Angelina Jolie meets with UK Foreign Secretary to discuss sexual violence in war zones

Earlier this week, Angelina Jolie made a public appearance in London. She’s in England to begin work on Maleficent, which should be starting soon. In the meantime, Angelina decided to use her new position as “Special Envoy to the High Commission on Refugees” to do a photo op with the UK’s Foreign Secretary William Hague and give a public speech about sexual violence in war zones. You can see photos from her visit to the Foreign Office here, at The Mail. Here are some videos:

This is part of what Angelina said:

“Throughout history, rape and sexual violence have been used as weapons of war, and in modern warfare as, women and girls have become primary targets, the problem has grown tremendously…The wars in Rwanda and Bosnia brought the issue to the world stage, and afterwards the international community took significant steps to end impunity for the worst atrocities and to combat sexual violence in conflict, but although progress has been made, there is so much that needs to be done”

[Via CBS News]

Apparently, this is all part of a new initiative by the Cameron government, working in conjunction with the UN, non-profit charities, human rights campaigns and medical volunteers – the hope is to gather more evidence of human rights crimes to make better legal cases for the trial and conviction of those who use rape and sexual abuse as weapons of warfare. I don’t know if Angelina Jolie has been involved with this for a while and she approached William Hague, or if this is an initiative thought up by the Foreign Office and they asked Angelina to be there. My guess is that this is an initiative Angelina has been involved with for a while, and the Cameron government was recently brought on board. Either way it went down… this woman makes me proud to be a Jolie-stan.

Photos courtesy of WENN, Fame/Flynet.

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53 Responses to “Angelina Jolie meets with UK Foreign Secretary to discuss sexual violence in war zones”

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  1. Elj says:

    Her hair looks really nice blow dried straight. She should wear it like that more often.

    Aaaaand back to the more pressing issue of sexual violence in war.

  2. Rhea says:

    Angelina has been involved with this subject since before if I’m not mistaken. Also, I always like her daily/work clothes look more than her red carpet look. :)

  3. Beta says:

    ok, I dont get this.
    while jolie-pitt’s humanitarian work and donations are an example, I really dont get why the UK Foreign Secretary chooses to meet with a hollywood actress to talk about such topic. There are a million organisations dealing with sexual violence that have real on ground experience on the subject… but they choose to meet with a hollywood actress.
    mmmmm ok :|

    • Rhea says:

      For the publicity, of course.

      • gigi says:

        Because meeting with her gets people like me/us to read about this stuff. I’m sure he’s met with other people about this, but this is probably the most publicity he and the issue are going to get.

      • Rhea says:

        @Gigi : Yup.

    • Janet says:

      People pay more attention to Hollywood actors. It’s called using your fame for a good cause and I don’t see anything wrong with it.

      I’m always struck by how much better Jolie looks when she’s talking about something she really cares about, than when she’s parading on the red carpet looking bored half to death.

    • Jenna says:

      She’s able to get a spotlight pulled where it needs to be pulled. It’s one of the things I most respect her for – she knows she has the eye of every magazine, news outlet, paper, photographer wherever she goes, so she uses it to help bring more and more coverage to issues that seriously NEED to be covered. Sexual violence is a monster that has eaten souls from the start of time, but it is ALSO something that tends to paint the victims with the same brush as the aggressors. People don’t want to talk about it, they don’t want to think about it. They don’t want to see the people hurt, or deal with the monsters involved. It’s easier to just ignore it and hope like hell it never affects them personally. Her being involved helps tremendously – it forces people to see it. Even if it’s just a tag line stating WHERE the photo of her is taken, it can help start conversations that, hopefully, work their way around to actually dealing with sexual violence.

      She knows she is going to get papped – so the fact she works that to the advantage of these groups makes me like her even more.

      And before anyone starts nattering that I’m just some random fan of the Evil Jolie and am a vapid little thing that doesn’t get it?

      I’m a rape survivor who has over the years worked with others in similar boats. I’ve lived some of the seriously ugly and brutal things that are out there. And anyone who can stand up and give women in war zones a louder voice and a chance to regain their own strength so that they too can stop being victims and instead be seen as survivors is a person I’ll respect and support.

