Angelina Jolie just said something that everybody needs to hear about violence against women

As Time reports, Angelina Jolie spoke at the African Union summit to a ballroom full of delegates about global violence against women. In addition to being an incredible actress and director and a badass human being, Jolie is also the special envoy to the United Nations High Commission for Refugees. Jolie’s words were powerful and necessary and they bear repeating here.

“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 told her audience. “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.”

In one slim paragraph, Jolie says so much. She points out that this is a tragedy affecting every society on Earth, she reprimands the powers that be for treating violence against women as a “lesser crime” and thereby treating women as lesser beings, and she smartly and truthfully links violence against women to the “overall failure” to eradicate global suffering.

Jolie concluded her speech with all the smarts and guts that we love her for:

“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.”

Okay, everybody up on your feet, let’s give this amazing lady who is working hard to make the world a better place for all of us the standing ovation she so completely deserves.

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