S. Africa: Actress Angelina Jolie joins African Union summit

Angelina Jolie-Pitt, Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma
Hollywood actress and UN envoy on refugee issues, Angelina Jolie-Pitt, right, attends a discussion ahead of this weekends AU Summit in Johannesburg, Friday, June 12, 2015. Jolie-Pitt highlighted the fact that sexual crimes against women are becoming the weapon of choice for armed groups all over the world because these often happen without punishment. On left is African Union chairperson Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma. (AP Photo/Shiraaz Mohamed)

JOHANNESBURG (AP) — Appearing at an African Union summit in South Africa on Friday, actress Angelina Jolie, who is also a United Nations special envoy on refugee issues, spoke about rape as a weapon of warfare and asked African representatives to support women’s rights.

Jolie had been invited to speak on women and conflict. She shared a panel with the African Union Commission Chairwoman Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, former British Foreign Secretary William Hague and other prominent delegates.

“Progress is slow, it is uneven, it is fragile and in some parts of the world it is being erased,” Jolie said.

“Think what it would mean if the 54 nations of the African Union press as one toward full rights and opportunities for women, not just for this great continent but for the world,” she said.

As co-founders of the Preventing Sexual Violence Initiative, Jolie and Hague met with South African rights groups on Thursday to discuss strategies to prevent sexual violence. South Africa has a high rate of rape and violence against women.


This story has been corrected to show the accurate spelling of Angelina Jolie.

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