Angelina Jolie-Pitt has called for policies to be put in place globally by women, for women, in the fight to stop the “global epidemic of violence against women” as it is still seen as a “lesser crime.”
The actress addressed a room of delegates at the African Union summit, which is a biannual event held in both Johannesburg and Pretoria in South Africa this year.
Jolie-Pitt sat on a panel with foreign leaders in her role as Special Envoy of the U.N High Commissioner for Refugees which she was appointed to in 2012.
In a speech during the event, the actress said extremists are using violence against women as “their weapon of choice” and urged leaders to develop global policies to fight the epidemic.
“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,” Jolie-Pitt said.
“The near-total impunity that exists worldwide for crimes against women, in conflict zones in particular, means that we are seeing more and more armed groups turn it into their weapon of choice.
“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.”
“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.
“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.”