Merging her two worlds.
In addition to being a celebrated actress and director, Angelina Jolie is known far and wide for her extensive humanitarian efforts. Thus, it only makes sense that she commented on the MANY sexual misconduct controversies while addressing United Nations peacekeepers in a speech on Wednesday.
During the keynote address at the U.N. Peacekeeping Defense Ministerial Conference in Vancouver, the Maleficent actress shared:
“Sexual violence is everywhere ├óΓé¼ΓÇ£ in the industry where I work, in business, in universities, in politics, in the military, and across the world… All too often, these kinds of crimes against women are laughed off, depicted as a minor offense by someone who cannot control themselves, as an illness, or as some kind of exaggerated sexual need. But a man who mistreats women is not oversexed. He is abusive.”
Jolie is certainly speaking from experience as, following the first expos├â┬⌐ about Harvey Weinstein‘s sexual misconduct, the Oscar winner revealed she had “a bad experience” with the indie movie mogul. She is just one of 50+ women who’ve spoken out against the disgraced producer. Nonetheless, Harvey’s reps have stated that the Hollywood heavyweight vehemently denies all allegations of nonconsensual sex.
In her moving address, Jolie urged the world leaders to crack down on sexual violence. The A-lister highlighted that sexual violence is “a critical obstacle to achieving women’s equality and our full human rights,” and mentioned how it’s been used as a weapon of war. She continued:
“It is cheaper than a bullet, and it has lasting consequences that unfold with sickening predictability that make it so cruelly effective.”
Moving the topic away from Hollywood’s drama, Angelina brought up the female Rohingya refugees, who are currently seeking asylum in Bangladesh. On these displaced females, Jolie revealed that almost all of them are “either a survivor of sexual violence or a witness to multiple incidences of sexual assault, rape or gang├óΓé¼ΓÇÿrape.”
The mother of six also brought up a recently opened trial in the Democratic Republic of Congo, where “46 alleged cases of the rape of children” were brought against militia fighters. Apparently, the soldiers were told “that blood of virgins would grant them supernatural protection. Some of the victims were 18 months old.”
That is honestly nauseating. Per Angelina, it’ll take a lot more than awareness education to combat heinous crimes like rape. She concluded:
“Even if we accept that sexual violence has nothing to do with sex, that it is a crime, and that it is used as a weapon, many people still believe that it is simply not possible to do anything about it… [Fighting against sexual violence is] hard, but it is not impossible. We have the laws, the institutions, and the expertise in gathering evidence. We are able to identify perpetrators. What is missing is the political will.”
You tell ’em, Angie. Here’s hoping Angelina’s words resonated with most of the peacekeepers at the conference!
[Image via Brian To/WENN.]