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Emma Watson HeForShe Speech at the United Nations | UN Women 2014

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    Your excellencies,
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    UN Secretary General,
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    President of the General Assembly,
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    Executive Director of UN Women,
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    and distinguished guests.
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    Today, we are launching
    a campaign called He for She.
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    I am reaching out to you
    because we need your help.
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    We want to end gender inequality,
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    and to do this,
    we need everyone involved.
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    This is the first campaign
    of its kind at the UN.
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    We want to try and galvanize
    as many men and boys as possible
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    to be advocates for change.
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    And we don't just want to talk about it.
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    We want to try and make
    sure that it's tangible.
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    I was appointed as Goodwill Ambassador
    for UN Women six months ago.
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    And the more I've spoken about feminism,
    the more I have realized
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    that fighting for women's rights
    has too often become
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    synonymous with man-hating.
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    If there is one thing I know for certain,
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    it is that this has to stop.
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    For the record,
    feminism, by definition,
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    is the belief that men and women
    should have equal rights
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    and opportunities.
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    It is the theory
    of the political, economic,
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    and social equality of the sexes.
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    I started questioning gender based
    assumptions a long time ago.
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    When I was eight, I was confused
    about being called "bossy"
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    because I wanted to direct the plays
    that we would put on for our parents.
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    But the boys were not.
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    When, at 14, I started to be sexualized
    by certain elements of the media.
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    When, at 15, my girlfriends started
    dropping out of their beloved sports teams
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    because they didn't want to appear muscly.
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    When, at 18, my male friends
    were unable to express their feelings.
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    I decided that I was a feminist.
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    And this seemed uncomplicated to me.
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    But my recent research has shown me
    that feminism has become
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    an unpopular word.
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    Women are choosing
    not to identify as feminists.
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    Apparently, I am among the ranks of women
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    whose expressions are seen
    as too strong, too aggressive,
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    isolating, and anti-men.
    Unattractive, even.
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    Why has the word become
    such an uncomfortable one?
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    I am from Britain,
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    and I think it is right that I am paid
    the same as my male counterparts.
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    I think it is right that I should be able
    to make decisions about my own body.
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    - I think--
    - (raucous applause)
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    I think it is right
    that women be involved,
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    on my behalf, in the policies
    and the decisions that will affect my life.
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    I think it is right that, socially,
    I am afforded the same respect as men.
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    But sadly, I can say
    that there is no one country
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    in the world where all women
    can expect to receive these rights.
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    No country in the world
    can yet say that they have
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    achieved gender equality.
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    These rights I consider
    to be human rights,
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    but I am one of the lucky ones.
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    My life is a sheer privilege
    because my parents didn't love me less
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    - because I was born a daughter.
    - (hooting)
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    My school did not limit me
    because I was a girl.
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    My mentors didn't assume
    that I would go less far
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    because I might give birth
    to a child one day.
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    These influences,
    with the Gender Equality Ambassadors,
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    that made me who I am today...
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    they may not know it,
    but they are the inadvertent feminists
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    who are changing the world today.
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    We need more of those.
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    And if you still hate the word,
    it is not the word that is important.
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    It's the idea and the ambition behind it.
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    Because not all women have
    received the same rights that I have.
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    In fact, statistically,
    very few have been.
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    In 1997, Hillary Clinton
    made a famous speech in Beijing
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    about women's rights.
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    Sadly, many of the things that she wanted
    to change are still true today.
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    But what stood out for me the most
    was that less than 30%
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    of the audience were male.
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    How can we affect change in the world
    when only half of it is invited,
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    or feel welcomed to participate
    in the conversation?
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    Men...
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    I would like to take this opportunity
    to extend your formal invitation.
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    (applause)
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    Gender equality is your issue too.
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    Because, to date,
    I've seen my father's role
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    as a parent being valued less
    by society, despite
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    my needing his presence as a child
    as much as my mother's.
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    I've seen young men
    suffering from mental illness,
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    unable to ask for help,
    for fear it would make them
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    less of a men--
    or less of a man.
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    In fact, in the UK,
    suicide is the biggest killer of men
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    between 20-49, eclipsing road accidents,
    cancer, and coronary heart disease.
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    I've seen men made fragile
    and insecure by a distorted sense
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    of what constitutes male success.
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    Men don't have
    the benefits of equality either.
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    We don't often talk about men
    being imprisoned by gender stereotypes,
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    but I can see that they are,
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    and that when they are free,
    things will change for women
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    as a natural consequence.
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    If men don't have to be aggressive
    in order to be accepted,
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    women won't feel
    compelled to be submissive.
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    If men don't have to control,
    women won't have to be controlled.
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    Both men and women
    should feel free to be sensitive.
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    Both men and women
    should feel free to be strong.
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    It is time that we all perceived
    gender on a spectrum,
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    instead of two sets of opposing ideals.
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    (applause)
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    (Ms. Watson) If we stop defining
    each other by what we are not,
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    and start defining ourselves
    by who we are, we can all be freer.
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    And this is what He for She is about.
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    It's about freedom.
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    I want men to take up this mantle,
    so that their daughters,
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    sisters, and mothers
    can be free from prejudice.
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    But also so that their sons have permission
    to be vulnerable and human too,
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    reclaim those parts
    of themselves they abandoned.
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    And, in doing so, be a more true
    and complete version of themselves.
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    You might be thinking,
    "Who is this Harry Potter girl?"
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    - (laughter)
    - "And what is she doing
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    - speaking at the UN?"
    - And it's a really good question.
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    I've been asking myself the same thing.
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    All I know is that I care
    about this problem, and I want
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    to make it better.
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    And having seen what I've seen,
    and given the chance,
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    I feel it is my responsibility
    to say something.
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    Statesman Edmund Burke said,
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    "All that is needed
    for the forces of evil to triumph
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    is for good men and women
    to do nothing."
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    In my nervousness for this speech,
    and in my moments of doubt,
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    I've told myself firmly,
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    "If not me, who?"
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    "If not now, when?"
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    If you have similar doubts
    when opportunites are presented to you,
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    I hope that those words will be helpful
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    because...
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    the reality is that if we do nothing,
    it will take 75 years,
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    or for me to be nearly 100,
    before women can expect
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    to be paid the same as men.
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    For the same work.
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    15.5 million girls will be married
    in the next 16 years as children.
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    And, at current rates, it won't be until
    2086 before all rural African girls
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    can have a secondary education.
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    If you believe in equality,
    you might be one of those
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    inadvertent feminists
    that I spoke of earlier.
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    And, for this, I applaud you.
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    We are struggling for a uniting word,
    but the good news is that we have
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    a uniting movement.
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    It is called He for She.
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    I am inviting you to step forward,
    to be seen, and to ask yourself,
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    "If not me, who?
    If not now, when?"
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    - Thank you very, very much.
    - (applause)
Title:
Emma Watson HeForShe Speech at the United Nations | UN Women 2014
Description:

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Video Language:
English
Duration:
11:48

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