By Merilyn Diau-Katam – EMTV Online
The UN Women has appointed internationally renowned award-winning actor-playwright, Danai Gurira as its UN Women Goodwill Ambassador.
In a media release, Under Secretary General and UN Women Executive Director, Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, said “UN Women is delighted to welcome Danai Gurira in her new role as Goodwill Ambassador to support our work on gender equality. As an author, playwright, actor, and activist in pursuit of women’s empowerment and gender equality with her sharp human rights lens, she is uniquely qualified to communicate and inspire. She recognizes the challenges of intersectionality and will connect with the diversity of women living on the margins of society.”
The appointment was announced at the Global Citizen Festival Mandela 100 in Johannesburg, South Africa. UN Women’s Executive Director highlighted the power of advocacy and the urgent need to get everyone involved in efforts to end violence against women and girls and to ensure gender equality and women’s empowerment reaches the most marginalized globally.
“I am honoured to join the UN Women family today,” said Gurira. “My passion for women and girls has been my focus in the narratives I create as well as the roles I have been able to play. I have always sought to push the boundaries and tell the stories of those who are often marginalized and unheard. My own advocacy for women and girls has made me deeply aware of UN Women, I have experienced the work of this organization on the ground as well as internationally, and I am delighted to partner with them to amplify many more stories from around the world, and give a voice to those who are working relentlessly to make gender equality a reality.”
Gurira is Zimbabwe-American, and holds a Master of Fine Arts from Tisch, NYU and serves as an ambassador for Bono’s ONE campaign.
Famously known for her on-screen role as ‘General Okeya’ in Marvel’s Black Panther, Gurira is more than just a playwright and actress, she co-founded ‘Almasi Arts Inc.’, an organization dedicated to supporting arts education in Zimbabwe in 2011 and currently serves as the Executive Artistic Director.
She also founded ‘Love Out Girls’, a non-profit organization which aims to highlight the issues and challenges that specifically affect women all over the world.
She now joins the likes of other UN Women Goodwill Ambassadors – Nicole Kidman, Emma Watson, Anne Hathaway and Marta Vieira da Silva.
UN Women Goodwill Ambassadors are prominent individuals from the worlds of arts, sciences, literature, entertainment, sport and other fields of public life who wish to work on women’s rights and gender equality and raise awareness of UN Women’s efforts globally.