Since staring in the Harry Potter series for much of her childhood, Emma Watson has pivoted into human rights as the main focus of her career. The young starlet is using her platform as a major voice to emphasize the importance of things like workplace safety for women. Most recently, Watson announced that she’s partnered with Time’s Up to launch a free helpline to educate victims of sexual harassment and assault in the workplace about their rights. The hotline can also point victims in the direction of legal help if need be, and provides a safe space for victims to reach out and discuss their options.
Watson’s Work With Time’s Up
After Harry Potter ended in 2011, Emma Watson attended Brown University in between work on acting projects here and there. Recently the star has shifted fully into a career in activism, working with organizations like Times Up and the United Nations to address issues of equality, sexual harassment, and education for young women in third world countries. In 2014 Watson launched an organization called HeForShe with the UN. The organization aims to help equalize the power structures between women and men in the workplace. Watson announced the organization in a speech she gave at the United Nations Headquarters in New York City.
Since then, Watson has been hard at work partnering with various organizations around the world to encourage workplace equality. In the United Kingdom, Watson was startled to learn that there was no hotline for workplace sexual harassment and violence victims. To combat this issue, Watson helped launch the hotline available today with the help of Time’s Up UK and a nonprofit organization called Rights of Women. The line aims to offer support and legal advice for victims of workplace harassment that have nowhere to turn. The hotline is free, and provides a safe and anonymous place for victims to seek help. Time’s Up, Watson, and Rights of Women helped fund the program through public donations.
“It finally feels like people are realising the scale of the 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,” said Watson in a statement originally published to The Guardian on Monday. “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 continued.
Similar US-Based Services
Workers in the United Kingdom can access the helpline by calling 020 7490 0152, but victims in the United States will have to turn elsewhere. Businesses are being held accountable more frequently now that Time’s Up and #MeToo have brought issues of workplace harassment into the forefront of the conversation on equality. However, instances of workplace harassment are still all too common. Organizations and free services such as these aim to dismantle the power structures that help sexual harassment thrive in the workplace.