Press release: UN Women Goodwill Ambassador Emma Watson calls out to men and boys to join HeForShe campaign


New York, 20 September—In her new role as UN Women Global Goodwill Ambassador, British actor Emma Watson will call on men and boys worldwide to join the movement for gender equality today. The actor who built an immense global fan-base through her role as Hermione in the Harry Potter series is co-hosting a UN Women special event for the HeForShe campaign from the United Nations Headquarters in New York. The event aims to kick-start a global solidarity movement in support of women’s rights and full equality between women and men.

“I want men to take up this mantle. So their daughters, sisters and mothers can be free from prejudice, but also so that their sons have permission to be vulnerable and human too—reclaim those parts of themselves they abandoned and in doing so be a more true and complete version of themselves,” Ms. Watson said.

This is Ms. Watson’s first event at the United Nations and comes on the heels of her first visit as a UN Women Global Goodwill Ambassador to Uruguay. Moderated by renowned CNN Anchor Wolf Blitzer, the HeForShe event today will put men at the center of activism and dialogue to end persistent inequalities faced by women and girls around the world. Over the next 12 months, the campaign intends to mobilize one billion men and boys as advocates and agents of change for gender equality.

"We need boys and men working with us. HeForShe is a global solidarity movement to end gender inequality by 2030. The goal is to engage men and boys as advocates and agents of change in the effort to achieve equality. When women are empowered, the whole of humanity benefits," said UN Women Executive Director Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka.

A highlight of the event will be the activation of the HeForShe map— a real-time map with a geo locator that captures men’s engagement with the initiative around the world over the next 12 months and provides a tally against the campaign’s one billion target. The UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon is to announce the initiative’s first goal, which is to mobilize the first 100,000 world citizens in this way. The top UN official, through his map activation, will be counted as the ‘number one man’.

The event will bring together renowned personalities, including senior UN officials such as UNFPA Executive Director Dr. Babatunde Osotimehin and UNESCO Director-General Irina Bokova, along with actor Kiefer Sutherland and civil society representatives to discuss the central role men and boys can play in the achievement of gender equality. At the event, the HeForShe new branding and website will be unveiled, along with a new Public Service Announcement.

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