      • phlyfiremama says:

        Bravo, Jenna! You just brought tears to my eyes. Thank you for sharing your story. The Jolie walks the walk; she doesn’t just talk the talk, throw money at an issue to salve her conscience,and walk away patting herself on the back. She shines light into some of the darkest corners still in our world. There are MANY atrocities that still occur, many shamefully perpetrated in conjunction with aid from America, while the Kartrashians and Lohans are used as weapons of mass distraction. Look for the man behind the curtain, look beyond faux news for the REAL stories. I recommend democracynow!.org as a starting point~

    • Katherine says:

      Well, for one thing he’s not meeting with her as a Hollywood actress. He is meeting with her as Special Envoy of the United Nations High Commissioner for Rufugees.

      It is in her UNHCR capacity that she has met with women who were refugees from war torn countrues and victims of rape. Since this directly affects the world’s refugees, it is in her UNHCR capacity that she brings to the table her experiences and expertise on the issue as well as representing the views and input from UNHCR.

      Because of her position and efforts Jolie has had the opportunity through the years to be privy to much information and policy on the topic via her meetings with and briefings by officials, workers in the field, doctors, refugees and victims.

      It is beyond ignorant to believe that an actor cannot also work in other capacities.

      For anyone not to realize by now that Angelina is a doer and achiever is perplexing. This is a woman who makes incredible good use of her time and gets things done.

    • Kit says:

      Because she made a film which basically glamourised sexual violence in a war zone, the film was boycotted and protests were held by genuine victims of the war in former Yugoslavia. Jolie never does anything without publicity – she donated 100k to charity, right, how much is she worth again? 100k is chicken feed to her, a small price to pay for some publicity. She is desperately trying to score brownie points with the public after stealing/seducing Brad Pitt while he was still married, taking Billy Bob Thornton while he was engaged…I have no time for this nasty, shallow little female who seems to think that Joe Public is down right stupid and will fall for this.

  4. lara says:

    Did she have the guts to mention the recent r@pe cases in the UK with the Muslim gangs targeting non-muslim/white little girls? Was she outraged at how the police let them get away with it for so long for fear of being called racist?
    I’m asking seriously. Was it mentioned? Even the British government should have mentioned it after the travesty of injustice that was done to those girls for years.

    • AudreyS says:

      We (at least I)haven’t heard anything about this in the US news and I am a news junkie. Sounds horrible, please post a link.

    • Janet says:

      I never heard a word about this in the States and I read the NY Times every morning. Was there a press blackout on this story?

      • Jen says:

        Maybe you should try reading an *actual* newspaper with journalistic integrity?

      • Janet says:

        @Jen: What would you call a newspaper with “journalistic integrity”? One of Murdoch’s tabloids? Or perhaps the National Enquirer?

    • Kandidate says:

      What a strange question to ask. Why would she talk about it? They were “normal” – if extremely horrible – crimes. She’s talking about war crimes. There is no war in Britain. The rapists in this case weren’t soldiers; they were taxi drivers and kebab shop workers.

      The idea that the police ignored the crimes because they were scared of being called racist is something that’s come up in the right-wing press. It’s not a fact. It’s journalists looking for a PC gone mad angle.

      Come on, since when were British police officers sensitive to political correctness?

      • Kit says:

        Having been married to one, I know very well that they are terrified of appearing racist. Any crime committed against someone with a darker skin is considered a race crime, whether it actually is or not. Black guy gets mugged – race crime, not because the mugger wants his iPhone, it is spun so that it’s because the victim was black. So – in short, the British police are incredibly anal about racism, race crime and anything even remotely related. This, basically, mass rape has been ignored because the perpetrators are coloured – if they were white, they would already be in jail – trust me, I listened to this rubbish over the dinner table very night.

    • Karma says:

      So what you are asking is did she go off topic and directly insult the UK while discussing war crimes and rapes in other countries and completely undermine the cause of war-ravaged rape victims from around the world?

      Come on! Who would do that? Who would undermine hundreds of thousands of rape victims in that way?

      Faux indignation really only works when aimed properly. You’ve completely missed the mark.

      And yes, as a political junkie I was aware of the story.

    • Leen says:

      The fact that you are highlighting race/ethniciy in this particular issue is highly racist. I know exactly what you are talking about though, as I live in Yorkshire and the sex grooming you are talking about has occurred near my neighbourhood in Leeds. Is it strictly Asian gangs with Muslim backgrounds targetting white girls? Of course not, and to insinuate that is atrocious. Is it a gang problem that develops because they came from poor socio-economic background, and lack of integration in the British society? Of course. It is a bit disturbing to think it is strictly ‘Muslims’ preying on white girls because the Muslim community in Leeds and Yorkshire fight hard against these atrocities.

