Speaking at the African Union Summit about sexual violence towards women, Angelina Jolie explained how important it is that we support rape victims - and protect all women, all over the world
Sometimes we wish we could crawl inside Angelina Jolie‘s head and spend a bit of time getting to know her braincells – just so that we can be as wise and intelligent as she is when we crawl back out again and into the harsh light of day.
The 40-year-old UN Ambassador was in Johannesberg for the African Union Summit last week, where she spoke about the importance of protecting – and supporting – women around the world, and how rape is increasingly being used as a weapon of war.
Talking with the African Union Commission Chairwoman Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma and William Hague, Dame Angelina Jolie gave an impassioned argument as she asked the – mostly male – African leaders to take crimes against women seriously – to help victims, and to help prevent the epidemic of sexual violence from spreading further.
And while we weren’t able to attend the summit itself (and we’re assuming you probably couldn’t either), we’ve compiled a list of Angelina’s key quotes from the day.
We recommend committing them to memory, immediately.
NO MATTER WHERE YOU LIVE, RAPE AFFECTS YOU
“Progress is slow, it is uneven, it is fragile and in some parts of the world it is being erased”
‘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.’
WE ABSOLUTELY HAVE TO TREAT SEXUAL ASSAULT WITH THE GRAVITY IT DESERVES
‘Violence against women is still treated as a lesser crime. Armed groups turn it into a weapon of choice because of near total impunity.’
TERRORISTS ARE USING RAPE AS A WEAPON – AND THAT HAS TO STOP
‘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.’
MEN NEED TO WORK WITH US – AND WE NEED TO WORK WITH MEN
‘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.
WE WON’T MAKE ANY PROGRESS WITHOUT FREEDOM, EDUCATION AND RESPECT
‘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.’