Emma Watson became famous the second that Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone came out in theaters back in 2001. Playing Hermione Granger was without a doubt her name-making breakout role, and it’d be far from her last. Typically, instant stardom would be a dream for someone that young, but Watson has continuously kept her cool when it comes to becoming an overnight sensation. She’s also made a point of using her spotlight for the best reasons ever.
Aside from acting, she’s also an activist. She’s a member of the Gender Equality Council, and has made quite a difference in recent years. And her latest project follows that very same theme.
Watson helped to set up a hotline for workplace sexual harassment in both Wales and England. The issue is a big one, and women often feel helpless when something happens at work, especially if it’s a supervisor or superior who made the comment or acted inappropriately.
And this sort of service is actually pretty new in England. According to IndieWire, this hotline is the first of its kind. While it’s sad that women didn’t have the resource until now, perhaps Watson’s move will help make people more aware that this issue exists. It’s possible that other countries may also be inspired to start a similar free hotline.
The hotline is funded with the help of Time’s Up UK and the Rosa Fund for Women.
The hotline promises free legal advice during the time it’s in operation.
So, why is it only just England and Wales? That’s due to the law.
The fund noted that those are the locations that their lawyers are allowed to advise in. But, they did note that Scotland had a resource that was similar.
Who knows? Maybe they’ll make it a point to expand to other areas in the future. Or, other areas could be inspired to start up their own.
Having free legal council is amazing for women, as it helps them get a better understanding of their rights. Typically, hiring a lawyer after being harassed is a tough move for women both socially and financially, especially if they assume their case will just get dropped or their reputation in the industry in which they’re working could be affected.
“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,” Watson said, according to IndieWire. This hotline can help make women feel more confident about taking action.
The hotline also lets women know that they’re not alone.
Sexual harassment happens to women in the workplace on a daily basis, but now with this hotline, they have a better way to fight back.
Now it’s time for some alarming stats. In 2018, NPR reported that 81% of women have experienced sexual harassment before.
Prior to #MeToo, that sort of information was unclear. So Stop Street Harassment took it upon themselves to create a poll, also questioning men about their experiences.
Further research broke down the harassment experienced into specific types.
For example, it was found that 77% of women faced verbal sexual harassment before, while 51% have experienced some sort of unwanted sexual touch. Those numbers are shockingly high.
In that poll, 27% of women reported full-on sexual assault. In comparison, this happened to 7% of men.
Thus, it makes sense for Watson to back such an important hotline. If people knew there would be a penalty for their actions, as there should have been all along, maybe that would help them learn how to act more respectfully.
In 2014, Watson was given the role of United Nations Women Goodwill ambassador. With moves like this, you can see she was serious about making a real difference.
Watson isn’t the only actress who’s been appointed.
She also works with Nicole Kidman and Anne Hathaway.
Major kudos to Emma Watson for proving that everyone can make a difference. Fingers crossed that similar hotlines like this become the norm, and every woman has access to them.