Angelina Jolie to teach at London School of Economics about women and security

Actor and UN special envoy, Angelina Jolie will be a visiting professor for a new masters course on women, peace and security and teach with Britain's former foreign secretary, William Hague.

REUTERS/Carl Court/pool
Actress and special envoy of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), Angelina Jolie, and British Foreign Secretary William Hague at a global summit to end sexual violence in conflict, in London June 10, 2014. The two will teach at the London School for Economics.

Hollywood actress Angelina Jolie is to join the London School of Economics (LSE) as a visiting professor on a new masters course on women, peace and security, the school announced on Monday.

The LSE said the course, which starts next year, is the first of its kind globally and will be run by the LSE Centre for Women, Peace and Security which was launched last year by Jolie and Britain's former foreign secretary, William Hague.

"It is vital that we broaden the discussion on how to advance women's rights and end impunity for crimes that disproportionately affect women, such as sexual violence in conflict," Jolie, a special envoy for the U.N. refugee agency (UNHCR), said in a statement. 

In her role as Special Envoy, the UNHCR says:

Jolie Pitt focuses on major crises that result in mass population displacements, undertaking advocacy and representing UNHCR and the High Commissioner at the diplomatic level. She also engages with decision-makers on global displacement issues. Through this work, she has helped contribute to the vital process of finding solutions for people forced to flee their homes.

Jolie Pitt has previously represented the UNHCR as a Goodwill Ambassador from 2001-2012.

"I am looking forward to teaching and to learning from the students, as well as to sharing my own experiences of working alongside governments and the United Nations."

Hague will also be joining LSE as a visiting professor.

The Oscar-winning actress and Hague have become an unlikely double-act on campaigning to end sexual violence against women in conflict.

The partnership was sparked by Jolie's 2011 directorial debut "In the Land of Blood and Honey" that was set against the backdrop of the 1992-95 Bosnian war in which an estimated 20,000 women were believed to have been raped.

The pair co-founded the Preventing Sexual Violence in Conflict Initiative in 2012 to rally global action on such crimes, increase the numbers of perpetrators brought to justice and ensure better support for survivors.

They co-hosted the first global conference on the issue in London in 2014.

Hague said the new course would help underpin their work by developing research to help tackle the culture of impunity.

There are other efforts to combat this scourge. Swedish journalist and author Karin Alfredsson, for example, is behind a global initiative aimed at focusing attention on a worldwide epidemic of violence against women. Her project is called, Cause of Death: Woman

The Christian Science Monitor reports that Alfredsson or members of her team have visited at least 10 countries –US, South Africa, Egypt, Sweden, Pakistan, Mexico, Brazil, Congo, Spain and Russia – to document what they call the "violent reality" for women and to highlight ways to end it.

(Editing by Belinda Goldsmith)

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