Source: UK Guardian
Angelina Jolie opens UK centre to fight warzone violence against women
Hollywood star says centre at LSE aims to put the empowerment of women at the top of the agenda of the ‘finest minds, in the best academic institutions’
Europe’s first academic centre to combat the brutality faced by women in warzones has been opened in London by Angelina Jolie, who called for “the empowerment of women to be the highest priority for the finest minds, in the best academic institutions”.
Jolie, a special envoy for the UN high commissioner for refugees (UNHCR), has just returned from northern Iraq, where she met some of the millions of refugees forced to flee from their homes due to Islamic State (Isis) violence. She said students of the centre on women, peace and security at the London School of Economics (LSE) had the chance to change the world.
“If you were to ask me who I think this centre is for, I picture someone who is not in this room today,” Jolie said. “I think of a girl I met in Iraq three weeks ago. She is 13 years old, but instead of going to school, she sits on the floor in a makeshift tent.”
The girl was captured by Isis as a sex slave, and repeatedly raped, Jolie said. “Now she may never be able to complete her education, or get married or have a family, because in her society victims of rape are shunned, and considered shameful. To my mind, what we have begun today at LSE is for that Iraqi girl and others like her.”
The Hollywood actor, director and international women’s rights campaigner was joined at LSE by the former UK foreign secretary William Hague. The pair have worked together for three years on an initiative to prevent sexual violence in conflict. (Continued at the source.)