Bridey Heing
September 30, 2015 9:43 am

The United Nations General Assembly is currently underway, and with it comes many important discussions on the state of women and children’s rights around the world. Ahead of the annual event, last week the United Nations Foundation announced that Jennifer Lopez has joined the ranks of women fighting for gender equality. She has been named the first Global Advocate for Girls and Women, a newly created position that will give her the chance to stand up for women and girls all around the world.

Lopez, a long-time advocate for women and girls with the Lopez Family Foundation, took to Instagram to share the exciting news, posting this:

According to the UN Foundation, as the Global Advocate, Lopez  “will focus on mobilizing action to address major challenges for girls and women around the world, in support of the UN Secretary-General’s Every Woman, Every Child initiative.”

This means that she’ll be raising awareness and advocating for issues like access to education, health care, and ending gender-based violence. As issues like the use of sexual violence in conflict zones and the fact that 62 million girls worldwide don’t have access to education have been in the spotlight recently, the need for more voices calling for change has never been more important.

“Becoming a mother has made me more aware of the struggles of women and children throughout the world. While some progress has been made, there is still a lot more work that needs to be done for gender equality and universal access to medical care. I am happy to be joining the UN Foundation and eager to lend my voice and ensure that all girls and women are safe, healthy, educated and empowered,” Lopez said as part of the announcement.

And Kathy Calvin, President and CEO of the UN Foundation, shared her excitement to be working with Lopez on this initiative.

“We are thrilled to work with Jennifer Lopez, who will lend her powerful voice to one of the most important causes of our generation – empowering girls and women,” Calvin said. “Today, not a single country in the world has achieved gender equality. This is unacceptable and everyone – including men and boys – has suffered because of it. As the world comes together around the new global goals for sustainable development this month, we have an unprecedented opportunity to effect the necessary change. We can – and must – put the needs and rights of girls and women on center stage – and we are honored to have Jennifer Lopez help us in our efforts.”

Congratulations, Jennifer, on this important and incredible new position! We cannot wait to see what you and the UN Foundation do to change the lives of women and girls around the world!

(Image via Shutterstock)

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