Theron, a South African native, was addressing a fundraiser at the Geffen Playhouse here.
She added: "I remember always saying being a feminist meant a different thing to everybody. And I would apologise for it. And I had to ask, why was that? Why couldn't I just say, 'Yes, I'm a feminist?'"
"I am in a position where I could put my foot down and say, I want equal pay to my male co-star, who I had billed another movie with. We were doing a sequel, we had done it together, why not?
"What was interesting about it was I had a studio that said all right. And I was like, oh? We just need to say this? We just need to not be so polite about it and say what we want?"
The actress feels it is easy to link the demand for equal pay and movements like #MeToo directly to Nelson Mandela's legacy.
"The amount of traction and the amount of women who are being empowered by other women to step forward and actually speak their truth, I know in my life I've never seen anything like that," said Theron.
"I think success for us as women is going to come out of the support that we give each other, out of not stopping this moment. This is a rock rolling down a mountain really fast, and I'm quite enjoying watching it," she added.
(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)