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Angelina Jolie implores UN to consider inequality and ‘perspective of women’

The actress and humanitarian highlighted the global necessity for gender equality, particularly in areas facing conflict.

Angelina Jolie implores UN to consider inequality and ‘perspective of women’

(Photo: AFP/Timothy A Clary)

Angelina Jolie spoke up on gender inequality at the United Nations (UN) in New York on Mar 29, in her first address in front of the UN Defense Peacekeeping Ministerial.

The Hollywood star made a speech asking people to consider the “perspective of women”. "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. Women are at the absolute epicenter of modern conflict, in the worst possible sense."

The solution the actress and humanitarian offered is to put the people who are most afflicted “in charge of determining the solution”. “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,” she said.

The 43-year-old was appointed UN High Commissioner For Refugees in 2012 but has been working with the agency for 18 years. She shared an experience on her peacekeeping trips: “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 stabilises a country. 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."

The Maleficent star has also made numerous visits to refugee camps. Last year, she visited Iraq as part of her work as a special envoy for the UN. The year before, she met adolescent refugee girls in Kenya.

Source: CNA/bk