British actress and United Nations Goodwill Ambassador Emma Watson delivered a stirring speech at U.N. headquarters this week advocating for equality at universities around the world and addressing the scourge of campus sexual assault.
In remarks introducing the HeForShe IMPACT 10X10X10 University Parity Report on Tuesday, Watson asserted that higher-learning institutions can serve as catalysts for change.
“We know that if you change students’ experiences so that they have different expectations of the world around them — expectations of equality — society will change,” the Brown University alumna said. “As we leave home for the first time to study at the places that we have worked so hard to get, we must not see or experience double standards. We need to see equal respect, leadership, and pay.”
Watson added that the university experience “must make it clear that the safety of women, minorities, and anyone who may be vulnerable is a right and not a privilege — a right that will be respected by a community that believes and supports survivors, and that recognizes that when one person’s safety is violated, everyone feels their own safety is violated.”
Known for starring in the Harry Potter films, Watson began working with U.N. Women’s HeForShe campaign in 2014. Earlier this year, she said she would take a yearlong break from acting to focus on her U.N. work and her own personal development. She will, however, be seen in the upcoming films Beauty and the Beast and The Circle.
Watch Watson’s full speech above.