Emma Watson, one of the stars of Harry Potter and The Circle, has been an outspoken ambassador for the need to fortify women’s rights worldwide. It’s not only words she puts forth; Watson donated £1 million (nearly $1.4 million) to the Justice and Equality Fund, a recently set-up initiative to wage war on sexual assault, harassment, and discrimination.
“The figures are staggering,” says the landing page of the Justice and Equality Fund’s GoFundMe, where Watson was the first donor. “Half of all women have experienced sexual harassment at work. Nearly one in five women has suffered sexual assault. We are not talking about a few bad apples. We are waking up to the full scale of systemic abuse based on gender and power – abuse that hurts us all.” It provides footnotes to support its statistics.
“Like all big problems, it needs big, bold solutions,” the page continues. “We have created the Justice and Equality Fund to create the far-reaching personal, social, legal, and policy changes that will ensure everyone can feel safe at work, at play, and at home. Together we can end the culture of harassment, abuse, and impunity.”
While Watson has not made her own statement about the donation, it came on the same day she co-signed an open letter alongside 200 other celebrities vowing to fight in solidarity with other women against abuse and harassment. She shared an image of the letter on her Instagram, with the hashtag #TIMESUP.
“All of us are responsible for creating change, whatever industry you work in,” Watson posted alongside the letter. “We’re asking everyone to help create a world we can be proud of—one that is safe, just, and equal.”
Watson’s donation accounts for the bulk of the nearly £1.6 million the Fund has raised in just seven days. Actors like Keira Knightly, Tom Hiddleston, and Catriona Balfe have donated as well, and three anonymous donors together contributed £525,000. The Justice and Equality Fund’s current goal is £2 million, to be used for outreach, legal aid, and political work.