London: Actress-director Angelina Jolie has joined forces with Britain’s former foreign secretary William Hague to open a centre to help combat war-zone violence against women.
Jolie and Hague joined forces to announce the new academic centre, titled the Centre on Women, Peace and Security, at the London School of Economics Tuesday, reports femalefirst.co.uk.
The “Unbroken” director, who recently returned from Iraq, where she met some of the refugees left homeless in their millions following the Islamic State violence, said: “I am excited at the thought of all the students in years to come who will study in this new centre.
“There is no stable future for a world in which crimes committed against women go unpunished. We need the next generation of educated youth with inquisitive minds and fresh energy, who are willing not only to sit in the classroom but to go out into the field and the courtrooms and to make a decisive difference.”
The Centre aims to educate people and raise awareness about the horrific acts which women suffer in war-zones and hopes to end exemption from punishment for those who commit rape and sexual violence in war.
Jolie, who has six children — Maddox, 13, Pax, 11, Zahara, 10, Shiloh, eight, and six-year-old twins Vivienne and Knox — with husband Brad Pitt, also spoke about the importance of the Centre for people such as an Iraqi girl, who was a victim of sexual violence.
She said: “If you were to ask me who I think this Centre is for, I picture someone who is not in this room today. 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. “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 London School of Economics is for that Iraqi girl and others like her.”
Hague, who has worked with Jolie to fight this cause for the past three years, read out messages of support from likely US presidential election candidate Hillary Clinton and revealed that the British government will be providing 1 million pounds for the facility.
“Crimes against women have been accorded a lesser priority throughout history. Sexual violence in conflict involves the deliberate targeting of women and children and men, in ways that often simply defy the power of description,” he said.