Currently, over 1/3rd of the United Nations Security Council members are women. This is a great achievement for the United Nations and women all around the world. Even though we don’t have an Indian woman amongst these six distinguished ambassadors, some of the most popular women in India have been working with the UN for a long time. Here are five actresses who are also UN Goodwill Ambassadors.
AISHWARYA RAI BACCHAN
Two years ago, the former Miss World was appointed as International Goodwill Ambassador for the United Nations programme for HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS). As a new mother she pledged to raise global awareness on protecting children from HIV infection and increasing access to antiretroviral treatment. She also joined UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon and Michael Douglas at a ceremony commemorating the International Day of Peace in New York.
Award-winning actress Shabana Azmi is a social and women’s rights activist and a Goodwill Ambassador of the United Nations Population Fund (UNPFA). Since prior to her appointment, Azmi has been working for various causes like fighting AIDS and child survival. Post the 1993 Mumbai Riots, she has expressed detestation towards religious extremism on various occasions.
[Picture Courtesy: Deccan Chronicle]
Soon after she was crowned Ms. Universe in 2000, Lara Dutta was appointed as the Goodwill Ambassador to India for The United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA). She has since travelled across the country spreading awareness about the risks of irresponsible sex and other reproductive and sexual health issues affecting young people, especially women.
An Indian actress of Nepalese origin, very few know about Koirala’s philanthropic career. Appointed as the UNFPA ambassador in 1989, she has worked towards preventing human trafficking, which is highly common in Nepal. She is also actively involved in promoting women’s rights and prevention of violence against women. Having battled with cancer she announced that she would want to help others with her condition in the future.
Chopra has spoken publically about social evils such as female infanticide and feticide and the need for educating girls. She has worked with UNICEF since 2008, for children’s rights and women’s education and was appointed as the UNFPA Ambassador in 2010. UNICEF Representative Karin Hulshof, in an announcement after her appointment stated: We are proud of the work she has done with us so far on child rights, and, we are thrilled about all what we will be doing together so that no child gets left behind.
We request you to support our award-winning journalism by making a financial contribution towards our efforts. Your funds will ensure we can continue to bring you amazing stories of women, and the impact they are making and spotlight half the country's population because they deserve it.