Hollywood actress-director Angelina Jolie has opened Europe’s first academic centre to combat the brutality faced by women in warzones. Jolie, a special envoy for the UN high commissioner for refugees (UNHCR), has just returned from northern Iraq, where she met some of the millions of refugees forced to flee from their homes due to Islamic State (Isis) violence, reported Guardian online.
The 39-year-old mother of six said students of the centre on women, peace and security at the London School of Economics (LSE) had the chance to change the world. “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-year-old, but instead of going to school, she sits on the floor in a makeshift tent,” she said.
The girl was captured by Isis as a slave, and repeatedly raped, Jolie said. “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 LSE is for that Iraqi girl and others like her,” she added.
The new centre will work to achieve the aims of the Preventing Sexual Violence Initiative (PVSI), which Jolie and the former UK foreign secretary William Haigh co-founded back in 2012.