Emma Watson was named Campaigner of the Year during the Observer 2015 Ethical Awards, according to The Observer. She was honored for her work as a United Nations Goodwill Ambassador for the HeForShe Campaign, which advocates for international genre equality.
“Thank you @ObserverEthical for awarding me Campaigner of the Year!,” Watson, who was unable to attend the ceremony, write on her Twitter account. “I want to share this w every @HeForShe out there #ethicalawards.”
Watson began her work on the HeForShe Campaign in July 2014, when she spoke at a U.N. event. The speech went viral on social media.
“Special thanks to the brilliant team at UN_Women and to @liviafirth who accepted the award on my behalf. #heforshe #ethicalawards,” Watson wrote.
The actress and activist was praised by Phumzile Mlamo-Ngcuka, the executive director of U.N. Women.
“Her commitment to the issues that we work on at U.N. Women multiplies our ability to engage more young people, who are key to advancing gender equality,” Mlamo-Ngcuka said.
In her speech, Watson acknowledged that she was not the most likely candidate for the job, but uses her fame to draw attention to this important cause. Having starred as Hermione Granger in the Harry Potter franchise, that fame is substantial, and it brings with it a substantial audience.
“You might be thinking, ‘who is this Harry Potter girl?'” Watson said in her speech. “‘And what is she doing up on stage at the UN?’ It’s a good question and trust me I have been asking myself the same thing. I don’t know if I am qualified to be here. All I know is that I care about this problem. And I want to make it better.”
Watson also spoke about the connection between the word feminism and the stereotype of hating men, clarifying that feminism, and HeForShe, were about equality, and bringing men into the activism for gender equality, to fight for their mothers, daughters, sisters, and friends.
“I want men to take up this mantle,” Watson said. “So their daughters, sisters and mothers can be free from prejudice but also so that their sons have permission to be vulnerable and human too – reclaim those parts of themselves they abandoned and in doing so be a more true and complete version of themselves.”
Emma’s full speech for HeForShe in front of the U.N.
Another U.N. speech
Follow @Music_IntheDark on Twitter