NEW YORK, March 9, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- In her first major speech at the United Nations, American award-winning actor and UN Women's Global Goodwill Ambassador Anne Hathaway called for a more equal distribution of unpaid care work in moving the agenda on gender equality in her keynote address at the International Women's Day commemoration in New York. A long-standing supporter of women's and girls' rights, she put the spotlight on the unequal burden that unpaid care work poses to women.
Hathaway committed to working locally and internationally to advance policies that will bring about measurable change, including affordable childcare services and shared parental leave at both government and corporate levels. These changes can expand women's choices, increase retention of girls in school, create employment, and ultimately reduce poverty and boost the economic welfare of a country.
"The assumption and common practice that women and girls look after the home and the family is a stubborn and very real stereotype that not only discriminates against women, but limits men's participation and connection within the family," said Hathaway.
"This focus that Anne has put on unpaid care burden is an urgent one, and women's economic empowerment is directly linked to this neglected issue," said UN Women executive director Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka. "Unless both parents take on the responsibilities of their children and families, women will continue to face the motherhood penalty and be restricted in their choices at work and life."
During the event, held at the United Nations Headquarters, the multinational corporation Danone has been appointed as an inaugural HeForShe Thematic Champion for paid parental leave. The HeForShe Thematic Champion is a new initiative created to spur concrete progress on a designated focus area, with the aim of achieving gender equality at the global level. As part of their commitment to this new designation, the company will implement a new policy allowing 18 weeks of gender-neutral paid parental leave for their global workforce.
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For more information, visit www.paidparental.org.
About UN Women
UN Women is the UN organization dedicated to gender equality and the empowerment of women. A global champion for women and girls, UN Women was established to accelerate progress on meeting their needs worldwide. For more information, visit www.unwomen.org. UN Women, 220 East 42nd St., New York, NY 10017. Tel: +1-646-781-4400. Fax: +1-646-781-4496.
HeForShe is a solidarity movement that calls upon men and boys to stand up against the persisting inequalities faced by women and girls globally. The campaign strengthens the support for women's rights as human rights by enlisting the support of men and exhorting them to put themselves forward as advocates for gender equality. For more information, visit http://www.heforshe.org/.
About the HeForShe Thematic Champion Initiative
To spur concrete action and position gender equality, women's rights and women's empowerment at the center of the agenda, UN Women engages with local leaders across the private and public sectors. These select group of leaders are known as HeForShe Thematic Champions. They are designated a focus area as outlined in the UN Women mandate, and actively leverage their unique resources, networks and specialized skills to drive for the concrete change that are fundamental to women's equality. For more information, visit http://heforshe.de/heforshe-themenpaten/.