Watson praises He For She campaign

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Published: Sunday 8th March 2015 by The News Editor

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Emma Watson has said society “devalues” feminine qualities in people, adding that this “distortion” is causing discord and fear across the world.

Speaking via video link as part the He For She campaign, which raises awareness of gender inequality, she said: ” Our society in general devalues the she, I mean the qualities that are associated with the feminine that are found in all of us.

“There’s this imbalance, this distortion that is just hindering our progress, it’s causing discord, violence and fear the world over.”

Watson also praised Hollywood star Steve Carell for wearing a pair of He for She campaign cufflinks earlier this year.

She said: “It’s so humbling when men want to show their support and it does spread awareness … even if just two people ask, ‘what is your cufflink for?’, that in itself is huge.”

The UN’s Goodwill Ambassador for Women called on more men and women to support the campaign.

She said: “It’s uncomfortable, it’s awkward to acknowledge there is a problem, but we need to understand we are complicit.

“Another anecdote is that a lot of the criticism I have had in my life, some of the harshest moments have been comments from other women.

“It’s not enough to ask men to come and support us.

“We really need to support each other, we really do. So, I guess I would say be brave enough to acknowledge that things are not there yet and support each other.”

Watson was speaking at Facebook’s headquarters in the UK to mark International Women’s Day.

Watson said her most positive role model was her own mother, who taught her that her deeds were more important than her looks.

She said: ” The obvious choice is my mum, she was a single mother and a type one diabetic, so to see her strength and resilience was really inspiring growing up.

“I think she instilled in me in my teenage years when I was feeling very insecure, that what I was thinking, doing, saying, were infinitely more important than my physical appearance.”

The former Harry Potter star also spoke of her friends and family’s anguish after a hoax website threatened to post nude photos of her online.

She said: “After I gave my speech [at the UN] there was a website threatening to release naked pictures of me.

“I knew it was a hoax but I think a lot of people that were close to me knew gender equality was an issue but didn’t think it was that urgent, that it was a thing of the past.

“And then when they saw the minute I stood up talking about women’s rights I was threatened, they were really shocked, my brother was very upset.

“This is a real thing that’s happening now, women are receiving threats.

“I was raging, it made me so angry, I was like, this is why I have to be doing this. If anything, if they were trying to put me off it, it did the opposite.”

Published: Sunday 8th March 2015 by The News Editor

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