She’s pretty, smart and brave. That’s Emma Watson.
As a keynote speaker for One Young World Conference held in Ottawa, Canada on September 30, Watson talked about a topic she had been championing or two years now — gender equality.
The Harry Potter actress and Global Goodwill Ambassador for UN Women launched “He For She”, a campaign supporting women’s rights. She had been vocal of her feminist ideals and sought dialogue to discuss issues and policies that would benefit women worldwide.
In her keynote speech at the recent conference, Watson focused on the role of these young activists in promoting positive change.
Watson pondered over her first announcement as a feminist during her 2014 UN speech. She recalled that the moment was like opening “Pandora’s box.” When she announced her “He For She” campaign, she felt overwhelmed by the response and thunderous applause. But when the dust cleared, she told the audience how scared she was of the road ahead of her.
“My best hopes and my worst fears were confirmed all at once. I had opened Pandora’s Box to a standing ovation and almost simultaneously a level of critique I had never experienced in my life and the beginning of what would become a series of threats. The last two years have been a baptism of fire to say the least, where I learnt just how little I know, and also how much,” she related.
With over 1,300 youth leaders and activists from over 200 countries, Watson called on for a collective move to work together and make significant progress. She urged the young leaders to find their “tribe”, a support group with members sharing the same goal and believing the same ideal.
She also added, “We, the entire spectrum of the feminist movement, are building an unstoppable current, for which we need ripples of hope from every age, race, ability, walk of life, every human experience.”
To this, Watson announced the first nine recipients of the One Young World Scholarship, named after her. This grant aims to empower youth leaders to pursue progress in the dialogue and literature of gender-equality.
Towards the end of her speech, she took a more personal note and shared with the audience seven statements that she tries to live by every single day. She challenged the audience to assess themselves based on these and examine the way they lead their life.
I am willing to be seen.
I am willing to speak up.
I am willing to keep going.
I am willing to listen to what others have to say.
I am willing to go forward even when I feel alone.
I am willing to go to bed each night, at peace with myself.
I am willing to be my biggest, best-est, most powerful self.
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