And it’s incredibly powerful.
From the editors of InStyle
Words by Meghan Overdeep
Angelina Jolie continues to be a champion for women’s rights off-screen.
Just a few days after delivering an impassioned speech at The Hollywood Reporter‘s annual Women in Entertainment Breakfast, the filmmaker was back at it, this time in an op-ed co-written with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg for The Guardian.
In a moving plea penned for the British newspaper, Jolie, 42, implores NATO to defend women’s rights in areas of conflict – war zones where violence against women and families is used as a particularly insidious and damaging military tactic.
‘Despite being prohibited by international law, sexual violence continues to be employed as a tactic of war in numerous conflicts from Myanmar to Ukraine and Syria to Somalia,’ the op-ed reads. ‘It includes mass rape, gang rape, sexual slavery, and rape as a form of torture, ethnic cleansing and terrorism. It accounts in large part for why it is often more dangerous to be a woman in a war zone today than it is to be a soldier.’
The Oscar-winner continues: ‘In our different roles we have seen how conflicts in which women’s bodies and rights are systematically abused last longer, cause deeper wounds and are much harder to resolve and overcome. Ending gender-based violence is therefore a vital issue of peace and security as well as of social justice.’
In five bullet points, Stoltenberg and Jolie outline their plan to identify ways in which NATO can strengthen its contribution to women’s protection.
‘It is humanity’s shame that violence against women, whether in peaceful societies or during times of war, has been universally regarded as a lesser crime,’ the piece concludes. ‘There is finally hope that we can change this. We owe it to ourselves – men and women alike—and to future generations.’
Go get ’em, Angie!