Gender equality, women’s rights protection, and related to it feminist movements are significant ethical issues that are highly debated today. Many celebrities and common people address governmental bodies and society in general, encouraging gender equality. The first speech, called the United Nations Address on Gender Equality, was presented by Emma Watson (Watson). The second speech, called Speech at the United Nations, was proposed by Malala Yousafzai (Yousafzai). Watson presented her speech as a part of the HeForShe campaign to define the role of feminism in modern society (Watson). Yousafzai’s speech is an appeal to the authorities from the victim of the Taliban attack. Both speeches are similar in purpose and social message while including different pathos and logos persuasive devices.
The purpose of both speeches is similar in claiming equality in the rights and opportunities of men and women. The social messages indented in the speeches appeal to different audiences provoking particular actions. One of the common of both speeches technique is a generalization in applying to the audience. Malala claims: “Dear brothers and sisters, do remember one thing… I speak – not for myself, but for all girls and boys” (Yousafzai). Emma says: “I want men and women to take up this mantle so that their daughters, sisters, and mothers can be free from prejudice” (Watson). Such a technique allows the speakers to emphasize the significance of the problem for both genders. Generalization reinforces the appeal to pathos, adding the meaning of uniting the genders.
Another similar element of the speeches is the dramatic contrast. Malala says: “Because they [Taliban] were and they are… afraid of the equality that we will bring into our society. We will call upon the world leaders that all peace deals must protect women’s and children’s rights” (Yousafzai). The speaker shows the drastic contrast between the terrorists and the people striving for equality. Analogously to Malala, Watson says: “I think it is right that socially I am afforded the same respect as men. But sadly,… no country in the world can yet say that they have achieved gender equality” (Watson). The speaker emphasizes the contrast between ethical norms and reality. This rhetoric tool also appeals to pathos, adding the implicit meaning of the vital role of changes.
On the other hand, the discussed speeches are different in terms of using persuasive devices. The first difference can be noticed in speech structuring. Watson supports her arguments with references to outstanding personalities: “In 1997, Hilary Clinton made a famous speech in Beijing about women’s rights” (Watson). On the contrary, Malala uses repetitions to make her speech more emotional without logical structuring. She states: “…we must not forget that millions of people are suffering from poverty…We must not forget that our sisters and brothers are waiting for a bright, peaceful future” (Yousafzai). Thus, the speakers use different persuasive devices: Watson’s logos and Malala’s pathos. Another difference is the speakers’ approach to stating facts. Watson supports her speech with research data: “But my recent research has shown me that feminism has become an unpopular word” (Watson). Conversely, Malala relies only on her personal experience: “I do not even hate the Talib who shot me” (Yousafzai). Such an approach relevant to pathos allows the speaker to touch the audience’s hearts.
Evaluating the effectiveness of both speeches, it is logical to state that Watson’s speech is more efficient and reliable. She provides more general support for her arguments. The persuasive devices, in this case, logos and other techniques make, are more likely to be responded to by the government than in Malala’s case. Using pathos, she makes her speech highly emotional and personal. Even though it can cause the audience’s empathy, governmental changes in the education sphere are unlikely. However, her speech is more influential for the broad audience and community.
Watson, Emma. “United Nations Address on Gender Equality.” American Rethorics, Web.
Yousafzai, Malala. “Speech at United Nations Youth Assembly 2013 Transcript.” Rev., Web.