Emma Watson Donates a Million Dollars to Start a Hotline for Women

She is helping to fight harassment In the workplace.

Nov 18, 2019

(Andrea Raffin / Shutterstock.com)

Just like many of the feisty characters she’s played, Emma Watson is not one for standing on the sidelines while others fight injustice. 

The actress, model, and UN Women Goodwill Ambassador has taken an active part in the #MeToo movement and is now advocating for preventing harassment in the workplace according to The BBC. In August 2019, Watson teamed up with the Time’s Up UK Justice and Equality Fund, creating a hotline that provides free legal advice to harassed women in the office. 

According to the organization, as many as one in two women have experienced sexual harassment in the workplce. 

The hotline provides a safe space for women living in England and Wales to seek help and determine their next steps. Though currently only operating on Mondays and Tuesdays, the fund is eager to expand their hours. 

For now, any women calling the hotline receives expert insights from the Rights of Women (ROW) legal staff and volunteer women employment lawyers.The organization said that about hotline provides information regarding: what constitutes as harassment, how to inform their employer of their experience, how to make a claim in the Employment Tribunal, settlement agreements and non-disclosure agreements (NDAs), everything else they would need when subjected to sexual harassment.

The Time’s Up UK Justice and Equality Fund financially supports the resource line, while Rosa - the UK Fund for Women and Girls manages it. The initiative is also partially funded by donations from celebrities such as Watson, who donated $1.2 million to the operation.

Watson said in a ROW news release that the movement is gaining traction and everyone must now work together to create safe workplaces for all women. 

“It finally feels like people are realizing the scale of the [sexual harassment] problem, and I’m certainly hopeful that with global standards such as the recent International Labour Organization treaty on harassment at work, we’ll start to see a new climate of prevention and accountability on this issue domestically.

“Understanding what your rights are, how you can assert them, and the choices you have if you’ve experienced harassment, is such a vital part of creating safe workplaces for everyone, and this advice line is such a huge development in ensuring that all women are supported, wherever we work,” she said.

For Watson, giving up on the cause isn’t an option. And though she’ll gladly take on the role of public advocate, the number of people joining the fight is increasing, signifying that she’s not remotely alone in raising awareness and bringing an end to inequality in the workplace. Hermione would be proud. 

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REBECCA WOJNO, CONTRIBUTOR
Rebecca is passionate about reading, cooking, and learning about people doing good in the world. She especially loves writing about wellness, personal growth, and relationships.