In the Harry Potter series, Hermione Granger was the champion of elf-rights and stood up to class discrimination. Perhaps drawing parallels from the fictional character, Emma Watson, who was appointed as a UN Women Goodwill Ambassador, has been a vocal advocate of education, gender equality, violence against women, and women's participation in politics.
Recently, writing for Net-A-Porter magazine, Emma wrote a letter in honour of Indian-born dentist Savita Halappanavar, who died following a septic miscarriage in 2012. Halappanavar's untimely but preventable death acted as an impetus to Ireland’s abortion referendum where over 65 per cent people voted to legalize abortion.
Watson, who had tweeted in support of the historic vote in May, had urged that any support for the movement was a “vote for women’s rights and equality.”
In the letter, Watson, addressing Halappanavar, wrote that she (Halappanavar) "didn't want to become the face of a movement," she only wanted an abortion which could have saved her life. Although her tragic death was a result of social injustice and continues to be mourned globally, it symbolised "structural inequality" and the historic referendum was a historic victory for women's rights and "reproductive justice".
It was a great honour to be asked by @PORTERmagazine to pay the deepest respect to the legacy of Dr Savita Halappanavar, whose death powered the determination of activists to change Irish abortion laws & fight for reproductive justice all over the world. https://t.co/KZWRpp7btO pic.twitter.com/yLDXgcHKyh— Emma Watson (@EmmaWatson) September 29, 2018
Crying whilst watching videos of Halappanavar dancing in parades or her bright smile, Watson wrote that she was "moved to tears," adding that the activists in Ireland's abortion movement owed much to her and her family.
Concluding with the current state of affairs, Watson wrote that while countries like Argentina and Poland whose anti-abortion laws endanger lives of women, Ireland's vote marked an important victory in the fight for a woman's reproductive rights.
Several people thanked the actress for supporting the movement.
Thanks Emma, it means a lot to us here in Ireland that Savita is remembered— sinead (@Sineadcarolan3) September 30, 2018
I find it saddening that these amazing women have to die to receive help or recognition for that matter. This has to stop.— WritersFengShui (@WritersFengShui) September 30, 2018
Absolutely touching! Savita was truly a champion, and you’re also doing so much to make sure that every woman’s voice is heard, and that they don’t have to struggle for such basic rights. Keep going strong!— Anchit Mishra (@anchitmishra_) September 29, 2018
Thank you Emma for honouring such an amazing woman who should still be alive. I was pregnant in Ireland with my son when she died and always felt her loss was heavy and show how badly change was needed.— sonya (@sonya__h) September 30, 2018
Thank you for being a true role model for all girls and a leader and inspiration for all women. You were born to be Hermione and Belle and born to be a leader in the UN. Thank you for being who you are!— Kristen Belt (@LadyMaria03) September 30, 2018