EMMA Watson has been voted the top feminist of 2014.
The 24-year-old actress, who was praised after giving a powerful speech at the United Nations (UN) headquarters when she helped launch the HeForShe gender equality campaign in her role as UN Women Goodwill Ambassador in New York City in September, beat off stiff competition from a string of stars, including ‘Orange Is the New Black’ star Laverne Cox and Beyoncé Knowles, to win the title in a Ms Foundation for Women online poll, conducted in partnership with Comopolitan.com.
Political journalist Rachel Maddow, Cher, Amy Poehler, Tina Fey, Meryl Streep, Mindy Kaling and NBC News reporter Ann Curry were also named among the top 10 feminists of the year.
In a statement, Ms Foundation President and CEO Teresa Younger said: “We celebrate all feminists every day, but today we’re giving a hat tip to celebrities who are helping to promote women’s equality… Every celebrity on the list has either embraced the term ‘feminist’, spoken out for women’s equal rights, or battled against sexist oppression.”
Former ‘Harry Potter’ star Emma previously admitted she was very “nervous” about revealing she is a feminist, but won rave reviews for her UN speech, in which she said: “For the record, feminism, by definition, is the belief that men and women should have equal rights and opportunities. It is the theory of the political, economic and social equality of the sexes.” – BANG!