Emma Watson has been appointed as the Goodwill Ambassador for UN Women. I love that someone who could just be out spending her thousands on drinking and clothes, sitting on yachts in the Med… has chosen to be openly passionate and involved about a cause that so many of us take for granted. She is using her fame for good. (Superhero joke, I digress…)
Just the other day, people in the office were talking about Scotland’s lack of interest in politics before the independence referendum. It’s hard to believe that less than a century ago, in the United Kingdom, women were turning to violence in desperation in order to show how much they wanted to be allowed to vote. Even after the First World War, where women worked in factories and pulled their weight in hospitals and other industries once see as male-only, after all that… Only a set few were allowed to vote.
Today, many women still do not have this right. From education to voting, the world is still divided in some areas by gender. Emma Watson rightly says:
I have realised 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.
She acknowledges that most people see her simply as Hermione from the Harry Potter series, but she hasn’t let that label limit her. This movement allows us to look at how social expectations and limitations affect both men and women, and how we can face up to things in order to move forward. Something that resonated with me in particular was her statement
In my nervousness for this speech and my moments of doubt, I’ve told myself firmly, ‘If not me, who? If not now, when?
So many of us tend to bumble along, holding strong opinions about things but never acting on them. I despair about farmers being paid so little for their produce, yet I keep forgetting to order an organic box of veg from the nearby farm instead of supporting big chains like Tesco. I despair about sweat shops, yet I have shopped at Primark. We can do so many little things to make a difference. It’s not news to everyone that if we all do nothing, nothing will change. I was so inspired by this couple in Cape Town who have the courage to break the mould and do something to initiate change.
Her call to action is simple, she is asking men and boys worldwide to sign up at www.heforshe.org, to show that they are part of the movement towards unity, towards change. If you haven’t already, please share this movement on your social media platforms.
Image source. Please note that Hillel the Elder originally said "If I am not for myself who is for me? And being for my own self, what am 'I'? And if not now, when?"