Filmmaker and activist, Angelina Jolie, delivered her first lecture at London School of Economics on Tuesday, March 14, 2017. Jolie accepted a position as a visiting professor. She, along with three others, will teach a course called Women, Peace, and Security. The first class begins in September.
The activist’s lecture on Tuesday morning was to a select group of graduate students at the Centre for Women, Peace, and Security. Jolie spoke of her work in refugee camps, for women’s rights, and against sexual violence. She eloquently drew conclusions between her subjects and made the connection that field work and policy must support each other.
The subject will be a first in the graduate program. LSE hopes, with this course of study, “to develop strategies to promote gender equality and enhance women’s economic, social, and political participation,” according to the school’s website.
Jolie has been advocating for the rights of women in times of war since the filming of her movie “Land of Blood and Honey,” which depicts the Bosnian War — a war in which soldiers raped an estimated 20,000 women. In 2012, she became a UN Special Envoy for the rights of refugees, making her an invaluable resource to students with the chance to learn from her.
Of course, it is possible students may not get much face time with the world renowned activist as she’ll continue her humanitarian, acting, mothering, and filmmaking work. Jolie will lecture when she has time; at least once a year, for every year of her contract. She will be one of four visiting lecturers participating in the course. William Hague, Jane Connors, and Madeline Rees will also be giving lectures.
Wartime is a time of extreme insecurity and displacement for all people. Leaving the door wide open for various forms of crime. It is common that sexual violence is employed against women as a tactic of war and dismissed as a mere casualty of times of conflict. For instance, during the three months genocide in Rwanda in 1994, it is estimated that soldiers raped between 100,000 and 250,000 women.
When the conflict ends, the effects of sexual violence are still felt, including unwanted pregnancies, sexually transmitted infections and stigmatization. Researchers theorize that sexual crimes may continue or even increase in the aftermath of conflict, because of uncertainty brought on by war.
Jolie wrapped up her visiting lecturer duties and headed to Geneva, where she continued her humanitarian work. She will give the Annual Sergio Vieira de Mello Memorial Lecture at the United Nations Assembly Hall.
By Kristen Gray
Edited by The Editing Class
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