The workforce used to be a silencing space for women, and, traditionally, men have used their status and power to say and do whatever they desired. But, in recent years, women are finding their voice and overcoming the fear of speaking up. Emma Watson is using her celebrity power to create an outlet where women can share their personal experience with workplace sexual harassment and seek help.
The Problem of Workplace Sexual Harassment
It’s estimated that one-third of women have experienced some form of sexual harassment in the workplace. And 70% of them don’t feel as if they can report their experiences. The #MeToo movement has breathed life into the ugly problem of sexual harassment and assault. And ‘Time’s Up’ stories have given women the much-needed confidence to stand together in the face of mistreatment in the workplace. Emma Watson, actress and activist, is known for her feminism and unabashed support of women’s rights across the world. And her views on the unfairness gender inequality breeds, “Both men and women should feel free to be sensitive. Both men and women should feel free to be strong. It is time that we all perceive gender on a spectrum, instead of two sets of opposing ideals.”
Emma Watson’s Solution
Watson recently partnered with the nonprofit, Rights of Women. Together they opened a hotline in the U.K. This hotline provides women with free legal advice about sexual harassment in the workplace. Being able to receive sound advice at no cost provides options for women in work environments. It gives them a voice in a place they may feel unheard.
Women using the hotline can connect with representatives from Rights of Women, and then be advised on things such as, what qualifies as sexual harassment and how to file a complaint against an employer. As well as, making a claim and dealing with non-disclosure agreements. Callers will be provided with actionable steps, allowing them to no longer feel helpless or hopeless in their situation, because the ultimate goal is to improve laws for women and aid them in gaining access to justice.
According to Watson, this hotline is the only one of its kind available in the U.K. Her donations, and those from others in the film industry, and contributions made by the public have made this possible. Time’s Up UK equality and justice fund and managed by Rosa is a charitable fund that backs programs that support women and girls in the U.K.. “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 his advice line is such a huge development in ensuring that all women are supported, wherever we work,” Emma Watson commented.
This hotline is a step towards building safer spaces for the women who come after us. We can build a future for the next generation of girls who dream of having a safe place at work. And this future looks bright, full of women who no longer have to be wallpaper. This hotline isn’t just an opportunity to provide legal options for women. It’s a representation of how we won’t stay silent anymore. This hotline fights for a workplace that is equal, just, and above all: safe.
Seek legal counsel for sexual harassment in the workplace by calling 020 7490 0152. This hotline is only available in England and Wales.