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Emma Watson talks feminism, gender equality in passionate U.N. speech

Watson was named a U.N. goodwill ambassador for women in August.

By Veronica Linares
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Emma Watson. UPI/John Angelillo | <a href="/News_Photos/lp/5b81ced719939f92de9a125f578e7c2d/" target="_blank">License Photo</a>
Emma Watson. UPI/John Angelillo | License Photo

NEW YORK, Sept. 22 (UPI) -- Emma Watson gave a powerful speech at the U.N. headquarters in New York on Saturday while launching her new campaign to end gender inequality, HeForShe.

Watson's HeForShe campaign, the first initiative of its kind in the U.N., looks to "galvanize as many men and boys to be advocates for change" when it comes to gender equality.

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The Harry Potter star, who was named goodwill ambassador for U.N. women in August, said in her speech 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," she added.

Watson went on to note a few times in her life in which she was held back and victimized for being a woman and demanded equality between the sexes when it comes to pay, leadership and power over the body.

"I am from Britain and I think it is right that 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," she said. "I think it is right that women be involved on my behalf in the policies and the decisions that affect my life. I think it is right that socially, I am afforded the same respect as men," she continued.

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"But sadly, I can say that there is no one country in the world where all women can expect to receive these rights."

Before ending her speech, Watson replied to those who might critique her lack of expertise on the subject she's addressing.

"You might think, 'Who is this Harry Potter girl? What is she doing at the U.N.?' And it's a really good question, I've been asking myself the same thing. All I know is that I care about this problem and I want to make it better."

U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon praised Watson after her remarks saying, "she's been using her magic wand in her movie. I hope she will use [her] magic want to stop violence against women."

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