By Haruna Gimba
The UN Women, a United Nations organization dedicated to gender equality and women empowerment, has announced the appointment of American award-winning actress, Anne Hathaway as global Goodwill
A long-standing supporter of women’s and girls’ rights, Ms. Hathaway 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.
According to statement shared by UN Women, the changes will include affordable childcare services and shared parental leave at both government and corporate levels.
UN Under-Secretary-General and UN Women Executive Director, Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, said Anne appointment 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.
“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 Stereotypes that make it hard for fathers to take time away from work to care for a child are outdated leftovers from the ‘male breadwinner’ model and have no place in today’s mixed workforce.
“Therefore, well-implemented parental leave is just one way for employers to demonstrate that they understand the value of their staff, both male and female,” she said.
The statement further stated that when it comes to equality, Ms. Hathaway is a committed voice for change as 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,” the statement added.
In her response, Ms. Hathaway said she feel honoured and inspired by the opportunity to aid in advancing gender equality.
She said: “Significant progress has already been made but it is time that we collectively intensify our efforts and ensure that true equality is finally realized.”
Health Reporters gathered that Women’s economic empowerment is one of UN Women’s core strategic pillars, and a priority focus under Ms. Mlambo-Ngcuka’s leadership.