updated 11/17/2008 AT 6:00 PM ET
•originally published 11/17/2008 AT 6:10 PM ET
Charlize Theron was named a United Nations messenger of peace during a ceremony on Friday, Reuters reports.
Theron, 33, will focus on ending violence against women – an issue that is personally resonant with the actress. At age 15, her mother fatally shot her father, an alcoholic, who drunkenly threatened her family.
“You have used your voice, compassion and special relationship with the public to create a better world,” U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon told the Hancock star at the ceremony.
The South African-born actress is one of 10 celebrities serving in this role.
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