Angelina Jolie To Lead Summit To End The Cover-up Of Rape In Warzones

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Angelina Jolie may be an award-winning actress as her “day job” but her lifetime role goes much deeper and further than what you see on a movie screen. She is a true example of what it means to dedicate your life and your elevated platform to a greater cause.

In July 2013 she spoke in front of the United Nations assembly for the first time, after becoming a UN special envoy for refugees. Her cause? Ending the cover-up of rapes that happen in war zones, and urging the UN they must act on behalf of all these innocent victims. If they thought that would be the last they’d see of her on that matter, well they don’t know Angelina Jolie very well!

Not only is she passionate about the United Nations stepping in and becoming aids to the men, women and children who become collateral damage within war torn countries, but she wants to make sure this issue is known to everyone in the world.

Along with British Foreign Secretary William Hague, the 38 year old actress and mother to six children have announced on November 28 they will co-chair a Summit together in 2014 to demand justice and respect for victims of war zone rape.

It will be the first and largest summit of its kind dedicated only to finding solutions against sexual violence within countries currently in a war. The Foreign Secretary said rape is often used as a tactic or weapon of war to terrorize, to humiliate and to ethnically cleanse, and they want to end this.

So far 137 countries will have representatives attending the Summit who have also signed a British-led declaration that rape in conflict zones will never again be shrugged off for the sake of peace deals. Amen to that!

An estimated 400,000 rapes were systematically carried out in Rwanda and tens of thousands more in Bosnia, yet only a handful of people have been prosecuted because sexual violence was either seen as “inevitable” or was overlooked in case prosecutions put peace at risk. That is a shocking number, and unless action is taken it will only increase.

Both William Hague and Angelina Jolie say this Summit is of vital importance because governments alone cannot change the situation, they need each country to be educated and know how they can play their part. During the event, attendees will hear from doctors, judges, and police who have expertize and experience in these areas, who can share some practical ways to prevent these attacks from happening.

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They want each country  to incorporate specific peacekeeping operations and revise the training within their military to include practical solutions that will prevent war zone rape.

Angelina’s comments on this Summit give you a glimpse as to why this is an important issue which can’t be ignored:

“This summit is long overdue. The goal must be an end to impunity, and justice and respect for the survivors of these horrendous crime.

“We are committed to see that through no matter what it takes, and I hope other countries will take part and live up to their responsibilities.”

William Hague said:“We want to bring the world to a point of no return, creating irreversible momentum towards ending war zone rape and sexual violence worldwide.”

“We have to change attitudes worldwide, and [Angelina’s] role is indispensable.”

His comments about what he personally has seen in war zones in various countries shows what a great man he is for taking on an initiative and realizing the effect in can have on many people’s lives.

“I will never forget meeting young women in a hospital in Goma so damaged by rape that they required surgery. Or the woman in a refugee camp there who said they were being ‘raped like animals’…they bore the stigma and shame and loneliness, while their attackers walked free and unpunished.”

“This issue is not about politics, but about our common humanity. And it is not enough to be united in condemnation of it, unless we are united in action against it.”

We are thankful for men like William Hague who are willing to use their power to force change upon those in his sphere of influence. And having one of the world’s biggest celebrities, Angelina Jolie, use her celebrity as currency for the good of humanity is incredible.

She found a need, and decided to stand in the gap and do something about it, instead of just waiting for someone else to resolve the issue. If there is anything to take away from this story, it is that if you see an issue or a problem where you can get involved and somehow make a difference, no matter how small, then go do it.

Living your life dedicated to something you are passionate about, and finding a cause that will benefit others is truly admirable. Makes life worth so much more than our selfish desires when we are willing to use our influence in a positive and empowering way.

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15 Comments

  1. Good for her. She is in a position to get people to listen to her and is using it well. I hope more stars will continue to this type of thing.

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