Anna Hathaway New Goodwill Ambassador For Women's Rights

UN Women on Thursday, June 16 announced the appointment of American award-winning actor Anne Hathaway as global Goodwill Ambassador.

The actress who has been a long-standing supporter of women’s and girls’ rights, will put the spotlight on the issue of the unequal burden of care work in the home as one of the key barriers to gender equality, working internationally to advance the adoption and implementation of policies that will bring measurable change. These include affordable childcare services and shared parental leave at both government and corporate levels.

Anne Hathaway named UN Goodwill Ambassador Photo Credit: Stock Photography

According to Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, UN Under-Secretary-General and UN Women Executive Director: “The appointment of Anne is timely because this year UN Women is driving hard to foster more positive mindsets and practical arrangements around workplaces that build and support equality for women,

“The ‘motherhood penalty’—which means that when they become mothers, women’s pay and opportunities at work suffer—is a particularly insidious demonstration of gender inequality in the workplace. For too long it has been difficult or impossible to view raising a child as being truly an equal responsibility for both parents.

“Stereotypes that make it hard for fathers to take time away from work to care for a child are outdated leftovers from the ‘male breadwinner’ model and have no place in today’s mixed workforce. Well-implemented parental leave is just one way for employers to demonstrate that they understand the value of their staff—both male and female,” added Ms. Mlambo-Ngcuka.

“To make the case for how this will increase opportunities for women we needed an advocate who had the intellect and passion to tackle this complex issue. Within moments of meeting Anne I realized that we had found our woman. We are truly honoured to have her onboard.”

When it comes to equality, Ms. Hathaway is a committed voice for change. She previously served as an advocate for Nike Foundation and travelled to Kenya and Ethiopia to raise awareness on child marriage. In 2013, Ms. Hathaway provided the narration on ‘Girl Rising,’ a CNN documentary film, which focused on the power of female education as it followed seven girls around the world who sought to overcome obstacles and follow their dreams.

“I feel honoured and inspired by this opportunity to aid in advancing gender equality. Significant progress has already been made but it is time that we collectively intensify our efforts and ensure that true equality is finally realized,” said Ms. Hathaway.

Women’s economic empowerment is one of UN Women’s core strategic pillars, and a priority focus under Ms. Mlambo-Ngcuka’s leadership.

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