Anne Hathaway has joined the ranks of Angelina Jolie, Emma Watson, and Connie Britton as Hollywood figures who’ve taken leadership roles in international governmental affairs: U.N. Women, the United Nations organization “dedicated to gender equality and the empowerment of women,” announced Wednesday the Oscar-winning actress will serve as a Global Goodwill Ambassador.
According to a press release, Hathaway will be “working internationally to advance the adoption and implementation of policies that will bring measurable change,” including “affordable childcare services and shared parental leave at both government and corporate levels.” U.N. Women, created in 2010, seeks to accelerate progress on meeting the needs of women and girls both socially and politically around the world.
“I feel honored 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,” Hathaway said in a statement.
The Les Miserables star previously worked with the Nike Foundation and has traveled to Kenya and Ethiopia to raise awareness about child marriage. She also lent her voice to the 2013 CNN documentary Girl Rising, which highlighted the struggles of seven girls around the world who fought to overcome various obstacles on their way to a better education.
“The appointment of Anne is timely because this year U.N. Women is driving hard to foster more positive mindsets and practical arrangements around workplaces that build and support equality for women,” Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, UN Under-Secretary-General and UN Women Executive Director, said of Hathaway’s appointment. “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.”
Check out Hathaway’s UN Women portrait below.