Emma Watson or how international politics can change your philosophy

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Making changes: Emma smiled at UN General Secretary Ban Ki-moon as they discussed the new initiative

« Your beliefs become your thoughts. Your thoughts become your words. Your words become your actions. Your actions become your habits. Your habits become your values. Your values become your destiny. » – Mahatma Ghandi

On October 2016, the heroine Wonder Woman was made the new Honorary Ambassador for the United Nations (UN), meaning that Emma Watson will be soon promoting messages about women’s empowerment and gender-based violence. Admitting that we all have great thoughts about changes, international politics is not only about making beautiful and inspiring speeches : It is also trying to be effective. Therefore, how can someone, such as Emma, changes its thoughts into practical actions ? How can you decide to become the next spokesperson of the UN ?

How Emma Watson is empowering men and women about feminism

Emma Watson gave us her response. « If not me, who ? If not now, when ? (Gender Equality speech at the UN in 2014). This famous actress and model is best known for her role as the iconic character of Hermione Granger in the Harry Potter films. Although Emma was apparently not destined to a diplomatic career, she has decided to become an activist and a spokesperson for women’s rights.

Thanks to her efforts and determination, Emma became a well-known activist in the realm of international politics : At only 24, she was appointed UN Women Goodwill Ambassador in July 2014. She delivered a famous speech the same year at the UN in New York City to launch the campaign HeForShe. For those who are curious, you can watch the speech right here One of her main success has been to change the perception of feminism, seen in the past as an aggressive movement, to a pacific one. . Therefore, Emma Watson advocates for gender equality and the promotion of women’s role in modern society. In fact, in 2015 she was 26 on the TIME 100 list of the world’s most influential people. As a matter of fact, the same year, Malala Yousafzai the 2014 Nobel Peace Prize, told Watson she decided to call herself a feminist after hearing Emma’s speech.

« We want to end gender inequality, and to do this, we need everyone involved. This is the first campaign of its kind at the UN. We want to try to mobilize as many men and boys as possible to be advocates for change. And, we don’t just want to talk about it. We want to try and make sure that it’s tangible. I was appointed as Goodwill Ambassador for UN Women six months ago. And, the more I spoke about feminism, the more I 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 political, economic and social equality of the sexes.»

A strong woman that inspires us all

However, this popularity has two sides. Within hours of speaking at the United Nations about feminism, Emma was targeted with online threats. Hackers started a website with the url emmayouarenext.com and threatened that nude photos of her would be published as a result of her speech. Did it make her weaker? Apparently not, she answered with a powerful determination : « So I think it was just a wake-up call (..) Women are receiving threats in all sorts of different forms. That was just one specific one (..) If anything, it made me so much more determined. » she said.

Everyone has a debate to launch, convictions and values to assert.

Why not you and now ? Nevertheless, we believe that it is not by great thoughts that you will change the world but by efficient acts ! Why not coming to our Model United Nations in order to enter in the realm of international politics and to be able to share your ideas? Come as you are!

Elise Varrey

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