The United Nations just took another step in its mission to turn Emma Watson into its next Angelina Jolie-style human-rights warrior.
On Friday, UN Women launched the HeForShe IMPACT 10x10x10 initiative. The one-year pilot project—geared toward advancing women’s empowerment by working with governments, companies, and colleges—was unveiled at a press conference attended by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, Rwandan President Paul Kagame, and Watson, who is a UN Women goodwill ambassador and one of many celebrities to work with the UN.
“The groundswell of response we have received in support for HeForShe tells us we are tapping into what the world wants: to be a part of change,” Watson said in a statement sent by UN Women. “Now we have to channel that energy into purposeful action. The pilot initiative provides that framework. Next we need all country leadership, as well as that of hundreds of universities and corporations to follow… IMPACT 10x10x10 so as to bring an end to the persisting inequalities faced by women and girls globally.”
Watch her remarks from the press conference in Davos:
The initiative is the latest example of UN Women’s global strategy for a campaign to promote gender equality, with Watson as the celebrity face. The 24-year-old British actress (star of The Bling Ring, This Is the End, Noah, and the Harry Potter films) was appointed as a goodwill ambassador over the past summer. (The announcement of her appointment drew enough traffic to crash the UN Women website, causing the site technical difficulties for 12 hours.)
“She almost sees this as a career,” UN Women’s Elizabeth Nyamayaro told The Daily Beast. (Nyamayaro offered Watson the ambassadorship, and has handled her relationship with the U.N. ever since.) “You will be seeing more and more of her in a way that you haven’t seen since Angelina Jolie.”
Watson’s efforts also will include participating in campaigns promoting economic empowerment and fighting violence against women. Last September, she delivered a well-received speech at U.N. headquarters: “You might be thinking who is this Harry Potter girl, and what is she doing up on stage at the U.N.?” Watson said. “It’s a good question and trust me, I have been asking myself the same thing. I don’t know if I am qualified to be here. All I know is that I care about this problem. And I want to make it better.”
Watch it here: