Emma Watson: I found my tribe after launching gender equality campaign


Emma Watson has said that she "found my tribe" after her launching her HeForShe campaign at the United Nations two years ago.

The actress recalled the difficult days that followed her spreading her feminist message to a global audience, describing it as a "baptism of fire".

She said at the One Young World Summit in Ottawa, Canada: "Two years ago I launched a campaign called HeforShe at the UN in New York.

"I was very nervous before that speech - the nerves were followed by a tremendous high immediately afterwards and a crashing low a few days after that.

"My best hopes and my worst fears were confirmed all at once. I had opened Pandora's Box to a standing ovation and almost simultaneously a level of critique I had never experienced in my life and the beginning of what would become a series of threats.

"The last two years have been a baptism of fire to say the least, where I learnt just how little I know, and also how much."

Watson, 26, said launching the campaign had been her "scary first step as an activist - a word I never imagined that I would use to describe myself".

She said: "Apart from the significant progress the world has made in the cause for equality, the best thing about the last two years has been this. 

"Finding people from such disparate experiences and communities, that I found that I have something in common with.

"This is a community of artists, spiritual teachers, dreamers, thinkers, doers, who work together and support each other.

"For the first time in my life, I found my sisterhood; a brotherhood - whatever, however you want to describe it - I found my tribe."

She described the battle for gender equality as being just as important as the ones against violent extremism and climate change.

"We, the entire spectrum of the feminist movement, are building an unstoppable current, for which we need ripples of hope from every age, race, ability, walk of life - every human experience," she said.

"I feel gender equality is as important as any of the other goals that we are here to discuss. And actually, if anything, it is more important, because it intersects with every single other issue that we face."

The actress was at the summit to chair a session involving the first recipients of a One Young World scholarship in her name, as she continued her fight for the feminist movement.

"We all have feminine and masculine energies within us," she said.

"And both forces need to be lifted up, respected. We need to work together in order to make the world go round. Each of you are here at One Young World because you do something important.

"And it is so exciting to see you all come together in one room, because One Young World isn't about saying what I, each of us individually, can do, but what we can do, working together, supporting and listening to each other."