Angelina Jolie gave a keynote address about women’s rights at the UN

Angelina Jolie at UN for a Speech on Sexual Violence in Conflict

Angelina Jolie was at the United Nations on Friday. She spoke in the main General Assembly part of the building, or at least that’s how it looks. She spoke in her position as Special Envoy to the United Nations High Commission on Refugees, but she’s also taking on more work beyond UNHCR – she’s been doing more to advocate for women in conflict, and she led the effort to write different NATO/UN peacekeeping guidelines and protocols for how to deal with victims of sexual assault and rape in conflict zones. The Washington Post says Angelina spent the day at the UN, not just showing up to give the “keynote address,” but also taking high-level meetings with the UN Secretary-General, Germany’s foreign minister and more.

In her speech, she addressed what she sees as the main issue: prioritizing the experiences of women in conflict, prioritizing women’s rights (as human rights) and dealing with human rights abuses in a more comprehensive (and punitive) way. Her speech was part of an effort for the UN to create a “permanent, independent investigative body with a mandate to collect and assess evidence in cases involving alleged war crimes, crimes against humanity and other grave human rights violations.” She also made a plea to increase the number of women within UN peacekeeping missions. Here’s part of the text of her speech:

“Around the world there are countless examples of women rising, taking leadership, taking their destiny into their own hands, inspiring all of us. But women and girls are still the majority of the victims of war,” Jolie explains. “Women are at the absolute epicenter of modern conflict, in the worst possible sense.”

In her eyes, the only solution to this age-old problem is to put the people who are most afflicted “in charge of determining the solution.” She continues, “Think of how much more we could achieve with women’s equal participation in all aspects of society. Not at the expense of men, but alongside men, because we are all partners in this life.”

“I recently met a male peacekeeper who had just returned from deployment as a gender adviser in the Central African Republic. And he told me when he started his career service in Afghanistan, he considered women’s rights to be a soft issue, and not what war is fought for. But his experiences have made him understand that is exactly should be fought for and exactly what stabilizes a country. His ability to contribute to this goal became a source of pride for him. He had made that jump in his thinking, and while [he was] doing a great service to his country already, he had now added that understanding and that sense of partnership with the women he served.”

“We fall, we fail, we lose our way, often when we’re made to feel afraid, but in our moments of strength and clarity we know that all people are in fact equal. We know that while we can and should be proud of who we are individually, we are a part of a global world and we know that we are supposed to come together in defense of something greater than ourselves.”

[From E! News]

“He considered women’s rights to be a soft issue, and not what war is fought for…” This sums up so much about modern warfare and how we think about modern warfare. The American military industrial complex are especially guilty of this, the idea that women’s rights are secondary and not a priority, and that after the war is won(“won”), we’ll throw up some girls’ schools and call it a day. What Angelina suggests is a lot harder, but truly, it’s one of the few ways forward.

Angelina Jolie at UN for a Speech on Sexual Violence in Conflict

Oh, the UN put the video of her entire speech up. Yay.


Photos courtesy of Avalon Red and Backgrid.

You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed.

38 Responses to “Angelina Jolie gave a keynote address about women’s rights at the UN”

Comments are Closed

We close comments on older posts to fight comment spam.

  1. Riemc526 says:

    That is amazing and yet sad that nobody had considered this before.

  2. noway says:

    In fairness, a lot of people considered this. They just don’t get the publicity a celebrity movie star gets, but I give Angelina props for being so passionate and a great advocate. Although it is great to bring attention to issues as some celebrities do, Angelina does a lot more too and it should be commended.

  3. Tanguerita says:

    on a very superficial note – holy Botox! I am surprised she can move any parts of her face at all.

  4. Mego says:

    Well done shining a spotlight on these issues!

  5. Darla says:

    Damn she looks fantastic! Over botoxed my ass! This makes me glad I am going in on the 10th to begin a round of injectables. Haters to the left!

    Of course, I personally think getting rid of her husband did wonders for her looks. I will tell you something, in my personal experience, it generally does.

    • duchess of hazard says:

      Of course, I personally think getting rid of her husband did wonders for her looks. I will tell you something, in my personal experience, it generally does.

      LOL, savage. But I know what you mean, once people drop what ails them emotionally, especially if it’s a toxic spouse, the peace just radiates from them.

      Good on Angie for highlighting this pertinent issue.

