Emma Watson, has, once again, proved to be an inspiration to us all. Earlier today, Watson gave a speech at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. The young actress and, more importantly, UN Women Goodwill Ambassador, gave her press conference regarding the UN Women’s initiative, HeForShe IMPACT 10x10x10 Initiative.
Just to recap, Watson gave another powerful speech this past September calling to end gender inequality. First and foremost, she helped clarify what exactly this UN mission stands for when they talk about feminism (a term that is too often misconstrued or associated with a convoluted statement of purpose). Watson and her colleagues described feminism as:
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.
She stated that gender roles and equality should not be an issue that benefits one sex and is a detriment to the other. And asked for the aid of both women and men, to stand up for the rights and equality of both women and men. With that, the UN Women's Initiative launched the HeForShe movement.
Four months later and Emma Watson returned to launch the HeForShe IMPACT 10x10x10 Initiative. Here is the initiative's mission statement of HeForShe IMPACT 10x10x10 Initiative according to their website:
UN Women, the United Nations entity dedicated to achieving gender equality and women’s empowerment, will unveil HeForShe’s new pilot initiative, to galvanize momentum in advancing gender equality and women’s empowerment. The new campaign IMPACT 10X10X10 is a one-year pilot effort that aims to engage governments, corporations and universities as instruments of change positioned within some of the communities that most need to address deficiencies in women’s empowerment and gender equality.
Watch her incredibly poignant speech here:
The HeForShe movement is well underway and impacting the lives and thought processes of people around the world. Watson lists the number of influential people who have issued their support for the cause. She also included mention of the 15-year-old boy who wrote a letter that went viral deploring female discrimination and expressing the need solidarity across gender lines towards the cause.
Although HeForShe is already making great strides towards equality, IMPACT 10x10x10 aims take further strides by engaging with governments, businesses, and universities and to have these organizations make tangible reforms towards gender equality.
Watson also delineated the following set of questions that people of both genders should address in order to perpetuate the objectives of HeForShe:
Girls: Who have been your mentors, parents, did you make sure you treated your children equally? If so, how have you done it?
Husbands: Have you been supporting your female partner privately so that she can fulfill her dreams too?
Young men: Have you spoke up in a conversation when a woman was casually degraded or dismissed?
Businessmen: Have you mentored, supported or engaged women in leadership positions?
Writers: Have you challenged the language and imagery used to portray women in the media?
CEOs: Have you implemented the women’s empowerment principles in your own company?
Of course these aren't especially easy questions to answer, but they're definitely worth keeping in mind when trying to narrow, and eventually close, the disparity between the genders politically and economically.
If you've already signed the petition but you're not sure what to do next, Watson says that this next step will be specific to each person and what kind of change you want to see in the world, but they're there to help and want to hear your story. We are ready, the world is ready, for change. In Ms. Watson's words:
It is my belief that there is a greater understanding than ever that women need to be equal participants in our homes, in our societies, in our governments, and in our workplaces. And they know that the world is being held back in every way because they are not.
Let's help this counsel, and ourselves, by supporting IMPACT 10x10x10 and bringing HeForShe into its next phase. You can download the framework document here.
Congratulations on another fantastic speech, Emma Watson! Thank you for taking such great strides towards gender equality. You and your colleagues are an inspiration to us all.