Emma Watson has been named the Campaigner of the Year at the Observer 2015 Ethical Awards. The 25-year-old, who was appointed as a UN Goodwill Ambassador last July, received the award for her work on her HeForShe campaign for gender equality.
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Emma Watson has been named Campaigner of the Year
Although Emma was unable to be at the ceremony, she took to Twitter to share her excitement. "Thank you @ObserverEthical for awarding me Campaigner of the Year! Honoured," she wrote. "I want to share this w every @HeForShe out there #ethical awards."
"Special thanks to the brilliant team at UN_Women and to @liviafirth who accepted the award on my behalf. #heforshe #ethicalawards," she added in a second tweet.
"Her commitment to the issues that we work on at UN Women multiplies our ability to engage more young people, who are key to advancing gender equality" UN Women executive director Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka told the Observer.
It comes as no surprise that young actress has picked up an accolade for her work on the campaign. When she first spoke at the United Nations headquarters in New York about the issues surrounding gender equality, within hours her rousing speech about feminism had gone viral.
Emma at the United Nations for the launch of HeForShe
"You might be thinking who is this Harry Potter girl?" she said, addressing the audience. "And what is she doing up on stage at the UN. It's a good question and trust me I have been asking myself the same thing. I don't know if I am qualified to be here. All I know is that I care about this problem. And I want to make it better."
Emma warned her audience not to confuse feminism – "an unpopular word" – with "man-hating" and called on men to support her fight for gender equality.
"I want men to take up this mantle," she said. "So their daughters, sisters and mothers can be free from prejudice but also so that their sons have permission to be vulnerable and human too – reclaim those parts of themselves they abandoned and in doing so be a more true and complete version of themselves."
Since then, Emma has worked tirelessly to promote the HeForShe campaign, launched at the start of the year. She has also admitted that it has helped her make sense of the worldwide fame into which she was catapulted when she played Hermione Granger in the Harry Potter series.
"Fame is not something I have always felt comfortable with," Emma told Elle UK. "I have really grappled with it emotionally. And, in a funny way, doing this is my way of making sense of the fame, of using it. I have found a way to channel it towards something else, which makes it so much more manageable for me. And this is something I really believe in."