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Himanshu Roy

IWB Blogger

What Happens When Malala & Emma Decide To Discuss Feminism?

  • IWB Post
  •  November 9, 2015


One of them survived the shot by terrorists and stood for her right to go to school. The other has won countless hearts through her flawless acting and choice of gritty roles. So what happens when Malala Yousufzai and Emma Watson decide to discuss feminism?

An interview like no other, when UN Women’s advocate Emma got to interview Malala, the latter did say that at first she found the word feminism tricky. Why? Because she had heard both positive and negative reactions about feminism. We understand Malala! How many still believe that feminism is all about hating men! (Yes, you can roll your eyes..pheew).

But later it was actually the speech of Emma when she launched the HeForShe campaign in September that changed her mind. In her speech Emma had said that feminism is:

“The belief that men and women should have equal rights and opportunities. It is the theory of the political, economic and social equality of the sexes.”

And now Malala has no qualms in calling herself a proud feminist fighting for gender equality.

It goes without saying that during the interview when Emma heard that in a way she has inspired Malala, she was very moved and thought that this was the best part of the interview. Later she also posted in her Facebook page details about this conversation.

Malala, who also has the Nobel Peace Prize, to her credit went on to say that men too can be feminists and it’s her dad who is a perfect example of one.

What more? Malala also told Emma that people often forget that the true meaning of feminism is equality and fighting for our own rights.

Emma thinks that saying that “I am a feminist” shouldn’t be made scary as men need feminism as much as women do. In her Facebook page she wrote that it is actually about joining hands and trying to bring a change with participation from both the sexes.

Into Film Festival opening Q&AToday I met Malala. She was giving, utterly graceful, compelling and intelligent. That might sound obvious but I was struck by this even more in person. There are lots of NGOs out there in the world doing great things… But if there were one I would put my money on to succeed and make change on this planet, it would be hers. (The Malala Fund). Malala isn’t messing around or mincing her words (one of the many reasons I love her). She has the strength of her convictions coupled with the kind of determination I rarely encounter… And it doesn’t seem to have been diminished by the success she has already had. And lastly…She has a sense of peace around her. I leave this for last because it is perhaps the most important. Maybe as a result of what she has been through? I personally think it is just who she is…Perhaps the most moving moment of today for me was when Malala addressed the issue of feminism. To give you some background, I had initially planned to ask Malala whether or not she was a feminist but then researched to see whether she had used this word to describe herself. Having seen that she hadn’t, I decided to take the question out before the day of our interview. To my utter shock Malala put the question back into one of her own answers and identified herself. Maybe feminist isn’t the easiest word to use… But she did it ANYWAY. You can probably see in the interview how I felt about this. She also gave me time at the end of the Q&A to speak about some of my own work, which she most certainly didn’t need to do, I was there to interview her. I think this gesture is so emblematic of what Malala and I went on to discuss. I’ve spoken before on what a controversial word feminism is currently. More recently, I am learning what a factionalized movement it is too. We are all moving towards the same goal. Let’s not make it scary to say you’re a feminist. I want to make it a welcoming and inclusive movement. Let’s join our hands and move together so we can make real change. Malala and I are pretty serious about it but we need you. With love, Emma x#HeNamedMeMalala #notjustamovieamovement Malala Fund Into Film

Posted by Emma Watson on Wednesday, November 4, 2015


It is absolutely awesome to see these two brave young women discuss feminism in the interview, knowing that their words indeed have the power to bring a change in the mindset of people.

Way to go girls!

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