Danai Gurira is the new UN Women Goodwill Ambassador. Announced at the Global Citizen Festival last night, the award winning actor, playwright and activist joins a list that presently includes Nicole Kidman, Emma Watson, Anne Hathaway and Marta Vieira da Silva.
‘As a UN Women Goodwill Ambassador, Gurira will lend her name and dedicate her support to putting a spotlight on gender equality and women’s rights, as well as bringing unheard women’s voices front and centre’, the organization stated. Goodwill Ambassadors are selected for their work on women’s rights and equality. Chosen for their prominence and politics, they span the worlds of ‘the worlds of arts, sciences, literature, entertainment, sport and other fields of public life’.
We’re excited to announce @DanaiGurira as our new global Goodwill Ambassador! #GlobalCitizenFestivalSA
More: https://t.co/BeHvRxJ60K pic.twitter.com/SOqewKIa18
— UN Women (@UN_Women) December 2, 2018
In a press release marking the moment, 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 a 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”. She continued, noting that “Her engagement with us will bring generations of girls greater belief in a positive future. As an influential role model in both her personal and professional life, and a voice for those who have not yet been heard, we look forward to her ability to drive action on gender equality in communities across the world”.
Gurira, who has had an incredible year, starring as General Okoye in Black Panther and reprising the role for Avengers: Infinity War, has a long history of activism, and is currently an ambassador for Johnson & Johnson, using her voice to elevate those of others and spotlight their efforts on HIV/AIDs.
She has previously said ‘An an actress, I have the good fortune of being able to play a complex, strong and flawed woman. As a writer, scripting narratives is my act of resistance, my way of bringing that unheard African female voice front and center and allowing it to manifest its astounding value. I have always had a passion for women and girls, a hope to see them function on the same playing field as men and have the same opportunities and appropriate protections. I want to be more than an actress and storyteller but an advocate for women, not only in underdeveloped countries but all over the world.’
The actor, who refers to herself as Zimerican – acknowledging both her American and Zimbabwean roots – took to Twitter after the announcement to share her excitement. She shared: “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. I am delighted to partner with UN Women 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.”’