Actress Eva Longoria is to be honoured for her activism and leadership at the upcoming Women of Distinction Awards Gala in Washington, D.C.

The former Desperate Housewives star will be the special guest at the Young Women's Christian Association (Ywca) event, where she will be recognised for her efforts encouraging women to get involved in politics.

Ywca CEO Dara Richardson-Heron says, "At a time when women are growing as a powerful force in American culture and politics, we are delighted to honour Eva Longoria for her activism, especially for her efforts to encourage all women to exercise their right to vote."

In a statement, Longoria expressed her pride at being chosen for the accolade: "As a longtime admirer of the programs the Ywca offers to empower women of all backgrounds, I am truly honoured to receive this award. I am looking forward to visiting Washington and celebrating the accomplishments of the many young leaders at the Ywca for the work that they are doing across the country."

The event will take place at the Hyatt Regency Washington on Capitol Hill on 7 June (13).