Emma Watson Urges Women To Participate In Politics In Uruguay

Emma Watson, Goodwill AmbassadorEmma Watson, who was recently appointed as a U.N. Women’s Goodwill Ambassador, traveled to Uruguay to bring attention to the need for women to become more involved in politics within their country as an impending election looms. A new law has created a national quota that guarantees 30 percent of the elected representatives will be women.

“Women must have a say in matters that affect their countries, communities and families,” Watson said. “After all, they are half of the population, so women’s equal participation in decision-making is a question of justice and democracy.”

Watson was attending a meeting in the country’s capital city, Montevideo. The meeting was hosted by Cotidiano Mujer, an organization that was the recipient of a grant from the U.N. Women’s Fund for Gender Equality. Watson met with women’s advocates from around the country and listened to their strategies to increase women’s voices throughout different political platforms in Uruguay. As well as women’s advocates, Watson also met with several top government officials, as well as young women politicians. She will also be participating in an event where women’s rights activists will submit signatures calling for an extension of the national quota law. This follows a “Do your bit for the quota” campaign, which was launched in July.
“Emma is a strong voice for young people worldwide,” Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, the U.N. Women Executive Director, said in a statement. “Her commitment to the issues that we work on at U.N. Women multiplies our ability to reach and engage more young people, who are key to advancing gender equality.”

Women’s participation in politics remains low globally. Only one in five members of Parliament are women. In Uruguay, even with these efforts, the rate of women’s representation remains stuck at 13.1 percent, making Uruguay the 103rd country in the world in regard to the world ranking of women in Parliament by the Inter-Parliamentary Union and U.N. Women, placing it below the world average of 21.8 percent.
Emma Watson, Goodwill Ambassador
“Women’s rights are personal to me, especially on political participation and leadership,” Watson said. “I am delighted to be here…as a Goodwill Ambassador for U.N. Women and learn about the work on the ground, hear from the people at the front lines, and to understand what is working and what is not. I have learned that it is also a question of priorities, as women are more likely to focus on issues such as education, health, unpaid care economy and the environment. These are important issues that affect all of us.”

Emma WatsonWatson also attended a special event for U.N. Women’s HeForShe campaign at the U.N. Headquarters in New York. The event is meant to kick-start one of the largest solidarity movements of the 21st century for the achievement of gender equality by calling on one half of the population to support the other half. Over the next 12 months, the HeForShe campaign will try to mobilize one billion men and boys around the globe as advocates for change in ending the persistent inequalities that women and girls face all around the world.

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