For Women’s History Month, let’s celebrate activist Emma Watson

news.un.org

Hailey Almonte, Staff Reporter

Women’s History Month is a time to look back at how women have changed the world for the better. For many years women have done amazing things and women continue to reform society and the world as a whole. Emma Watson, an English actress, is an example of one of the many influential women who should be celebrated this month. 

Emma Charlotte Duerre Watson was born on April 15, 1990 in Paris, France, but she was raised in England. Her parents were both British lawyers and raised her along with her four siblings. 

At age 9, Watson auditioned eight times for the role of Hermione Granger, a character in the Harry Potter series. J.K Rowling, the author of the Harry Potter book series, wanted the movie to stay true to the book. When casting came for the character Hermione, Rowling wanted an actress who not only looks like the character would, but an actress who can act just like the character in the book. When J.K Rowling saw Watson audition, she thought that Emma Watson portrayed Hermione better than all the other actresses who auditioned, and with that she wanted Watson to be involved within the movie.

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone was Watson’s first movie. The movie was released in 2001 and more Harry Potter movies came out after that. Watson has been in a total of eight Harry Potter movies, ending the series when she was 21. 

While filming the Potter series, Emma Watson took high school equivalency exams and had high scores and grades in every subject. In the fall of 2009, Watson enrolled in Brown University in Rhode Island. Watson had mentioned that she chose an American school over a British school because she is allowed to study multiple subjects at once, as opposed to how education works in the UK. Watson had also stated that Brown University was a place where she was able to blend in. 

“I want to be normal,” she had said. “I really want anonymity.”

In September 2009, Watson worked with a fashion label that promotes fair trade called People Tree. She has worked to promote fair trade and organic clothing for a few years now. Not long after working with People Tree, Watson went into the world of high fashion brands by becoming the face of Burberry’s Autumn/Winter collection.

In July 2014, Emma Watson was appointed UN Women Goodwill Ambassador. Since then Emma Watson focused on the empowerment of young women and served as an advocate of the HeForShe campaign, which promotes gender equality. 

“Being asked to serve as UN Women’s Goodwill Ambassador is truly humbling,” Watson said. 

“The chance to make a real difference is not an opportunity that everyone is given and is one I have no intention of taking lightly. Women’s rights are something so inextricably linked with who I am, so deeply personal and rooted in my life that I can’t imagine an opportunity more exciting. I still have so much to learn, but as I progress I hope to bring more of my individual knowledge, experience and awareness to this role.”

Emma Watson gave an emotional and powerful speech in 2014 on feminism and gender at the U.N. headquarters in New York. This speech was seen by many and got the attention of many people online. The speech introduced HeForShe to the public and explained how gender inequality should end. Watson talks about personal experiences that occurred when she was younger, such as her being sexualized by the media.    

Emma Watson has been involved in promotion for girl’s education for numerous years. She visited Zambia and Bangladesh as part of her humanitarian efforts and served as an ambassador for Camfed International, which is a movement to educate girls in rural Africa.

Watson has recently starred in the new movie Little Women, alongside actors Saoirse Ronan, Florence Pugh, Laura Dern, and Timothée Chalamet. Little Women was nominated for six Academy Awards and won one award for Best Costume Design. This movie is an inspiring movie for women and sends out a good and uplifting message.

Emma Watson has done so much for the community. She campaigns against many issues that the LGBTQ+ community suffers from, along with the issues that women suffer from. Emma Watson is very deserving of being celebrated this month. She is an incredible person and what she has done and will continue to do will forever be remembered.