Angelina Jolie Pitt, who is also a special envoy of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, was participating in a panel discussion at the Africa Union Summit in Johannesburg on Friday (12 June) on the theme of violence against women.
Her speech focused on the need for the global community to address the violence and human rights violations that impact women and girls around the world.
There is a global epidemic of violence against women — both within conflict zones and within societies at peace — and it is still treated as a lesser crime and lower priority.
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 conflicts worldwide, which is causing human suffering on an unprecedented level.”
Jolie said atrocities committed against women in conflict zones need to be addressed urgently.
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 spoke to the critical need to engage men in the global women’s rights movement, which begins at the individual level.
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.”