Why is Mallika Sherawat invited to the UN?

The actress has been extended an invitation by the organisation’s headquarters in New York

Mallika Sherawat took part in a debate at the prestigious Oxford Union earlier this year. And now, the controversial actor has been invited (on August 27) to the United Nations (UN) headquarters (in New York) to “participate in a roundtable discussion” at the 65th Annual Department of Public Information (DPI)/ Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO) Conference, we hear.

An invitational letter sent to Mallika by the UN, a copy of which was shared with a leading daily by her team, says: “Your presence as an outspoken defender of women’s rights would send a strong signal to the roughly 1,800 NGO representatives expected at this event as they define a concrete ‘Action Agenda’ on poverty eradication, sustainability, human rights and climate justice.”

It’s very strange that instead of recognising her as an ‘actor’, the letter describes Mallika as Women’s Rights and Anti-Trafficking Advocate. When she was contacted, the actor said, “I feel very honoured to receive this prestigious invitation from the United Nations, and am committed to use this platform to bring to attention the cause of women’s rights, and social and economic inequalities that women face.”

If you will remember, earlier this year, Mallika drew flak for her bold comments about India being “regressive for women”. Talking to Variety on the sidelines of the 66th Cannes International Film Festival, the Haryana girl had said, “I made a conscious decision to divide my time between Los Angeles and India. So when I enjoy the social freedom in America and go back to India, which is so regressive for women, it’s depressing. As an independent woman, it’s really depressing.”