Angelina Jolie already has humanitarian street cred, but this week marks a new venture in the actress' do-gooder career. On Tuesday, Jolie teamed up with British Foreign Secretary William Hague for the first Global Summit to End Sexual Violence in Conflict. After two years of collaboration and planning, Jolie and Hague are finally seeing the conference come to fruition in the form of a four-day summit in London.
The goal of the project is to create a set of international legal standards for prosecuting rape and ending the "culture of impunity" that allows it. On the heels of the UCSB attacks and subsequent #YesAllWomen movement, there's truly no better time to tackle the problem of using violence against women as a form of oppression. It's no wonder, then, that the summit's associated social-media campaign is #TimeToAct.
Though sexual violence exists everywhere, Jolie and Hague's project is focusing more specifically on warring regions, where rape is often used as a battle tactic. TIME magazine cites, for example, the Democratic Republic of Congo, a country plagued with 20-plus years of ethic conflict, where 12% of females claim to have been raped at least once. And, it's impossible to forget the gang-rape victims in India.
This is the largest meeting to be held on the issue, according to AFP, featuring representatives from over 100 countries, including U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry. "Too many of the places I have visited as Secretary of State bear the scars of a time when rape was used as a tactic of oppression and intimidation," he wrote in an essay for the London Evening Standard.
It's inspiring to see more men involved in the women's rights movement, but what's most important, here, is that a woman is at the head of this summit. For too long, men have dictated the rules and regulations regarding women and our bodies. With Jolie at the helm, we expect great things from this historic meeting. (TIME)