Emma Watson Invites Men To Join Feminist Cause

Actress launches 'solidarity movement for gender equality' with UN speech

Emma Watson has delivered a powerful speech to the UN, inviting men into the feminist cause telling them "gender equality is your issue too".

As well as drawing on her own experience of sexism – including, she said, "being sexualized by certain elements of the press" aged just 14 – the Harry Potter star drew attention to issues facing men, including parenting rights and suicide rates.

"Men – I would like to take this opportunity to extend your formal invitation," she said to applause.

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"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 less "macho"– in fact in the UK suicide is the biggest killer of men between 20-49; 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."

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The speech came at the launch of a new campaign called 'HeForShe', which is aims to create 'a solidarity movement for gender equality".

Discussing her role as a Goodwill Ambassador for UN Women, the 24-year-old said: "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.'"

You can sign up for HeForShe at the official website.