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  • I am reaching out to you because I need your help.

  • We want to end gender inequalityand to do that we need everyone to be involved.

  • This is the first campaign of its kind at the UN: we want to try and galvanize as many

  • men and boys as possible to be advocates for gender equality.

  • And we don't just want to talk about it, but make sure it is tangible.

  • I was appointed six months ago and the more I have spoken about feminism the more I have

  • realized 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.

  • For the record, feminism by definition is: “The belief that men and women should have

  • equal rights and opportunities.

  • It is the theory of the political, economic and social equality of the sexes.”

  • I started questioning gender-based assumptions when at eight I was confused at being called

  • bossy,” because I wanted to direct the plays we would put on for our parentsbut

  • the boys were not.

  • When at 14 I started being sexualized by certain elements of the press.

  • When at 15 my girlfriends started dropping out of their sports teams because they didn't

  • want to appearmuscly.”

  • When at 18 my male friends were unable to express their feelings.

  • I decided I was a feminist and this seemed uncomplicated to me.

  • But my recent research has shown me that feminism has become an unpopular word.

  • Apparently I am among the ranks of women whose expressions are seen as too strong, too aggressive,

  • isolating, anti-men and, unattractive.

  • Why is the word such an uncomfortable one?

  • I am from Britain and think it is right that as a woman I am paid the same as my male counterparts.

  • I think it is right that I should be able to make decisions about my own body.

  • I think it is right that women be involved

  • on my behalf in the policies and decision-making of my country.

  • I think it is right that socially I am afforded the same respect as men.

  • But sadly I can say that there is no one country in the world where all women can expect to

  • receive these rights.

  • No country in the world can yet say they have achieved gender equality.

  • These rights I consider to be human rights but I am one of the lucky ones.

  • My life is a sheer privilege because my parents didn't love me less because I was born a

  • daughter.

  • My school did not limit me because I was a girl.

  • My mentors didn't assume I would go less far because I might give birth to a child

  • one day.

  • These influencers were the gender equality ambassadors that made me who I am today.

  • They may not know it, but they are the inadvertent feminists who are changing the world today.

  • And we need more of those.

  • And if you still hate the wordit is not the word that is important but the idea and

  • the ambition behind it.

  • Because not all women have been afforded the same rights that I have.

  • In fact, statistically, very few have been.

  • In 1995, Hilary Clinton made a famous speech in Beijing about women's rights.

  • Sadly many of the things she wanted to change are still a reality today.

  • But what stood out for me the most was that only 30 per cent of her audience were male.

  • How can we affect change in the world when only half of it is invited or feel welcome

  • to participate in the conversation?

  • Men—I would like to take this opportunity to extend your formal invitation.

  • Gender equality is your issue too.

  • Because to date, I've seen my father's role as a parent being valued less by society

  • despite my needing his presence as a child as much as my mother's.

  • I've seen young men suffering from mental illness unable to ask for help for fear it

  • would make them look lessmacho”—in fact in the UK suicide is the biggest killer

  • of men between 20-49 years of age; eclipsing road accidents, cancer and coronary heart

  • disease.

  • I've seen men made fragile and insecure by a distorted sense of what constitutes male

  • success.

  • Men don't have the benefits of equality either.

  • We don't often talk about men being imprisoned by gender stereotypes but I can see that that

  • they are and that when they are free, things will change for women as a natural consequence.

  • If men don't have to be aggressive in order to be accepted women won't feel compelled

  • to be submissive.

  • If men don't have to control, women won't have to be controlled.

  • Both men and women should feel free to be sensitive.

  • Both men and women should feel free to be strong

  • It is time that we all perceive gender on a spectrum not as two opposing sets of ideals.

  • If we stop defining each other by what we are not and start defining ourselves by what

  • we arewe can all

  • be freer and this is what HeForShe is about.

  • It's about freedom.

  • I want men to take up this mantle.

  • So their daughters, sisters and mothers can be free from prejudice but also so that their

  • sons have permission to be vulnerable and human tooreclaim those parts of themselves

  • they abandoned and in doing so be a more true and complete version of themselves.

  • You might be thinking who is this Harry Potter girl?

  • And what is she doing up on stage at the UN.

  • It's a good question and trust me, I have been asking myself the same thing.

  • I don't know if I am qualified to be here.

  • All I know is that I care about this problem.

  • And I want to make it better.

  • And having seen what I've seenand given the chance—I feel it is my duty to say something.

  • English Statesman Edmund Burke said: “All that is needed for the forces of evil to triumph

  • is for enough good men and women to do nothing.”

  • In my nervousness for this speech and in my moments of doubt I've told myself firmlyif

  • not me, who, if not now, when.

  • If you have similar doubts when opportunities are presented to you I hope those words might

  • be helpful.

  • Because the reality is that if we do nothing it will take 75 years, or for me to be nearly

  • a hundred before women can expect to be paid the same as men for the same work.

  • 15.5 million girls will be married in the next 16 years as children.

  • And at current rates it won't be until 2086 before all rural African girls will be able

  • to receive a secondary education.

  • If you believe in equality, you might be one of those inadvertent feminists I spoke of

  • earlier.

  • And for this I applaud you.

  • We are struggling for a uniting word but the good news is we have a uniting movement.

  • It is called HeForShe.

  • I am inviting you to step forward, to be seen to speak up, to be the "he" for "she".

  • And to ask yourself if not me, who?

  • If not now, when?

  • Thank you.

I am reaching out to you because I need your help.

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B1 UK equality gender gender equality feminism male heforshe

ENGLISH SPEECH | EMMA WATSON: Gender Equality (English Subtitles)

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    曾依晴 posted on 2019/01/24
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