Oscar winner Anne Hathaway has been named a goodwill ambassador for UN Women to help shine a spotlight on the unequal burden shouldered by working mothers, the UN said Wednesday.
“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,” said the director of UN Women, Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka.
“For too long it has been difficult or impossible to view raising a child as being truly an equal responsibility for both parents.”
Hathaway, who won an Academy Award for her role as Fantine in “Les Miserables,” recently gave birth to a boy, Jonathan.
UN Women enlisted Hathaway to help promote parental leave equally for men and women and develop child care services in the 193 countries at the United Nations.
“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,” said Mlambo-Ngcuka.
“Within moments of meeting Anne, I realized that we had found our woman. We are truly honored to have her onboard.”
The 33-year-old actress served as an advocate for the Nike Foundation, traveling to Kenya and Ethiopia to raise awareness about child marriage.
In 2013, she narrated “Girl Rising,” a documentary on the power of education for girls worldwide.
Hathaway said she felt “honored and inspired” to help advance 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.