Emma Watson

As the mother of an 11-year-old daughter in 2001, I had to cheer the arrival on the movie screen of Hermione Granger, that kick-ass witch not afraid to take on all comers, witch and wizard alike. She was a role model who embodied the same take-no-shit attitude my offspring displayed and that pleased me tremendously.

It was equally pleasing to watch Emma Watson grow into an impressive actor, activist, feminist and UN Women Goodwill Ambassador. In 2014 she helped launch the UN initiative HeForShe, which calls on men to advocate for gender equality. She delivered an address at UN headquarters in New York City in 2014 where she described how she began questioning gender-based assumptions as early as age eight and defined feminism as "the belief that men and women should have equal rights and opportunities," and declared that the perception of "man-hating" is something that "has to stop."

In 2006, 16-year-old Watson took part in a discussion held by the Oxford Union during which she said: "The saddest thing a girl can do is dumb herself down for a guy."

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