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Emma Watson launches new HeForShe campaign: 'Women need to be equal participants'

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Emma Watson's HeForShe campaign made its way to the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland on Friday, where the 24-year-old spoke to politicians and business leaders about equality. "It is my belief that there is a greater understanding than ever that women need to be equal participants in our homes, in our societies, in our governments, and in our work places," she said.

"They know that the world is being held back in every way, because they are not. Women share this planet 50/50 and they are under-represented, their potential astonishingly untapped."


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Emma Watson during her speech on Friday

Emma was appointed as a UN Goodwill Ambassador for Women late in 2014, and gave a rousing speech at the United Nations headquarters in New York in September, during which she called on men to support their "daughters, sisters and mothers" and to fight for gender equality.

The new campaign launch, which was aimed at the world's business leaders and politicians saw Emma pick up on comments made to her following her UN speech.

"I’ve been stunned by the amount of men in my life that have contacted me since my speech to tell me to keep going, and that they want to make sure that their daughters will still be alive to see a world where women have power and equality, economically and politically", said Emma.

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Emma Watson talks to Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Lofven and UN Women Executive director Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka

She added: "I’ve had my breath taken away when a fan told me since watching my speech she has stopped herself being beaten up by her father.

"We are tapping into what the world wants: to be a part of change. Now we have to channel that energy into purposeful action."

Emma was joined on stage at the panel by UN secretary general Ban Ki-moon, who added: “HeForShe has signed up fathers who want to raise empowered daughters; leaders who know their societies will be stronger when there are as many women in parliament and in business as men; and ordinary people who are fed up with violence and discrimination against women – and want to be part of a global force for change,” he said.