Britain’s Got Talent star Alesha Dixon and Luther’s award-winning Wunmi Mosaku are joining forces with ActionAid UK as the charity’s newest celebrity ambassadors. Both strong advocates for women’s rights, Alesha and Wunmi will work with the organisation to help tackle violence against women and girls around the world.
Violence against women and girls is one of the most widespread human rights abuses, affecting one in three women and girls on average worldwide. It includes domestic violence, rape, acid attacks, child marriage and female genital mutilation. ActionAid works with women and girls at a community level in over 40 countries, helping them to understand their rights and speak out against violence.
A long-term ActionAid UK supporter, Alesha travelled to Ghana with the charity in July 2017. Having just finished judging Britain’s Got Talent, Alesha explained why she’s taking on a new role as the charity’s celebrity ambassador.
“In Ghana, I met young girls who had been abducted for child marriage and teenagers who were made pregnant and abandoned. I felt a sense of such injustice that the future life choices of these girls had been taken away. At the same time, I was inspired because despite all of this they’re survivors.
“We can do more to support them – life doesn’t have to be this way. I’m honoured to become a celebrity ambassador for ActionAid UK. Making a difference for future generations of women and girls is something I feel immensely proud to be part of.”
BAFTA award-winning actor Wunmi Mosaku, best known for her roles as DS Catherine Halliday in BBC One’s Luther and Gloria Taylor in TV film Damilola, Our Loved Boy, also visited Ghana with ActionAid UK in March 2019. Like Alesha, Wunmi saw the work of ActionAid’s local COMBAT squads which are community-based anti-violence teams that help women report violence.
Wunmi’s trip became a personal journey into her family history. She said:
“I met some incredible women and girls in Ghana, many of whom were victims of terrible violence. Their experiences struck a personal chord for me as I reflected on the story of my grandma – having grown up in Ghana, she fought back against a forced marriage on return to her homeland Nigeria. I want to help enable women and girls to understand their rights and speak out against violence as my grandma did. I can’t think of a better way to do that than shine a light on ActionAid UK’s life-changing work as a celebrity ambassador.”
Girish Menon CEO of ActionAid UK said:
“It is fantastic to have such admired and respected women as Alesha and Wunmi on board as celebrity ambassadors for ActionAid UK. In the time they have been supporting us they have both shown real commitment to raising awareness of our work and have seen the violence that we are tackling against women and girls first-hand.
“With their help, we can do more to support women and girls around their world reclaim their rights. By doing so, we can empower them to break free from the cycle of poverty, inequality and abuse – and create a future they want.”