    • wildflower says:

      I think she looks beautiful, I’m not seeing anything but a smart and gorgeous woman in those pictures. But, on another note… is it me or does the woman with her look like Amal Clooney? If you put her in different clothes and her hair was down and she was made up more (and wore heels), I think she could pass for Amal. Anyone else see this?

  6. Pas says:

    Very commendable. She’s doing so much for all the causes she cares. Great!

    I’m not sure if it’s botox but her chin looks more prominent now than before i thought she’s really gaining weight. And also, have you seen Vivienne’s had her 1st tournament and end up 2nd place on sparring competition? Where’s daddy? Too private.

    Ok I’m not going there. Lol

  7. Ronaldinhio says:

    Holy moly
    She gives a huge speech centreing on our coming together and viewing any rape as our rape and a global failure. Highlighting again and again the plight of women and the use of rape as a tool of war in conflicts world wide and as a tool of power and control where war isn’t apparent
    She is immense in this role

    We hammer on about her botox and bra. I think we are generally better than this on this site. I know we’re a gossip site but this helps women, children, men and humanity and I think her dress and face should get a pass today

    • Rae says:

      Well said.

    • Svea says:

      This^. Rape and sex trafficking is a global epidemic, but it’s all boys will be boys especially in war. The rapes in WWII were completely swept under the rug, including the Russian campaign of rape in Western Europe once the Allies won.
      That’s with a military hierarchy in control of troops. The atrocities committed by guerrilla insurgents and other soldier types with no real command structure are much worse.

    • adastraperaspera says:

      Amen. Her message is absolutely critical for the future of both women and humanity!

    • Wasabi says:

      Agreed, even with the me-too-movement it is often forgotten that rape is still a common war “strategy”. And when it happens at the hand of people who supposed to protect, it is still simply overlooked. A “minor”, “singular” problem. No biggie… IT IS THOUGH and it makes me happy that Angelina keeps shining the light on these matters that so many want to keep in the dark.

    • topsy says:

      Very well said. Angelina Jolie took her ‘over Botoxed’ self and went to the UN to do some good. If she can do something to save a woman in a conflict area from being raped to death by soldiers, who cares If her forehead doesn’t move or her bra shows a bit.

    • Some chick says:

      Cosign. Angelina genuinely cares, and she’s using her platform for actual good. She can’t take a breath without her appearance being criticized, but maybe this time we could look beyond her appearance towards her vision.

      Also, her bra is not showing. That is the placket of her blouse. Tiny snaps or hooks would fix this, but it is not her bra that you are seeing. Sheesh. She looks beautiful and appropriate here.

    • laura-j says:

      Exactly. Being a woman kinda sucks. No matter what you are talking about… people judge the looks first. And you know that sucks.

  8. cee says:

    She looks great . I am not a fan of red lipstick but on her it looks good, but I do think it makes anyone who wears it look older.

    • Mia says:

      @Cee I wasn’t either but I when you find the right shade for your skin tone, nobody will be able to pry it from your hand (smile)

    • minx says:

      I could never wear that shade, but wow, on her it is gorgeous.

    • Mego says:

      She looks classy and appropriate.

    • glor says:

      I always love red on her…..nude lipstick on her mouth makes me a bit ‘icked’. Gorgeous simple eyemakeup, what a great job all told. Incredible glasslike illumination (weedy adjective, I know) going on; isn’t it true of some rare people that they really seem to have invisible cinematographers accompanying them always? I had to give an impromptu tour of a museum to Kevin Costner once (I’m not a fan, or I’d have been struck dumb!) and by god he damn well glowed, to the point of having a hazy gold aura. They seem to have been engineered differently.
      I’d love to see Angelina’s red bag…..that must be a first, given the 94,000 black totes she has!
      Powerful occasion, though it seems like only yesterday that she was in London with William Hague, kicking off this initiative. So much has happened since then.

      • Naddie says:

        I’ve seen the same when I saw a local celebrity waving at the crowd some years ago. I think it’s the lifestyle that shape their gestures, stance and all, and our starstruck mind do the rest. This is one of the reasons u can spot a model in kilometers : so much training to walk with confidence and be charming can’t be turned off .

  9. Patty says:

    She knows how to rock the red lipstick! Love her whole look here.

  10. Haapa says:

    PBS has a wonderful series called “Women, War & Peace” and it covers this sort of topic exactly. It’s a series of documentaries that are all really well done. I watched one about a group of women UN Peacekeepers from Bangladesh who traveled to Haiti, and one about the women’s political party that started in Northern Ireland during “The Troubles”. I can’t wait to watch the other two that are up on their website.