Emma Watson hit the ground running as the United Nations Goodwill Ambassador.
The Daily Mail is reporting Ms. Watson, 24, flew to Uruguay to participate in the country’s HeForShe campaign. The campaign, which was held in Uruguay’s capital city of Montevideo, is designed to bring awareness to the inequality of women in political office, and to call to action men and boys to help reduce this inequality.
Ms. Watson, who just received her Bachelor’s degree in English literature from Brown University in May, spoke captivatingly to an esteemed group. Ms. Watson was flanked by Uruguay’s Vice President Danilo Astori and the director of the UN Women Programme Division Gulden Turkoz-Cosslett as she spoke to her audience via a translator.
U.N. News reported that the meeting Ms. Watson attended was hosted by the organization Cotidiano Mujer, a grantee of UN Women’s Fund for Gender Equality, together with partner organizations CIRE (Ciudadanías en Red) y CNS Mujeres.
During her visit, Ms. Watson met with women’s advocates from around the country, and listened to their strategies for increasing women’s voice and agency across all political platforms.
When not speaking, Ms. Watson was diligently taking notes on the other speaker’s content. When asked about the turnout for the event, Ms. Watson later said, “I was immensely touched to see so many young people outside the parliament here in Uruguay.”
“At the back of the room there were five young women, probably under the age of 17, who were holding a banner that said, “Say yes to more women in politics. To see this kind of participation is why I’m here. It’s why I’ve come to Uruguay and why I want to work with UN Women.
“Thankfully, I have this platform and I’m able to shine a light on these issues, which are really important to me and this is what I want to continue to do and what I believe in passionately.”
Globally, women’s political participation remains low, with only one in five parliamentarians being a woman. In Uruguay, in spite of efforts, women’s representation in Parliament stands at 13.1 percent, placing the country at 103rd position in the worldwide ranking of women in Parliament by the Inter-Parliamentary Union and UN Women, below the world average (21.8 percent).
“Women’s rights are personal to me, especially on political participation and leadership. I am delighted to be here…as a Goodwill Ambassador for UN Women and learn about the work on the ground, hear from the people at the frontlines, and to understand what is working and what is not,” said Ms. Watson during her visit.