“It is essential that the hard-won rights of Afghan women and girls are protected”, Secretary-General António Guterres told the Security Council.
Women are not just half of the global population, it has been shown that their full participation in public life “enhances economic results, prompts greater investment in social protection, leads to more sustainable peace and advances climate action”, according to the UN chief.
UNICEF has long acknowledged and brought this to the fore, through the work of its many women Goodwill Ambassadors.
Renowned West African singer and songwriter, Angélique Kidjo, has since 2002 used her role as a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador to passionately campaign for girls’ education.
The Benin native believes that “music is a language beyond the colour of skin, country or culture” and wants to “inspire people to work to help educate, nourish and protect our children”.
The three-time Grammy Award winner has travelled widely to advocate for UNICEF-supported programmes and has received the 2015 Crystal Award at the World Economic Forum for her commitment to improving the state of the world, and in 2016 was honoured with Amnesty International’s Ambassador of Conscience Award for using her voice to confront global injustice.
Earlier this year, she joined others, including fellow star performer Katy Perry, in demanding that G7 leaders commit to donating doses of COVID-19 vaccines to poorer countries.
Global talent Priyanka Chopra Jonas had served for 10 years as a National Ambassador to UNICEF India before joining the global Goodwill Ambassador team in 2016.
The entertainer works to protect children’s rights and promote the education of girls in India, including through her namesake charity, The Priyanka Chopra Foundation for Health and Education, and as a UN Foundation Girl Up Champion.
“Along this journey with UNICEF, I have experienced firsthand the transformative power of empowering young girls with opportunities that are rightfully theirs”, said the actress/singer/film producer.
Last year, on World Children’s Day, she spoke with 16-year-old youth activist Aditya about his quest to eliminate single use plastics in India and discussed a more sustainable world for every child.
“I am proud to stand with UNICEF to help build a world where children’s rights are respected and protected”, upheld the Indian superstar.
At just 14, actor Millie Bobby Brown was appointed in 2018 as UNICEF’s youngest-ever Goodwill Ambassador.
“It’s a dream come true to become a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador”, she said. “I am looking forward to meeting as many children and young people as I can, hearing their stories, and speaking out on their behalf”.
Starring as Eleven in Netflix’s hit series Stranger Things, the British national has supported the launch of UNICEF’s One Love global campaign, to help fundraise and protect children and families from the effects of COVID-19.
Among many other initiatives, the Screen Actors’ Guild Award winner was also a major player in UNICEF’s global partnership with the jewelry brand Pandora, who donated $1 million towards the activation and fundraiser.
Grammy-winning artist and devoted advocate for early childhood education, Shakira Mebarak, has supported UNICEF’s work and helped raise awareness for the world’s most vulnerable children since 2003.
Seven years ago, she became a member of former UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown’s International Commission on Financing Global Education, and was honoured in 2017 at the World Economic Forum, receiving the Crystal Award for her humanitarian work.
Reminding that “today’s babies will drive tomorrow’s business”, the Colombian singer/songwriter has said that “their capacity to contribute will shape tomorrow’s societies, will solve tomorrow’s problems”.
One of the bestselling music artists of all time, UN Goodwill Ambassador Katy Perry has put into action her commitment to improving the lives of children since she assumed her role in 2013.
The United States-born artist has traveled extensively to highlight the needs of some of the world’s most vulnerable, raise awareness of UNICEF’s emergency relief efforts and use her voice to advocate for children across the globe.
“UNICEF works to ensure that every child, urban or rural, rich or poor, has a chance to thrive, to grow and to contribute to their families and communities – as well as to have the opportunity to shape the world that we live in”, according to the superstar.
Also a social media luminary, who was the first to surpass 100 million followers on Twitter, last year she announced the birth of her child with UNICEF Ambassador Orlando Bloom via UNICEF’s Instagram account, encouraging donations to the agency to ensure every mother and newborn get the care they need.