Emma Watson, Justin Trudeau hang out, chat gender equality and feminism
Harry Potter star Emma Watson was in Ottawa on Wednesday as part of the One Young World Summit, and took some time to chat with Canada’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. The topic of their conversation? Gender equality.
The British actress is an UN Women Goodwill Ambassador and also works with the He for She campaign. (The project, which seeks to invite people around the world to stand together for gender equality, just celebrated its second birthday.) Trudeau is also familiar with feminist issues; he’s known for championing women’s causes in Canada.
“The He For She campaign has extraordinary impact around the world, making men champions of women’s issues that are everyone’s issues,” Trudeau said during the pair’s meeting. “Her voice is extremely important in making people realize how important this is.”
The admiration seemed mutual, when Watson spoke of the prime minister’s effort to create a gender equal cabinet. “It’s been such an exciting visit for me to come visit your Parliament. It was so inspiring that you made your cabinet 50/50… We’re very excited that you’re a He For She Youth Ambassador. I can’t wait to see what you’re going to do with that title.”
The pair, along with former UN secretary general Kofi Annan, also met with MPs and spoke on the steps of Parliament Hill to kick-off the One Young World Summit.
The event will see some 1,300 delegates (all young leaders aged 18 to 30) from almost 200 countries convene in Ottawa to discuss issues plaguing the world today.
“I do not think you are the leaders of tomorrow — I know you are already leaders today,” Trudeau said Wednesday evening at the opening ceremonies. “Your generation is politically engaged, educated, innovative, inclusive and progressive. You need to harness that potential to make the world a better place and I know that every person here tonight is committed to doing just that in one way or another,” Trudeau told the crowd.
“Please remember, what you say, and the choices you make, have the power to change the world,” he said.
Trudeau was 43 years old when his Liberal government came to power in 2015, making him the second-youngest person elected prime minister in Canadian history.
Kate Roberston, co-founder of One Young World, said the fact Trudeau is relatively young is one of the reasons the global leadership forum chose Ottawa as the location for its seventh summit, which has previously taken place in cities such as London, Johannesburg and Bangkok.
Watson will address delegates at 4:30 p.m. on Thursday in the Shaw Centre, with a 40-minute discussion on gender equality. Other topics scheduled for the four-day event include poverty, climate change, LGBTQ, discrimination, technology, employment, energy, depression and extremism.
With files from ET Canada and The Canadian Press
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