Anne Hathaway is the latest Hollywood celebrity to be appointed as a global goodwill ambassador for the United Nations, to promote gender equality and the empowerment of women.

The former Oscar winner joins the likes of Emma Watson and Nicole Kidman in performing the role. According to a statement released by the organisation on Wednesday (June 16th), 33 year old Hathaway will be shining a spotlight on the ‘motherhood penalty’ in the workplace.

Anne HathawayAnne Hathaway has been named as a UN Global Goodwill Ambassador

The actor, who recently appeared in Alice Through the Looking Glass, said in a statement that she is “honoured and inspired by this opportunity to aid in advancing gender equality”.

Hathaway has adopted a similar role in the past, working with the Nike Foundation to form support programs for adolescent girls in the developing world. She also once travelled to Ethiopia Kenya to raise awareness on sexual violence and child marriage.

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“It is a particularly insidious demonstration of gender inequality in the workplace,” UN Women’s executive director Phumzile Mlambo-Ngucka said in a press release regarding the ‘motherhood penalty’, which looks to increase parental leave for new parents.

“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.”

Hathaway wrote about this topic in an article for the Daily Beast back in 2011. “Girls who are raped are afraid to tell anyone for fear of shame, being blamed or being branded as ‘unmarriageable’ by their families and communities… as one – anonymous – woman in Dadaab put it: ‘If you tell, no one will help. It is better to be safe and tell no one.’”

She also participated in the 2013 CNN documentary ‘Girl Rising’, which focussed on the power of female education as a force for change in the world.

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