Jolie addressed a room of delegates, where she spoke about the urgent need to “[halt the] global epidemic of violence against women – both within conflict zones and within societies at peace.” Jolie continued, “[Crimes against women are] still treated as a lesser crime and lower priority. The near total impunity that exists worldwide for crimes against women, in conflict zones in particular, means that we are seeing more and more armed groups turn it into their weapon of choice. Women and girls are bearing the brunt of extremists that revel in treating them barbarically. This is inextricably linked to our overall failure to prevent and end conflict worldwide, which is causing human suffering on an unprecedented level.”
Jolie was a member of a panel with foreign leaders and took the opportunity to describe the victims she has met in Africa, saying, “[They have] extraordinary resilience, dignity, and strength in the face of trials that would break any of us. They are some of the most formidable and impressive people I have ever met and they deserve better than to be left alone to suffer.”
“We need policies for long-term security that are designed by women, focused on women, executed by women — not at the expense of men, or instead of men, but alongside and with men,” Jolie said. “There is no greater pillar of stability than a strong, free and educated woman, and there is no more inspiring role model than a man who respects and cherishes women and champions their leadership.”
Angelina Jolie is the special envoy to the United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) after previously serving as a U.N. Goodwill Ambassador. She attended the panel with former British foreign minister William Hague, Senegalese activist Bineta Diop, and the U.N. Special Representative on Sexual Violence in Conflict, Zainab Bangura.
Follow @Music_IntheDark on Twitter