Dame Emma Thompson Appeals for ActionAid, Discusses Women Who Give Her Hope
While she might be known to Harry Potter fans as the actress who portrays Professor Trelawney, Dame Emma Thompson is no stranger to speaking out about causes important to her. This includes her work with ActionAid, an international nongovernmental organization (NGO) that works primarily on issues of poverty and women’s rights.
Last year, Thompson penned an article in British Vogue about how her work with ActionAid has led her to view climate change as a feminist issue. Now, in a new piece for the British edition of Harper’s Bazaar, Thompson has written about her work with ActionAid, including the women she has met through the NGO who have given her hope for the future.
Recalling her first trip to Uganda as an ambassador for ActionAid in 2001, Thompson explained that Noerine Kaleeba, her guide on the trip and a trustee of ActionAid, is someone with whom she has become “lifelong friends.” Thompson also described the work done by other women, including Apofia Naikoba and Florence Kumunhyu, who have also fought against the stigma facing those with HIV/AIDS.
Thompson noted, however, that ActionAid and the communities it helps are facing even more challenges because of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
This Christmas, millions of women and girls around the world are fighting for their freedom, their futures and even their lives. Covid-19 has made a bad situation worse, deepening inequalities and exposing a hidden pandemic of violence and poverty. In Uganda, ActionAid has reported that domestic violence has increased by 150%, as women are confined to their homes and unable to get away from abusers. ActionAid is working with local partners (including the incredible Tusitukirewamu Women’s Network in Kampala, founded by a different but equally wonderful Florence) to end this violence and make sure that women who experience it have somewhere to turn for support.
ActionAid is currently running a campaign called Stand with Women, and the work being done by Florence of the Tusitukirewamu Women’s Network is profiled on the campaign page.
You can watch Thompson speak about her experiences with ActionAid in a video published alongside her piece from Harper’s Bazaar.