      But Angelina here is talking about Sexual violence in War, not sex grooming, sex trafficking, or sexual abuse in normal settings. If it was the case, then I am sure they would bring up sex grooming but for now it is not.

      By the way just a heads up, Amnesty International UK and the Islamic and Muslims community work very hard to combat sex grooming in Yorkshire and particularly Leeds.

      • Kit says:

        Um, no – it is white girls being targeted because Asian and Muslim men consider them to be ‘easy’ and that their families won’t care and there will be no repercussions. Your comment is factually inaccurate.

  5. Navy Blue says:

    It’s all about photo ops. The UN and these other organizations use her for that. There are people who work tirelessly everyday in those areas. Also just because Angelina has photographers to broadcast the good she is doing doesn’t mean she’s the biggest humanitarian like the press makes her out to be. Diane Lane said there is something about charity that ought to be anonymous. Don’t give me this Angelina is inspiring millions to help. Where are the statistics to show that? The average American just sees this as another photo op. If Angelina really wanted to get millions to help she would constantly shout at any opportunity what exactly people can do. She never does that. It’s just another photo op.

    • s.jisa says:

      So just because Diane Lane gives anonymously means that she’s a “better humanitarian”? What kind of logic is that?

      For example, the continent of Africa has gotten TRILLIONS of dollars in the past few decades in aid so how much money you give/whether you give or not does not constitute “better humanitarianism” and effective change. Most of Africa’s problems(along with other poor regions of the world) come from corruption. A lot of the aid that gets donated (anonymously or not) goes straight to dictators or warlords. Not the people who need it.

      A lot of the humanitarian issues such as sexual violence and war can only be stopped through awareness not by a certain amount of money. Consequently, getting the attention of citizens and governments (which is what Jolie is doing – an addition to raising/giving money) is what makes long term change.

      Two of the biggest misconceptions about humanitarianism is that giving money automatically means your making a long term difference and if you are vocal about it means you’re doing it for “publicity”. That’s complete bullshit.

      • NM6804 says:

        “A lot of the humanitarian issues such as sexual violence and war can only be stopped through awareness not by a certain amount of money.”

        Disagree. We need money and awareness and then get a move on with it. You can open a paper, go to sites like Amnesty, UNHRC etcetera and become aware. People have the tools and intelligence to make that small step to becoming aware themselves. Jolie is a good example for making people aware but we and she need to do more than just be aware. And really, I think people know well enough what’s going on in the world, talking about it is fine and all, share that knowledge but if there isn’t any action what’s the point?!

        Watching the video, she isn’t saying anything new and she’s talking very general. She and Hague are speaking in broad terms and I don’t see any specific action plan. Promises and big words. Jolie is a true politician.

        What also irked me is that she clearly didn’t write her own little speech just like Hague since she has to look at it every two seconds too. There are people out there who are truly educated on those matters, do some extra research before a public event and can whip out numbers and events by heart for hours. For an actress I find it lazy and uncaring not to rehearse such a small text.

  6. lisa says:

    She was not there in her UN role. She was there because they were using her film In the Land of Blood and Honey as example of Rape used in War. The film was screened there. She and 3 of her cast members were asked to attend..

    people sure reach to find the negative in every thing this woman does.

    Angelina Jolie and William Hague unite in campaign against sexual violence in conflict zones

    Angelina Jolie met British Foreign Secretary William Hague in London on Tuesday, as she backed a new government campaign to fight sexual violence in conflict zones.

    The Oscar-winning actress, who is a Special Envoy for the United Nations’ High Commissioner on Refugees threw her support behind the initiative ahead of a screening of her directorial debut ‘In the Land of Blood and Honey’ at the foreign office.

    Mr Hague said his experiences meeting victims of sexual violence in Bosnia and Rwanda highlighted the importance of fighting such crimes.

    • another nina says:

      Yes, I also thought she was there because this is the theme, which was raised in her movie…

  7. Happy21 says:

    This woman amazes me.

    I am so glad to see a female celebrity truly doing more than posing for photos, acting better than all of us and being an overall famewhore.

    Talk about using your fame for good :)

  8. Chicagogurl17 says:

    Whatever the reasoning, who can find fault in support for this cause and giving a voice to those who are in the thick of it and don’t have a press core.

    • lisa says:

      Thank you..

      we have seen reports of rape and so many other unspeakable things. Why does it matter what her day job is. She cares and she does what she is able to do to help. I am sure the women, girls and men that are being abused don’t give a ratass what she does for a living. When someone is bringing attention to this cause.

