Emma Watson Emma Watson

Emma Watson is speaking up for gender equality in a speech that has captured a lot of attention. 

On Saturday, the British actress was at the launch of the HeForShe campaign at the U.N. Headquarters in New York, where she spoke about being sexualized by the media at an early age and being characterized as bossy for wanting to direct plays.

Emma Watson graduates from Brown University

"Apparently I am among the ranks of women whose expressions are seen as too strong, too aggressive, isolating, anti-men and, unattractive," she said. "I am from Britain and think it is right that as a woman I am paid the same as my male counterparts. I think it is right that I should be able to make decisions about my own body. I think it is right that women be involved on my behalf in the policies and decision-making of my country. I think it is right that socially I am afforded the same respect as men. But sadly I can say that there is no one country in the world where all women can expect to receive these rights. No country in the world can yet say they have achieved gender equality."

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But Watson, 24, didn't just defend women. She spoke about society's views on men as well.

"Men—I would like to take this opportunity to extend your formal invitation. Gender equality is your issue too," she said. "I've seen my father's role as a parent being valued less by society despite my needing his presence as a child as much as my mother's. I've seen young men suffering from mental illness unable to ask for help for fear it would make them look less 'macho.' ... I've seen men made fragile and insecure by a distorted sense of what constitutes male success. Men don't have the benefits of equality either."

The HeForShe campaign, over the next 12 months, hopes to mobilize one billion men and boys as advocates and agents of change for gender equality. Watson, who co-hosted the launch, was recently named UN Women Global Goodwill Ambassador.

Read her full speech here and watch it below: