Emma Watson Helps Kickstart Workplace Sexual Harassment Hotline

LONDON, ENGLAND - MARCH 31: Actress Emma Watson attends the UK Premiere of 'Noah' at the Odeon Leicester Square on March 31, 2014 in London, England. (Photo by Dave J Hogan/Getty Images for Paramount Pictures International)
Dave J Hogan/Getty Images for Paramount Pictures International

Actress Emma Watson has teamed up with the anti-sexual harassment movement Time’s Up and other women-based organizations to help launch a hotline that aims to make it easier for women in Britain to report sexual harassment in the workplace.

In a press release, the Rights of Women organization announced that the service would launch in England and Wales to give women access to “legal staff and volunteer women employment lawyers through a dedicated telephone line.”

Funding for the advice line was kickstarted by Emma Watson, who managed to draw in additional capital from the Time’s Up UK Justice and Equality Fund, the UK Fund for Women and Girls, as well as public donations.

“It’s completely staggering to think that this is the only service of its type given that research has found that as many as one in two women experience sexual harassment in the workplace,” the 29-year-old actress said in a statement. “It finally feels like people are realizing the scale of the problem and I’m certainly hopeful that with global standards such as the recent International Labour Organization treaty on harassment at work, we’ll start to see a new climate of prevention and accountability on this issue domestically.”

Following her meteoric rise to fame in the Harry Potter franchise, Watson has styled herself as both an actress and devoted feminist activist. In 2014, she gave a speech at the United Nations where she provided her definition of feminism as merely the “belief that men and women should have equal rights and opportunities.”

That same year, she was appointed as a UN Women Goodwill Ambassador and helped launch the UN Women campaign HeForShe, which urges men to campaign for greater gender equality. In February 2018, she donated $1.4 million to the UK Justice and Equality Fund, which also aims to reduce the prevalence “sexual harassment, assault and discrimination.”

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