      Funny how she would get more praise if she is wearing and “awesome dress or killer shoes. Superficial things bring way more praise then a woman speaking to stop the rape and murder of others who can’t speak for themselves and who wonder if anyone cares or will do something to help.

    • Sal says:

      Agreed. Unfortunately there are some truly nasty, cynical and spiteful people who will take any chance to attack Angelina. Even sexual violence/rape. Nothing is too sacred for them, no level too low to stoop to express hate.

  9. foozy says:

    she’s the great angie!!! love love love

  10. kenyan-girl says:

    She’s giving her voice to a very noble cause. Sexual violence as a weapon in war has been used for far too long. In the DR Congo, over 400000 women were reported to have been raped during the duration of the war. And those were only the cases that had been reported. I think the use of someone in Hollywood and someone who is more famous, gets the attention of a lot of people. And at times that is half of the job.

    My country went through something akin to a civil war in 2007/2008. Women and children were raped. There are so many horrific tales. I read recently in the paper that a woman was gangraped, burnt with acid and had a metal rod shoved inside her vagina. (I’m sorry for being so graphic, I just wanted to show how bad it can be.) Her 17 y/o daughter was also gangraped. My point is, it has to stop. And it helps that people like her speak up against it. So, kudos, Ms. Jolie!

  11. F5 says:

    Just how do you fight against rape? Those raped (or rapists) no matter the circumstances ( war zones, poverty), certainly don’t give tiny rat’s azz for Angie’s new photo-op.
    Only stabilized war zones and economy can result in more humane societies and treatment of victims.

    But hey, whatever makes her feel better.

    • Kimlee says:

      “Just how do you fight against rape”

      If you weren’t so blinded by your hate you would know that you fight it by bring the rapist to justice so that they are not able to rape another woman or child. It really not that hard to understand but I guess you have to have commence which you seem to be lacking and funny how your only attacking Angelina and not the Cameron government but hater going to hate.

      But whatever makes you feel better.

      • F5 says:

        “hater”? You’re 12?

      • Sal says:

        Kimlee is right in everything they said.

        And what makes you think ‘hater’ is a word only 12 year olds use? Adults do, too. Its a valid word in the dictionary. Its opposite, or antonym is ‘lover’. lover – hater. If someone said they are a ‘lover’ of fine art, would you call them 12 years old? Likewise, if someone said they are a ‘hater’ of sexim, would they too, be 12 years old? Lover and hater are both valid dictionary words.

        hater (ˈheɪtə)

        — n
        ( in combination )a grudging or spiteful person, esp one who disparages others: a woman-hater ; a cop-hater ; Don’t let the haters get you down
        a.someone who hates a specified person or thing: a passionate hater of tyranny
        b. ( in combination )a grudging or spiteful person, esp one who disparages others: a woman-hater ; a cop-hater ; Don’t let the haters get you down
        2. informal chiefly ( US ), ( Canadian ) ( in combination )a grudging or spiteful person, esp one who disparages others: a woman-hater ; a cop-hater ; Don’t let the haters get you down

        Should I post the dictionary definition of ‘lover’ for you?

        I submit that you are the 12 year old who thinks actual dictionary words can be classified by age.

    • Jenna says:

      How do you stop rape?

      Simple. But incredibly hard to do…

      You show it. You shine light into the dark corners where monsters hide, you hold up a bright light so there is no place for the rats to run. You expose the true faces of the victims. You stand firm, shoulder to shoulder, and say clearly “Enough”. You refuse to shame the victim. You refuse to shrug off the evil act. You get up each morning and you raise your son to be a man. You choose a partner who values you as much as they value themselves (gender means nothing here). You refuse to excuse the ‘little’ ills of “boys will be boys”. You refuse to repeat the lie of “She dressed like a whore, She asked for the attention”.

      Does the photo opp mean a dratted thing to the man who is raping a woman right this moment? No. But every single voice that says “No” adds to an echo. Every single person that watches, that refuses to turn a blind eye – makes the next evil sonofabitch hesitate for a moment. Do you know? Did you see? Rape is an act of aggression that preys on people in the shadows who have no voices.

      Every photo is a tiny bit of light. Every person – be they actor or busdriver who refuses to allow it to happen to their daughter, their sister, their wife, their mother, their friend – is a tiny bit of a voice given to the voiceless.

