Malala Says Emma Watson Inspired Her To Embrace Being A Feminist (Video)

I can't say for sure whether or not Emma Watson's head exploded when Malala Yousafzai named her as an inspiration, but it's hard to believe it didn't, given the 18-year-old human rights activist and education campaigner's own story.

In 2012, on her way home from school, Pakistan-based Yousafzai was shot in the head by the Taliban for ignoring the Islamic fundamentalists' prohibition of female education.

After her miraculous survival, Yousafzai committed herself to campaigning for worldwide education equality between the sexes and since became the youngest Nobel Prize winner.

Regardless of her time spent championing gender equality, the teenager didn't explicitly consider herself a feminist until hearing Emma Watson's speech at the United Nations to kick off her HeForShe campaign.

In an interview following a screening of her new documentary, "He Named Me Malala," at the Into Film Festival, Yousafzai told Watson,

This word, 'feminism,' it has been a very tricky word. When I heard it the first time, I heard some negative responses and some positive ones, and I hesitated in saying am I a feminist or not? Then, after hearing your speech…I decided there's no way and there's nothing wrong by calling yourself a feminist. So I am a feminist and we all should be feminists because feminism is another word for equality.

In a post on her Facebook page, the actress praised Yousafzai's candor, writing,

Perhaps the most moving moment of today for me was when Malala addressed the issue of feminism…Maybe feminist isn't the easiest word to use...But she did it ANYWAY…I've spoken before on what a controversial word feminism is currently. More recently, I am learning what a factionalized movement it is too. We are all moving towards the same goal. Let's not make it scary to say you're a feminist. I want to make it a welcoming and inclusive movement. Let's join our hands and move together so we can make real change. Malala and I are pretty serious about it but we need you.

Emma Watson and Malala Yousafzai are an unbeatable team we can all get behind.

Today I met Malala. She was giving, utterly graceful, compelling and intelligent. That might sound obvious but I was... Posted by Emma Watson on Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Citations: Malala: “I'm A Feminist Because Of Emma” (Vogue)