. Headquarters in New York on Saturday, and her words moved the crowd to a standing ovation.
Watson's speech marked the launch of the "HeForShe" campaign, which will train one billion men and boys to help end gender inequality. In the speech, she noted that feminists don't hate men, contrary to an unfortunately popular belief. The "HeForShe" campaign encourages equality, and Watson hopes the campaign will inspire both genders to work together. Here's a snippet from her speech:
I decided that I was a feminist. This seemed uncomplicated to me. But my recent research has shown me that feminism has become an unpopular word. Women are choosing not to identify as feminists. Apparently, [women's expression is] seen as too strong, too aggressive, anti-men, unattractive.
Why has the word become such an unpopular one? I think it is right I am paid the same as my male counterparts. I think it is right that I should make decisions about my own body. I think it is right that women be involved on my behalf in the policies and decisions that affect my life. I think it is right that socially, I am afforded the same respect as men. [via Rappler]
Later, Watson continued:
You might be thinking, 'Who is this Harry Potter girl, and what is she doing speaking at the U.N.?' and it's a really good question. I've been asking myself the same thing. All I know is that I care about this problem and I want to make it better.
Watch Watson's full speech below. --Meghan DeMaria