Oscar-winning actress Angelina Jolie spoke about war zone rape to the members of the United Nations Security Council. The actress urged the members of the organization’s highest council to adopt a resolution “that rape can exacerbate conflicts and get in the way of peace.”
Jolie, who is known for using her celebrity for good causes, testified as a special envoy for refugees.
“You set the bar,” Jolie urged. “If the … council sets rape and sexual violence in conflict as a priority it will become one and progress will be made. If you do not, this horror will continue.”
She told the Security Council that hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of women, children and men have been raped in conflicts in our lifetime, according to the Associated Press.
“Young girls raped and impregnated before their bodies are able to carry a child, causing fistula,” she said. “Boys held at gunpoint and forced to sexually assault their mothers and sisters. Women raped with bottles, wood branches and knives to cause as much damage as possible. Toddlers and even babies dragged from their homes, and violated. They suffer the most at the hands of their rapists, but they are also victims of this culture of impunity. This is a sad upsetting and indeed shameful reality.”
“…The world has yet to take up war-zone rape as a serious priority … These crimes happen not become they are inherent to war, but because the global climate allows it.”
Later that day the UN Security Council voted to adopt a “legally binding resolution demanding the complete and immediate cessation of all acts of sexual violence by all parties to armed conflict.”
This is the broadest resolution adopted by the council on the topic of sexual violence in conflict, according to the Associated Press.
Follow Mary Ann Georgantopoulos on Twitter @marygeorgant