UN Women Executive Director, Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka announced Bhag Milkha Baag star Farhan Akhtar as the UN Women’s Goodwill Ambassador for South Asia. He is the first male Goodwill Ambassador.
He will serve as an advocate for UN Women’s newly-launched HeForShe initiative for gender equality and women’s empowerment.
The U.N. organisation, dedicated to gender equality and women’s empowerment, chose Farhan for raising his voice against gender inequality and violence against women and girls in India through his Men against Rape and Discrimination (MARD) campaign.
In recent years, UN Women has appointed numerous celebrities to boost visibility and support for its gender parity initiatives.
British actress Emma Watson was appointed to the UN Women role in July and launched the HeforShe campaign in New York in September with a well-received speech at the United Nations.
Other celebrity ambassadors include Academy Award winner Nicole Kidman and Her Royal Highness Princess Bajrakitiyabha Mahidol of Thailand.
Earlier this year, the United Nations programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) named British fashion designer and former Spice Girl Victoria Beckham as its international goodwill ambassador.