Women Empowering Women: Emma Watson

While Emma Watson’s philanthropic ventures are no secret, their extent is often surprising. As the youngest A-lister to be appointed as UN Women Goodwill Ambassador, she exemplifies the power young influencers have in the pursuit of global good.

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Illustration by Foreverwonderstruck

She began her humanitarian efforts in the public eye with her collaboration with People Tree, a Fair Trade retailer in the United Kingdom. Her ambassadorship and in-person support of the brand’s workers provide her young fanbase, those with the ability and means to online shop, with ethical, fashionable options as well as a call to action.
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Photograph by Cantata/People Tree

Her advocacy for girls’ and women’s education around the world — including the visits she made to Zambia and Bangladesh to educate and provide resources herself — remains an inspiration unique among young celebrities.
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Photo: UN Women/Karin Schermbrucker

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Photo from ELLE UK

Watson has not only managed to move beyond her reputation as the precocious girl she played in Harry Potter but has proved to young women of the Western world the importance of reaching beyond one’s immediate environment and interests in order to truly make a difference.
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Image from HeForShe.org

As one of the leaders of the UN Women HeForShe Campaign, Watson has changed the global conversation about feminism today. In her speech at the UN headquarters in 2014, she confronted the negative connotations associated with feminism, acknowledged the hardships faced by men and offered an inclusive solution.
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Photograph: Mark Garten/UN Photo

“If men don’t have to be aggressive in order to be accepted, women won’t feel compelled to be submissive,” she said at the conference. “If men don’t have to control, women won’t have to be controlled. When [men] are free [from gender stereotypes], things will change for women as a natural consequence.”

Watson’s movement seeks to include all genders in the feminist fight, because, as she famously stated, “Feminism is everyone’s issue.”

Emma Watson - UN Women HeForShe - UN Women Executive Director Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka and Goodwill Ambassador Emma Watson at HeForShe event in New York, 2014

Photo: UN Women/Simon Luethi

From Hermione to heroine in the fight for global gender equality and against poverty, Watson has used her household name to lead nonprofits, ethical brands and critical movements into the mainstream. In her every endeavor, from the strong characters she plays to her continuous humanitarian involvement, she encourages young men and women with privilege and power to ask themselves, “If not me, who? If not now, when?”

Words of Wisdom from Emma Watson

Quotes by Emma Watson - Women Empowerment - Empowering Women - i feel like young girls are told they have to be this kind of princess and be all this sweet stuff. It's all bullshit. I identify with more of being a warrior princess, so if i had to be a princess, I'd have to kick some ass first.