On Equal Pay Day, remember Emma Watson's powerful message to men

Monday 09 November 2015 01:00
Celebrities

Monday 9 November marks the day in the year when women in full-time jobs effectively begin to work for free as they are, on average, paid 14.2 per cent less per year than their male counterparts.

On such a day, it is worth bearing in mind the words of actress Emma Watson, who is also a UN Goodwill ambassador, while launching the UN's new HeforShe campaign in a speech in New York last year.

Gender equality is your issue too.

Because to date, I’ve seen my father’s role as a parent being valued less by society despite my needing his presence as a child as much as my mother’s.

I’ve seen young men suffering from mental illness unable to ask for help for fear it would make them look less “macho”—in fact in the UK suicide is the biggest killer of men between 20-49; eclipsing road accidents, cancer and coronary heart disease. I’ve seen men made fragile and insecure by a distorted sense of what constitutes male success. Men don’t have the benefits of equality either.

We don’t often talk about men being imprisoned by gender stereotypes but I can see that they are and that when they are free, things will change for women as a natural consequence.

If we stop defining each other by what we are not and start defining ourselves by what we are—we can all be freer.

To read Emma Watson's speech in full, click here.

More: This man had seconds before an NFL game. He used them to speak out

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