South Africa: Jolie calls for united campaign against gender violence

Johannesburg, South Africa (PANA) – Actress and humanitarian Angelina Jolie has urged African leaders to join a global campaign to fight the scourge of violence against women on the continent.

Addressing a forum on the fringes of the AU Summit in Sandton, Johannesburg, she warned that the “near total impunity” continues to hamper efforts to address the problem.

The theme of the Summit is the ‘Year of Women Empowerment and Development’.

She described acts of sexual violence like rape as “a weapon of choice” in many of Africa’s trouble-spots. “Violence against women is still treated as a lesser crime,” said Jolie, who is a special envoy of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees.

She added that while it is a global problem, “few places have suffered as much as Africa”.

Jolie was invited to the event by AU Commission head Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma.

The host nation is home to high levels of violence against its women and children, despite a globally respected Constitution and a legislative overhaul that safeguards women's and children's rights.

The government recently established a National Council against Gender Based Violence as well as an inter-ministerial committee to look into the root causes of violence against women and children in the country.

-0- PANA CU/AR 13June2015

13 june 2015 09:18:55

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