Emma Thompson has backed a campaign to support and empower women and girls living in poverty around the world.
The 57-year-old actress is working with ActionAid UK to raise awareness of the plight of hidden women and girls across the world by launching the ‘Yours, Mrs Claus’ blog, which is home to stories, anecdotes, ideas and inspiration from Mrs Claus herself and a series of celebrities including Emma and comedian Jo Brand.
Emma said: "I was inspired by this campaign and the synergy that it draws between the often ‘hidden’ Mrs Claus, and the work that ActionAid does to support some of the most marginalised women and girls living in the poorest parts of the world.
"I have seen for myself how ActionAid champions these women and works with local volunteers to empower them to change their lives for good."
Whilst Jo added: "ActionAid is doing really heartening and important work across the globe to give powerless women and girls some say in their lives.
"I am so pleased to be able to support this original campaign to shine a light this Christmas on the many women whose struggle is hidden and to encourage readers to buy one of ActionAid’s fantastic Gifts in Action that will make a real difference to the lives of these and other women living in extreme poverty."
The blog was initially only accessible via female-friendly links across the internet and social media but now is available to all at http://yoursmrsclaus.org.uk.
Jessica Holland, Head of Brand Marketing and PR at ActionAid UK, added: "Mrs Claus is often portrayed as a nameless, voiceless, stereotyped and hidden woman, which made her the perfect character to bring to life the story of the women and children we help around the world.
"As a charity, we didn’t have millions, like the big retailers. Instead we made the mechanic the message – hiding the blog in plain sight, just like the women we help 0 creating a campaign that’s all about the journey.
"By doing this, we’re raising awareness of all the other women who need support but who we don’t see – and through our Gifts in Action we will encourage people to think a little differently about the festive season; not as a season of consumerism, but as the season of giving, not gifts."
Find out more about ‘Yours, Mrs Claus’ and ActionAid UK’s Gifts in Action at http://yoursmrsclaus.org.uk.