Emma Watson Speaks About HeForShe at the World Economic Forum

Emma WatsonEmma Watson spoke about gender equality during a speech at the World Economic Forum held in Davos, Switzerland. Watson serves as a UN Women Goodwill Ambassador and was at the forum to announce the IMPACT 10 X 10 X 10 Initiative.

“Since HeForShe launched in New York last September, I think it would be fair to say that my colleagues and I have been stunned by the response,” Watson said. “The HeForShe conference was watched over 11 million times, sparking 1.2 billion social media conversations, culminating in the #HeForShre hashtag becoming so popular that Twitter painted it on the walls of its headquarters. And men from almost every country in the world signed up to our commitment. Everyone, from Desmond Tutu to Prince Harry to Hillary Clinton to Yoko Ono have issued their support or contacted us since Sept. 20. Everything from marathons being run, merchandise being created, 15-year-old boys writing to national newspapers deploring female discrimination, young girls collecting hundreds of signatures—it’s all happened in the last four months. I couldn’t have dreamed it, but it’s happened. Thank you so much.”

She then continued to speak about the new IMPACT 10x10x10 Initiative.

“It’s about engaging governments, businesses and universities and having them make concrete commitments to gender equality,” the actress said. “But I want to hear from the human beings that are behind these organizations. I spoke about some of my story in September. What are your stories?”

“Girls: Who have been your mentors?”

“Parents: Did you make sure you treated your children equally? If so, how have you done it?”

“Husbands: Have you been supporting your female partner privately so that she can fulfill her dreams, too?”

“Young men: Have you spoke up in a conversation when a woman was casually degraded or dismissed? How did this affect you? How did this affect the women you stood up for?”

“Businessmen: Have you mentored, supported or engaged women in leadership positions?”

“Writers: Have you challenged the language and imagery used to portray women in the media?”

“CEOs: Have you implemented the women’s empowerment principles in your own company? What change have you seen? Are you someone that has been persuading men to become He for Shes and collecting their signatures for their website? How many have you got?”

“One of the biggest pieces of feedback I’ve had since my speech is that men and women want to help but they aren’t sure how best to do it,” Watson continued. “Men say they’ve signed the petition. ‘What now?’ The truth is, the what now is down to you. What your He for She commitment will be is personal and there is no best way. Everything is valid. Decide what your commitment is, make it public, and then please report back to us on your progress so that we can share your story. We want to support, guide and reinforce your efforts. IMPACT 10x10x10 is about concrete commitments to change, the visibility of these commitments and the measurability of them, too. How has the campaign impacted me so far? I’ve had my breath taken away when a fan told me that since watching my speech she has stopped herself being beaten up by her father. I’ve been stunned by the amount of men in my life that have contacted me since my speech to tell me to keep going, and that they want to make sure that their daughters will still be alive to see a world where women have power and equality, economically and politically. While I would love to claim that this campaign and the results of it are the results of my incredible speechwriting skills, I know that it is not. It is because the ground is fertile. It is my belief that there is a greater understanding than ever that women need to be equal participants in our homes, in our societies, in our governments and in our workplaces, and they know that the world is being held back in every way because they are not.”

“Women share this planet 50/50 and they are underrepresented, their potential astonishingly untapped. We are very excited to be launching IMPACT 10X10X10 to bring He for She into its next phase. If you’re a He for She, and I’m assuming you are because otherwise you’d be in somebody else’s press conference right now, I’m here to ask you: What is the impact you can have? How, what, where, when, and with whom? We want to help. We want to know. And we want to here from you. Thank you very much.”

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5 thoughts on “Emma Watson Speaks About HeForShe at the World Economic Forum

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