Watch Pharrell give passionate women’s rights speech

“Imagine the possibilities when women are not held back”

Pharrell Williams gave a commencement speech to the NYU class of 2017 yesterday (May 17), and used the opportunity to campaign for women’s rights.

The ‘Happy’ star, who received a Doctor of Fine Arts degree, told Tisch School of the Arts graduates that this generation had a real opportunity to create equal rights and opportunities. He said the youth were “unraveling deeply entrenched laws, principals, and misguided values that have held women back for far too long and, therefore, have held us all back.”

Pharrell added: “Imagine the possibilities when women are not held back. The world that you will live in that will be a lot better. This is the first generation that navigates with the security and confidence to treat women as equals.”

Watch his passionate speech in full below.

Pharrell has been confirmed to appear on Calvin Harris’ upcoming, star-studded new album. He guests alongside Young Thug and Ariana Grande on the ‘Heatstroke’ single, taken from ‘Funk Wav Bounces Vol 1’.

He also recently discussed plans for an N.E.R.D. comeback.

Ht’s feeling really good, really special,” he said in an interview with BBC Radio 1 Clara Amfo, but he couldn’t confirm official plans for the pioneering group’s return.