Emma Watson has formally invited men to help end gender inequality.
In a speech at the UN Headquarters in New York City, Waston urged men to get involved in the fight for equity between men and women, saying, “Men - I would like to take this opportunity to extend your formal invitation. Gender equality is your issue, too.”
The UN Women Goodwill ambassador and Harry Potter star is launching a new UN campaign called HeForShe aimed at getting boys and men involved in the fight for gender equality.
“How can we affect change in the world when only half of it is invited or feel welcome to participate in the conversation?” she asked.
In addition to outlining the ways in which men deal with the negative impacts of gender roles, such as facing a stigma to seek help for mental illness or not being equally valued as parents, Watson chronicled her own struggles with sexism, which started at age eight when she was called “bossy” for wanting to direct plays in school. She also recalls being sexualized by the press at age 14.
Watson called for a rejection of the idea that fighting for gender equality means hating men, noting, “ I have realized that fighting for women’s rights has too often become synonymous with man-hating. If there is one thing I know for certain, it is that this has to stop.”