If you’ve noticed the #HeforShe hashtag showing up on your newsfeed lately, it’s because the new gender equality movement has taken social media by storm. Emma Watson, UN Women’s Goodwill Ambassador (and the beloved Hermione Granger in the Harry Potter films), gave a powerful speech at the United Nations headquarters in New York on September 20. The speech marked the launch of her #HeforShe campaign.
In her presentation, Emma highlighted misconceptions about feminism and invited to men to join in on the conversation: “Men – I would like to take this opportunity to extend your formal invitation. Gender equality is your issue, too.” This is an important facet of the campaign because traditionally, gender equality has been a struggle led by women for women. #HeforShe emphasizes the importance of men standing up to address the inequalities and discrimination women and girls face today.
In short, the campaign is “a solidarity movement for gender equality” with the goal of uniting both halves of humanity in support of one another. “If we stop defining each other by what we are not and start defining ourselves by who we are, we can all be freer,” Emma said in her speech. “And this is what HeForShe is about; it’s about freedom.”
Visitors to the campaign website, heforshe.org, can “commit to take action against all forms of violence and discrimination faced by women and girls.” The momentum is building quickly. As of September 24, more than 100,000 men worldwide have joined the solidarity movement. You can, too. Then, Tweet or Instagram your thoughts with the #HeforShe hashtag to spread the word. Dozens of celebrities – men and women alike – already have. Take a look at what they’ve had to say:
— Simon Pegg (@simonpegg) September 23, 2014
— Forest Whitaker (@ForestWhitaker) September 20, 2014
— Joseph Gordon-Levitt (@hitRECordJoe) September 22, 2014
— Matthew Lewis (@Mattdavelewis) September 24, 2014
— Yoko Ono (@yokoono) September 23, 2014
— DuckGoneAmuck (@DuckGoneAmuck) September 23, 2014