Welcome to Day 2 of Sibéal's '12 Feminists of Christmas'!
In my house the Harry Potter movie series usually pops up at some stage over the Christmas break. I am always reminded that not only does Hermione Granger play a crucial role in vanquishing Lord Voldemort, but Emma Watson’s feminist work as UN Women’s Goodwill Ambassador reflects her fictional characters appetite for positive change in the world.
Appointed in 2014 as a UN Women Goodwill Ambassador, Watson has outlined her concerns about the association of feminism with anti-men rhetoric. Before undertaking my current role with the Re(al) Productive Justice project (@CDLPJustice) and getting involved with Sibéal’s work, I shared similar concerns. The He for She campaign is a global movement with men committing to promote women’s rights and participation through education, commerce and challenging harmful cultural practices such as child marriage. The campaign challenges men to not accept ongoing gender based discrimination and violence through their silence. While 2020 has been written off in our minds (due to a virus Who Shall Not Be Named), there has been positive initiatives for gender equality. The He for She campaigned launched the Year of Male Allyship in March 2020. Capitalising on our increased engagement with social media to stay connected to each other, it is really simple to participate in the Year of Male Allyship:
Take a photo of yourself with a male ally holding a sign showing #HeforShe. Male allies can take their own solo photos with the sign.
Add a note explaining the importance of gender equality to you.
Upload to your own social media using the #YearofMaleAllyship and tagging @HeforShe.
I was delighted that President Michael D. Higgins became the first male presidential figure to sign up to the He for She campaign. He announced his participation in the campaign at a conference in 2015, ‘A woman’s place is in the world’ which I attended at Dublin Castle. So, you will be in good company adding your commitment to feminism and gender equality to the campaign!
‘A Woman’s Place is in the World’ conference at Dublin Castle organised by the Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission and the National Women’s Council of Ireland. https://www.ihrec.ie/a-womans-place-is-in-the-world-conference-20-february-2015/
UN Women, Emma Watson HeForShe Speech at the United Nations | UN Women 2014
UN Women, UN Women announces Emma Watson as Goodwill Ambassador, https://www.unwomen.org/en/news/stories/2014/7/un-women-announces-emma-watson-as-goodwill-ambassador#:~:text=UN%20Women%2C%20the%20United%20Nations,Emma%20Watson%2C%20as%20Goodwill%20Ambassador.
Image above from: ThoughtCo, Emma Watson's 2014 Speech on Gender Equality