Emma Watson's HeForShe Speech

This study guide will help you analyse Emma Watson's “HeForShe Speech”. We will show you examples of elements in the text that will be relevant for your analysis. We will give you a summary of the speech, as well as inspiration for discussing it and putting it into perspective. 

The speech is also known as "Gender equality is your issue too", referring to one of its most quoted passages.

Presentation of the speech

Title: “HeForShe Speech”
Speaker: Emma Watson
Context: UN HeForShe campaign launch
Date of speech: September 20, 2014

Emma Watson (b. 1990) is a British actress and activist. She is known for her role in the Harry Potter film series, for her feminist views and for her actions as a UN Goodwill Ambassador.

You can watch the speech here.


You can read an excerpt from this study guide below:

Direct Address

Emma Watson addresses the audience frequently in her speech. This is a way of building a connection with the audience, as well as to inspire them to take action (which is the final aim of the speech and of the HeForShe campaign): “I am reaching out to you because I need your help. We want to end gender inequality—and to do that we need everyone to be involved.” (ll. 2-4); “Men—I would like to take this opportunity to extend your formal invitation. Gender equality is your issue too.” (ll. 69-70)

Additionally, by using direct address, the speaker builds ethos—she appeals to trust, shared values, and the importance of joint actions.  

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Emma Watson's HeForShe Speech

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