      Rapists are all about power. About taking it and about reveling in the belief they hold and control it. In a lot of cases (especially in places of war) it’s a way of brutalizing the population – in ‘proving’ their power. The more the eyes of the world become fixed on them, the more the world pushes back – the safer their would be victims will be.

      And as for ‘whatever makes her feel better’? She’s at least doing something. Have you traveled to any warzones lately? How many homes for families torn apart by war have you helped build? And before you say “She is a rich bitch” yeah. She is. Your point? There is no “Once you pass this point on the wealth meter you owe everyone on the planet whatever they whine for because dang it, it’s not FAIR (insert foot stomp and teenage whine) that she gets to have money, looks, and an envy inducing life. What a bitch!

      Sheesh. I’ve got to stop reading these, they are just making me cranky and convincing me the species is doomed.

  12. Mara says:

    Her beauty is so unique and she have a good heart also .

  13. Le says:

    Anjie, your so so beautiful. Best wishes, always…

  14. dj says:

    I love anyone who gives rape victims a voice. I would hope that she would do the same for U.S. survivors. That being said, it is great work she does! I admire her so much more than K.K.’s of the world who seemingly take up space. Sorry for the rant!

  15. samira677 says:

    I don’t understand why people get into such a rage about Angelina’s humanitarian work but can’t stop praising George Clooney, Reese Witherspoon, etc everytime they do something.

    • emma bee says:

      because it’s angelina. people hate her with an irrational intensity. they can find fault with anything she does.

      i just came from kaiser’s prometheus post so i’ll use charlize theron as an example. you can bet if charlize made that speech there would be no accusations of “photo op” “ignorant” and “uncaring.” and you can bet if angelina made jokes about fassbender’s dong she would slammed with the intensity of 1000 burning suns. when charlize swears and shows attitude she’s admiringly called fierce. if angelina did it, she’d be called a wannabe bad girl biyotch lacking situational awareness. etc.

  16. Sandy says:

    Why is she always dressed as if she’s going to a funeral? Is she in a perpetual state of mourning?

    If she wore color or patterns and put some effort into the way she looked, her appearances and humanitarian work would get much more media coverage. But she’s always wearing black and always looks the same, it’s boring.

    • lisa says:

      The dress she wore is navy. and this is getting attention. Seriously she is not on a RC or runway. And if you are more focused on her fashion then the cause she is there for that speaks more to you being shallow then Angie.

  17. Kayla says:

    What would she know about sexual violence in war zones? From some Hollywood film she starred in? Oh pleasee.

    • m. says:

      Look who’s talking about ignorance!
      Does it mean that oncologist has to suffer from cancer to cure it? Or that guide dog trainer has to be blind himself?

      They’re just examples, by the way.

    • Sal says:

      Considering she works in those areas within the UN, a lot more than you.

  18. Maps says:

    Exactly- Angelina’s was doing noteworthy humanitarian work in Sierra Leone, Congo, etc. YEARS before Clooney had found Africa on a map. I think it’s great that so many have followed in Angelina’s footsteps- any help is good- but the double standard is appalling. The double standard could be attributable to Clooney, etc. having excellent PR and Angelina have no PR, but, based on the disproportionate anger/illogic in Angelina “hater” posts, it is probably jealousy.

  19. Carpe Diem says:

    Fan, not stan, but I’ve admired her tenacity for decades. I do believe she has a carefully orchestrated PR team and all that, but I also think she’s one of the few actresses that pick consistently strong female roles (if a bit super-hero-y) and is therefore a decent role model.

    And I think she really does GAS about these humanitarian issues and draws attention to them in the right way (I don’t like the way Penn and other celebs bitch angrily but don’t DO much… maybe Penn’s an exception, but he’s so over-the-top conspiracy theory-wise that he’s more comical than useful).

    So, go Ange! Hope other celebs take note and follow her example.

  20. blonde on the dock says:

    Good for AJ for caring and making an effort. Whether for herself or PR reasons she shouldn’t be critisized. But based on the number of comments on celebitchy it’s obvious people care more about what Katie Holmes is wearing or whether Eve Mendes is having Ryan Goslings baby. Unfortunately I dont think celebrities do much good in the way of bringing awareness to causes. It’s short term and takes away from other causes that are just as tragic and important. I agree with the person upthread who said the money would be better spent on trying to stabilize the government of these countries and stop the fighting and therefore rape. JMO

  21. LEILA says:

    I just loved her.Pls angie do not mind hateful people…