Angelina Jolie launches Center to fight Violance Against Women 

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Feb.17: Actress Angelina Jolie and former UK foreign secretary William Hague joined forces to announce the new academic center called the Centre on Women, Peace and Security, at the London School of Economics (LSE) recently, targeting the abuse of women in war.

Jolie,also a special envoy for the United Nation’s high commissioner for refugees (UNHCR), who recently returned from Iraq, where she met millions of refugees left homeless due to Islamic State (Isis) violence said that she was excited at the thought of all the students in years to come who will study in this new center.

She said, “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. This also hopes to end exemption from punishment for those who commit rape and sexual violence in war.

Angelina also spoke about the importance of the center for people such as an Iraqi girl, she recently met, who was a victim of sexual violence, saying: ‘If you were to ask me who I think this center 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. She added, “To my mind, what we have begun today at LSE is for that Iraqi girl and others like her.”

Hague said that seeing sexual violence in conflict zones throughout his tenure as foreign secretary, and noted that although it was “a major factor in perpetuating conflict and holding back development” it was “hardly talked about by foreign ministers or even considered a security issue”. Hague noted that sexual violence was often seen as an inevitable part of war. Now the Centre will strive to do something about it by bringing about justice for its survivors, he added.

The new centre will work to achieve the aims of the Preventing Sexual Violence Initiative (PVSI), which Jolie and Haigh co-founded back in 2012.

The Oslo Times

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