Oscar-winning actress Anne Hathaway has been appointed a Goodwill Ambassador for UN Women, a role which will focus on addressing the unequal burden shouldered by women caring for children in the home, the UN organisation says.
Women around the world face a so-called motherhood penalty, meaning when they have children, they lose pay and opportunity in the workplace, according to UN Women, which promotes gender equality and economic empowerment.
The UN body seeks to make raising children an equal responsibility for mothers and fathers, said Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, executive director of UN Women.
"Stereotypes that make it hard for fathers to take time away from work to care for a child are outdated leftovers from the 'male breadwinner' model and have no place in today's mixed workforce," she said in a statement.
Hathaway, who won an Academy Award in 2013 for her role in Les Miserables, is a long-time supporter of women's rights who will promote policies such as affordable childcare and parental leave, said Mlambo-Ngcuka.
"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. Within moments of meeting Anne, I realised that we had found our woman," she said.
Known for her roles in The Devil Wears Prada, Brokeback Mountain and The Dark Knight Rises, Hathaway also co-hosted the Academy Awards ceremony with actor James Franco in 2011.
She has served as an advocate for Nike Foundation, travelled to Kenya and Ethiopia to raise awareness on child marriage and narrated Girl Rising, a CNN documentary film on female education.
"I feel honoured and inspired by this opportunity to aid in advancing gender equality," the actress said in a statement.