Filmmaker Aishwaryaa Dhanush has been appointed as the United Nations Goodwill Advocate for Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment in South India. The announcement was made in a low-key affair in Chennai on Monday.
“Aishwaryaa will help raise awareness of U.N. Women’s core message of gender equality and women’s empowerment across India, boosting the organisation’s efforts to close the gender gap and achieve a more equal world — a Planet 50-50, by the year 2030,” said an official press release issued by the UN.
“This is definitely a great honour and a very pleasant surprise. It’s a big responsibility and I feel extremely happy that the UN Women felt that I would be able to fulfill this role. It’s overwhelming,” said an elated Aishwaryaa.
In the past, celebrities like actor-director Farhan Akhtar, tennis star Sania Mirza, British actor Emma Watson, Hollywood stars Nicole Kidman and Anne Hathaway have worked with the United Nations for gender equality and the empowerment of women.
Aishwaryaa’s father, actor Rajinikanth, congratulated her on Twitter:
— Rajinikanth (@superstarrajini) August 30, 2016
Aishwaryaa started her stint as UN’s Goodwill advocate on a very compelling note. “Never think there is anything impossible for the soul, if there is sin, there is only one, to think that we are weak”, she said at the event. She will be championing the ‘He for She’ campaign started by the UN, which encourages men as agents of change for the achievement of gender equality. It’s indeed little surprise, the filmmaker has roped in one of the most celebrated personality in the South film industry, superstar Rajinikanth himself, to show support for the cause.
— UN Women India (@unwomenindia) August 30, 2016A D V E R T I S E M E N T
In her interview to Firstpost, the filmmaker talked about her future course of action and her responsibility as the Goodwill Advocate. Her primary goal, she said, was to achieve gender equality by 2030. “We don’t need to fight anymore, but be visible”, she said.
The biggest fear in India among women is to voice their concerns and opinions and she hopes to give them liberation through media. Women need to break their shackles and voice their opinions, she said. “I intend to work on spreading awareness about gender equality and women’s empowerment. Being in the entertainment industry and a media personality, I’d like to exploit the position I am in to create awareness”, she said. She also added that one of the primary reasons which appealed to the UN, was her familiarity with the media.
While acknowledging that India was a male-dominated society, she said that nothing is more indicative of the changing times than the massive achievement by the Indian women at the Olympics. ” I think one of the biggest recent achievements is that all the Olympic winners this time have been girls! And we all feel so proud”, she said. She hopes this would set a precedent in every field.
Aishwaryaa said, “Being a filmmaker, what I can do is to reach people through media and they’re impressed with that. Also, I am one example as to how women can deliver the best in a male-dominated industry. A decade ago, having a female film director would have been close to impossible.”
The filmmaker was all praises for her family who have been immensely supportive of her career and decisions. “For a woman to be successful in any profession, she needs the support and co-operation of men at home”, she said.Also present at the event were her husband, actor Dhanush, sister Soundarya and mother, Latha Rajinikanth.
Click here for HQ photos from the event.