The new mum will focus on addressing the unequal burden shouldered by women caring for children in the home, according to a statement released on Wednesday (15Jun16).

The U.N. Women organisation promotes gender equality and economic empowerment.

Hathaway is a longtime women's rights activist, and United Nations officials insist they've rarely been so confident they've got the right person to fill the right position.

Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, the executive director of U.N. Women, says, "Within moments of meeting Anne, I realised that we had found our woman. To make the case for how this will increase opportunities for women, we needed an advocate who had the intellect and passion to tackle this complex issue."

"I feel honoured and inspired by this opportunity to aid in advancing gender equality," the actress said in a statement.

The Oscar winner will now join the likes of Angelina Jolie and Ashley Judd among the ambassadors serving the many departments of the United Nations.

Jolie represents the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, and Judd was recently appointed by the UN Population Fund.

Hathaway and her husband Adam Shulman became first time parents in March (16), when the actress gave birth to a baby boy called Jonathan Rosebanks Shulman in Los Angeles.

She returned to the red carpet last month (May16) to promote new movie Alice Through the Looking Glass.

The 33-year-old reprises her role as Mirana of Marmoreal, the White Queen, in the sequel to 2010's Alice in Wonderland.