emma watson malala yousafzai
Malala Yousafzai [L] strikes a pose with Emma WatsonEmma Watson/Twitter

Anyone who follows British actress Emma Watson and Pakistani activist Malala Yousafzai will know the two are champions of the cause of seeing the best of the current generation and inspiring a lot of youngsters in society.

Both Emma and Malala have been instrumental in promoting causes like women's education and gender equality, and have become inspirational figures for youngsters who dreams of contributing to society.

The duo came together for a splendid tete-a-tete during an event to take forward their campaign and deliver some strong messages to youngsters, governments and everyone who wants to make a difference in some way.

There is a common perception among adolescents and preteens that making a difference for people and society as a whole is not their cup of tea, as they are still not old enough to make such decisions. Malala shattered the perception, saying age cannot prevent anyone from going forward.

Malala's message for youngsters:

"[To all 12 and 13-year-olds] Don't think you are young and you can't do something. When I was writing the blog [a personal account of her life in the Swat Valley amidst the Taliban rule] for BBC, I was just 11," said Malala, now 18.

"Don't think your age can stop you from going forward. As we talk about religion and gender, age is also one of them, and so don't think you're ideas wont work.

"You might think, 'We are young, and so we can't make a bigger change or can't explore all the big ideas.' But that is not correct. So come forward and do things you want to do, and don't keep thinking you will come forward one day and do these things. Don't wait for it, it will be too late," said Malala, co-recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize in 2014 for her continuous work for women's education rights.

Malala's message to Pak government, world leaders, and everyone:

Malala currently resides in Birmingham, but craves to return to Pakistan, where she has not gone for the last three years, and has not been able to realise her dream of making every child go to school. According to her, the future of over 66 million girls in Pakistan are in jeopardy as they cannot go to school.

She has a stern message for the government and the people in power to come together and contribute in the very best way to achieve this goal.

"I want to focus on equality and girls' education. How many schools can I build? We need leaders. We need everyone to come forward. Its not just a few NOGs who have to do this work. Each and everyone, from world leaders to parents and civil society, everyone has to come forward and contribute," she said.

"Even if you are 11 or 12, don't think you can't do it. Age is nothing. It's time we ask the government now where the money is spent. Where our taxes are ultimately going to. Especially in conflict zones like Syria, where 2 million children are now refugees and out of school, we have to raise these issues. Otherwise it won't change, and will remain the same."

Emma's message to men on the gender equality movement:

Emma Watson, 25, meanwhile, has been championing the cause of gender equality for years, and the UN Women's Global Ambassador for Gender Equality feels boys and men in society have an immense role to play for the upliftment of women.

"Boys, we really need you as you are the next generation and have to extend your hands to the girls and women in your life, to include them and to make sure they can live their lives without any discrimination, and also have the access to the same opportunities you do," said Emma, known for playing Hermione Granger in the Harry Potter film series.

"You have a unique opportunity to support girls, and if you have a chance, if moments are presented to you, do speak up and raise your voice. Your support can literally change someone's life. And gender equality can change your life too — as men and as boys. Your support is greatly appreciated," said Emma, who champions the 'HeForShe' movement started by the UN.

Watch the inspirational conversation here [FULL VIDEO]:

Into Film Festival opening Q&A

Today I met Malala. She was giving, utterly graceful, compelling and intelligent. That might sound obvious but I was struck by this even more in person. There are lots of NGOs out there in the world doing great things... But if there were one I would put my money on to succeed and make change on this planet, it would be hers. (The Malala Fund). Malala isn't messing around or mincing her words (one of the many reasons I love her). She has the strength of her convictions coupled with the kind of determination I rarely encounter... And it doesn't seem to have been diminished by the success she has already had. And lastly…She has a sense of peace around her. I leave this for last because it is perhaps the most important. Maybe as a result of what she has been through? I personally think it is just who she is…Perhaps the most moving moment of today for me was when Malala addressed the issue of feminism. To give you some background, I had initially planned to ask Malala whether or not she was a feminist but then researched to see whether she had used this word to describe herself. Having seen that she hadn't, I decided to take the question out before the day of our interview. To my utter shock Malala put the question back into one of her own answers and identified herself. Maybe feminist isn't the easiest word to use... But she did it ANYWAY. You can probably see in the interview how I felt about this. She also gave me time at the end of the Q&A to speak about some of my own work, which she most certainly didn't need to do, I was there to interview her. I think this gesture is so emblematic of what Malala and I went on to discuss. 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. With love, Emma x#HeNamedMeMalala #notjustamovieamovement Malala Fund Into Film

Posted by Emma Watson on Wednesday, November 4, 2015
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