James has been appointed China Advocate for the UN Women HeForShe Campaign. The presentation was held at Tsinghua University in Beijing on April 12, 2015, and led by UN Women Regional Director for Asia and the Pacific, Roberta Clarke. HeForShe is the global solidarity movement for gender equality that has been creating headlines since it was launched at the UN General Assembly in New York last September.
In his work as a longtime AIDS activist, James has covered number of areas including women, girls, discrimination, and sexual violence — and it is this commitment that he will continue to focus on with HeForShe. Film actress Emma Watson has been the face of the campaign, speaking in New York last year and also in Davos where alongside UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, she reiterated the need for men to play a positive and transformative role in gender equality. Other key supporters include U.S. President Barack Obama, NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg, and television actress Meghan Markle.
The Beijing event saw a number of public figures being named HeForShe Advocates including the actors Zhang Xiaolong, Wei Zi, and Li Guangfa, as well as Olympic champion Yang Ling who won gold at the 1996 and 2000 Summer Games. The movement calls for one billion signatures, to recognise that gender equality is not a women’s issue but a fundamental human rights issue.
Photos: UN Women