Emma Watson’s on fire.

Fresh off her major speech to the United Nations taking on gender inequality and sexual assault on university campuses last week, the actress unveiled a short film  that she created and narrated promoting gender equality.

Set to Sia’s anthemic “Chandeliers,” the short film depicts female Olympians preparing to run in a hurdling event as Watson talks about the hurdles that women have overcome in the struggle to gain equal rights.

“Women and girls have always faced hurdles, but that’s never stopped us,” she says. “We’ve sacrificed, fought campaigns, succeeded, been knocked back, and succeeded again. In a race for justice, we’ve leapt over countless obstacles to win our rights.”

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The UN Women Goodwill Ambassador explains that women didn’t always have the right to vote, were excluded from education, were not paid fairly for their work, and had no voice in political leadership.

“Even the first Olympic Games did not include women,” she says. “That was then.”

The film was created as part of the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals, which includes “Gender Equality” as Goal Number 5. Global Citizen has campaigned to create and achieve the SDGs.

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As the Olympic hurdlers launch themselves into the race, the film shows some of the victories in the fight for equality: how in 1893 New Zealand became the first country to give women voting rights, and 192 other countries have followed; how America passed the first equal pay act in 1963 and 60 countries have since followed; how 21 countries have female heads of state, 97 countries have more women than men enrolled in universities, and more than 50 percent of parliament members in Rwanda are women.

“There are many huge and high hurdles left,” she says as the video shows messages about child brides, girls being left out of schooling, and women who experience violence. “The race is still on, every day of every years of our lives, but we will cross the finish line. No one can stop us.”

“Equality, now,” Watson says.


Demand Equity

Emma Watson Debuts ‘Hurdles’ About the Fight for Gender Equality

By Colleen Curry