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Emma Watson Launches Hotline That Offers Free Legal Advice for Women Experiencing Workplace Harassment

Let me just say, upfront, I am a large fan of Emma Watson. Sure, she played the role of my childhood heroine Hermione Granger to a tee and has a fashion sense that I can only dream of, but my real love of Emma Watson comes from her intellect. In my opinion, Emma Watson is a supremely underrated mind. However, this opinion may change as Emma’s most recent accomplishment, a telephone hotline for women experiencing workplace harassment is being noticed and acclaimed worldwide.

A Brilliant Start

Despite working long hours on the set of Harry Potter, Emma remained a gifted student in her early life. Though she had cemented herself as a successful actress during the Harry Potter series, she refused to give up her studies for acting. Emma Watson went on to study at the prestigious institutions of Brown University (USA) and Oxford University (UK) and graduated with a BA in English literature in 2014. Peers and teachers of Watson don’t dispute her success as a student either, referring to her as ‘smart’, ‘outspoken’, and a voice of reason in her classes. (1)

Refreshing Feminism

As an adult, Emma Watson has continued to act in films and even, on occasion, model with favorable outcomes. Yet, again, Emma has not forfeited her mind or intellect. In 2014, Emma clinched an appointment as a UN Women Goodwill Ambassador, and later that same year, gave an address to the UN that influenced feminism throughout the world. She argued, compellingly, that more men must be involved in the processes and procedures of equality to create real change. Stemming from this initial address, Emma has continued to advocate for equal rights among men and women. Emma Watson did receive some hate mail and anonymous death threats for this work but has proceeded regardless. For example, she started a feminist book club in 2016. (1)

Meeting A Need With A Great Idea

Working with Rosa, a charitable fund, and Time’s Up UK, a justice and equality fund, Emma Watson launched a free legal advice hotline in August 2019. The telephone hotline was born out of a practical need to address the widespread workplace harassment experienced by women in the UK. Until now, no other resource to assist women experiencing sexual workplace harassment existed in England and Wales. As such, there was a substantial gap between those experiencing sexual harassment at work, who are in need of legal advice, and employers, who must hold harassers accountable. (2)

 

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Thank you to everyone who has been part of TIME’S UP over the past year. 💗 From my sisters in the film industry to the activists and campaigners around the world who have supported us, I’ve been so inspired by the way people have reached out to each other, shared experiences and advice, and organised together as part of this movement for change. 🌍 Gender equality can only become a reality if we harness the transformative power of solidarity across professions and across borders. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ There’s still a long way to go, but the achievements so far make me optimistic for a fairer future. 2018 was just the beginning. 💪🏻 ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ 🎉 See link in bio for some reflections on the journey of Time’s Up that I shared with @cnn.

A post shared by Emma Watson (@emmawatson) on

Emma Watson, who also gave financial donations to support the hotline’s cause, said to the media, “Understanding what your rights are, how you can assert them, and the choices you have if you’ve experienced harassment is such a vital part of creating safe workplaces for everyone, and this advice line is such a huge development in ensuring that all women are supported, wherever we work”. (3)

As a long-time spokesperson for Time’s Up UK, Emma appears to be the perfect face and partner for this hotline. Though the project is new, all parties remain optimistic about what can be achieved for women through the hotline. Such a relationship with this initiative feeds my fangirl adoration for Emma Watson, showing her capable of meaningful and impactful changes by holding and supporting well-formed ideas. Excited to see what brainchild comes next from Emma!

If you have experienced sexual harassment at work, and you live in the UK or Wales, you can call the helpline at 020 7490 0152.

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