Appearing at an African Union summit in South Africa on Friday, Angelina Jolie spoke out against rape as a weapon of war and urged African representatives to support women’s rights.
Jolie, a United Nations special envoy on refugee issues, 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.
Jolie was made an honorary dame by Queen Elizabeth II in October in recognition of her efforts against sexual violence in war zones.
Jolie, who was dressed simply, in a fitted charcoal-grey long dress, her hair pulled back tight from her face, found time to pose for selfies.