​malala yousafzai says she identifies as a feminist because of emma watson

The Nobel Peace Prize-winning women’s rights activist found the term “tricky” until hearing Watson’s speech at the UN.

by Charlotte Gush
05 November 2015, 3:34pm

Speaking at the premiere of her new film, He Named Me Malala, the 18-year-old human rights activist and 2014 Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai -- who was shot by the Taliban for campaigning for girls' education rights --  revealed to actor and UN Women Goodwill Ambassador Emma Watson that she initially struggled with the decision to call herself a feminist, but found clarity in Watson's famous He for She speech at the UN.

"Interestingly, this word 'feminism', it has been a very tricky word, and when I heard it the first time, I heard some negative responses and some positive ones, and I hesitated in saying am I a feminist or not," Yousafzai revealed in the interview with Watson. "And then, after hearing your speech, when you said, 'If not now, when? If not me, who?', I decided that there's nothing wrong with calling yourself a feminist," Malala continued, stating clearly, "So I am a feminist, and we all should be feminist, because feminism is another word for equality".

"Wow. I'm so moved to hear that," Watson responds, agreeing that, "It's become this really difficult word, but I think it's wonderful when people do embrace it because it should be synonymous with equality". "People have forgotten its definition," Malala laments, with Watson adding, "They really, really have".

Discussing the film He Named Me Malala, Yousafzai said, "I want this movie not just to be a movie but a movement." She linked the film's message to Watson's He for She speech, which invited men to be part of the fight for women's rights. Watson asked Malala what she would say to those who wonder if men can be feminists, and she answered, "Well, my father, he has set an example to all parents, to all men, that, if we want equality, if we want equal rights for women, then men have to step forward… We all have to work together, that's how change will come."


women's rights
Emma Watson
Malala Yousafzai
he named me malala