• What you need to know about UNFPA ambassador Ashley Judd

    Her Hollywood career is peppered with thrillers like Double Jeopardy and Kiss the Girls. And as she gets ready to settle into her role as goodwill ambassador for the The United Nations Population Fund or UNFPA, Ashley Judd is thrilled at her association with the organisation. The 47 year old actress has always been a social and political activist, involved with humanitarian work in areas like AIDS and educational and economic upliftment of the underprivileged. For someone so active socially, this appointment is the perfect opportunity to work for causes close to her heart, mainly the sexual and reproductive health of women.

    Ashley and UNFPA head Babatunde Osotimehin at the announcement conference

    Ashley and UNFPA head Babatunde Osotimehin at the announcement

    Here are a few engaging facts about Ashley Judd worth a mention:

    Beauty, not just skin deep

    Histrionics is not the only thing that occupies her time. Judd is a political activist and her academic interests include women’s studies, public administration, anthropology and art history. She educated herself, attending institutes across France, UK and the States.

    Ashley's love for sports dissolves gendered boundaries around!

    Ashley’s love for sports dissolves gendered boundaries around it!

    She proved sports could be feminine and fun

    In 2015, Ashley Judd became the first woman to narrate the opening for the telecast of the Kentucky Derby, known as the “fastest two minutes in sports”,   in its history of 140 years. She is also a revered sports commentator and columnist.

    She didn’t give into the conventional ideas of family

    One of the rare public figures who stand by their beliefs, she decided not to have a biological child, stating her reasons in an interview with Scottish newspaper Sunday Mail:

    It’s unconscionable to breed with the number of children who are starving to death in impoverished countries

    Her social activism is infectiously inspirational!

    Her life’s work has revolved around issues of HIV/AIDS, research on women, health and environment. She has been actively engaged with more than 15 NGOs worldwide, ever since the beginning of her career.

    With UNFP, she aims to work towards ending child marriage, something that affects 70 million girls worldwide annually. She emphasised this an interview with USA Today:

    She does not have a choice about when and how to have sex. She does not have a choice about when or how to get pregnant. She is taken out of school and therefore has no access to a primary or secondary education. It is unacceptable. Child marriage in a gruesome way amplifies global gender inequalities.

    Ashley Judd spoke out against sexual violence in Hollywood

    The actor and the activist

    She spoke against sexual violence in Hollywood

    She is one of the few people in Hollywood who freely aired her views against sexual abuse in Hollywood. Sharing her own experience of abuse by one of the most powerful, admired leaders, she said to Variety:

    We’re all part of the problem, but we’re all part of the solution.Some things could be resolved with a good run or punching bag or an interaction with the perpetrator, in which one is able to take one’s power back.

    But perhaps the best summation of her ideas is something she said long back:

    It’s up to us to take pop culture back and to express quality and dignity for both boys and girls

    More power to Ashley!