Emma Watson Describes the Struggles of Becoming an Activist

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Emma Watson has opened up about the “tremendous high” and “crashing low” she experienced after launching her gender equality initiative at the U.N. two years ago.

The actor, now a UN Women Goodwill Ambassador, said that her 2014 speech launching the HeForShe campaign “opened Pandora’s Box” to both acclaim and a “a level of critique I had never experienced in my life,” Newsweek reports. The two years since, she said, have been “a baptism of fire to say the least, where I learnt just how little I know, and also how much.”

Speaking at the One Young World Summit in Ottawa on Thursday, Watson said that her journey as an activist has led her to find her “tribe” in the form of the global activist network, and continued pushing for a global focus on creating a level playing field for women. “Gender equality is as important as any of the other goals that we are here to discuss. And actually, if anything, it is more important, because it intersects with every single other issue that we face.”

The Harry Potter star was speaking at the Summit to announce the first recipients of a One Young World Scholarship in her name. Watson said that when reading the applications of activists who had applied for the scholarship, there was “so much overlap with the things that I had been thinking about and that I had been struggling with”.

HeForShe recently announced that its next big focus would be tackling gender inequality on university campuses. Watson also unveiled a short film she helped to produce about the challenges to gender equality earlier this week.


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