Angelina Jolie is using her voice to help others once again, this time for women’s rights.
For Harper’s Bazaar’s 150th anniversary edition, the human rights activist penned an open letter from Namibia calling attention to the realities women face today.
“As a woman, for much of the 19th century in most Western countries, you couldn’t go to university, and entire professions, like medicine, science, and law, were closed to you,” she wrote. “You couldn’t vote and wouldn’t win that right in many countries for more than half a century.”
She added, “I imagine that if that reader of Bazaar could see us now, she would be astonished.”
Noting that inequality still exists for millions of women around the world, the 42-year-old actress said, “I read recently that the World Economic Forum predicted that it will take 83 years for the gaps in rights and opportunities between women and men to close in all countries.
“This is not about progress for women at the expense of men, but about finding an equal balance that benefits everyone. Eighty-three years seems far longer than anyone, man or woman, would ever hope for or imagine.”
This is not about progress for women at the expense of men, but about finding an equal balance that benefits everyone.
Jolie also called attention to the fact that a safe environment plays a big role when it comes to helping women advance.
“Women make up most of the world’s poor … When the environment is damaged — for example when fishing stocks are destroyed, wildlife is killed by poachers, or tropical forests are bulldozed — it deepens their poverty,” she explained. “Women’s education and health are the first things to suffer.”
“Each of us has the power to make an impact through our everyday choices,” she continued. “For instance, we can commit to never buying illegal wildlife products such as ivory and rhino horn. We can end the demand for wild animals as pets … What we do, each in our own small way, matters.”
Jolie’s open letter was published on International Day of the Girl on Oct. 11, a day used to not only highlight the challenges women and girls face, but also to empower them.
The 42-year-old mom has always been an outspoken humanitarian and that passion has shone through her work. Her latest produced feature “The Breadwinner,” for instance, tells the story of a young Afghan girl who disguises herself as a boy to support her family during a time when women were forbidden to work and receive education.
And her latest directorial effort, “First They Killed My Father,” sheds light on the Cambodian genocide, where millions of people died in the 1970s.
This behaviour towards women in any field, any country is unacceptable.
Most recently, Jolie also spoke out about the sexual assault allegations against Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein.
“I had a bad experience with Harvey Weinstein in my youth, and as a result, chose never to work with him again and warn others when they did,” the actress told The New York Times via email. “This behaviour towards women in any field, any country is unacceptable.”
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