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What Emma Watson said that inspired Malala Yousafzai.

One became famous for playing a frizzy haired young witch.

The other, for surviving an assassination attempt at age 15 after speaking out against the Taliban’s ban on educating females.

Now both are championing women’s rights and leading a new generation of young women.

Actress and UN global goodwill ambassador for women, 25-year-old Emma Watson, interviewed 18-year-old Nobel peace prize winner Malala Yousafzai at the premiere of her documentary, ‘He Called Me Malala’.

And the resulting chat was pretty bloody awesome.

Emma Watson and Malala Yousafzai
Malala is dedicated to fighting for education for women.

Yousafzai confessed that, like many women, she had hesitated about whether to call herself a feminist.

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She told Watson that it was the ‘He for She’ speech she gave to the UN last year that convinced her to proudly wear the label.

“It has been a tricky word,” the Pakistani teen said.

“When I heard it the first time I heard some negative responses and some positive ones.

“I hesitated in saying, ‘Am I a feminist or not?’ 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.

“So I am a feminist and we all should be feminists because feminism is another word for equality.”

emma watson mm
Emma Watson on important UN business.

On her father, Ziauddin, Yousafzai said he was an “example to all men”.

“He believes in women’s rights, he believes in equality and he calls himself a feminist,” she proudly said.

On religion being used as an excuse to oppress women, she said Islam was actually all about peace, reading and education – “it’s what we are here for” – but some crazy people engage in terrorist acts in its name.

“Just live a better life and be kind,” she said. “Why is it so hard to love each other?”

The teen said one exception to her peaceful preaching was sibling arguments, admitting she regularly fights with her two brothers.

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Yousafzai, who began speaking out about educating girls at the age of 12, said her dream was to see every child – including the 66 million girls who currently can’t go to school – get quality primary and secondary education in her lifetime. “It’s what I want to see come true,” she said. She and her family have been living in the UK since the assassination attempt in late 2012. Yousafzai, who is completing her studies and plans to continue to university, said she would also like to return to Pakistan at some point in the future. Here are some highlights from the interview:

Into Film Festival opening Q&A Today 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

 

And it’s clear the future of feminism is in good hands with these two leading the charge. You can watch the full interview on Emma Watson’s Facebook page.

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