Angelina Jolie's powerful speech about ending sexual violence against women across the globe

Angelina Jolie has spoken passionately of the need to end sexual violence against women across the globe.

Speaking at the African Union summit in Johannesburg this week, the special envoy to UNHCR said any solution must be "designed by women, focused on women, executed by women".

There is a global epidemic of violence against women – both within conflict zones and within societies at peace – and it is still treated as a lesser crime and lower priority.

Women and girls are bearing the brunt of extremists that revel in treating them barbarically. This is inextricably linked to our overall failure to prevent and end conflicts worldwide, which is causing human suffering on an unprecedented level.

The theme of this year's summit was the "Year of Women’s Empowerment and Development", and Jolie addressed assembled leaders on her experiences of meeting victims of sexual violence: "They are some of the most formidable and impressive people I have ever met and they deserve better than to be left alone to suffer."

She rounded off her speech by laying out plans for how the issue should be tackled:

We need policies for long-term security that are designed by women, focused on women, executed by women—not at the expense of men, or instead of men, but alongside and with men.

There is no greater pillar of stability than a strong, free and educated woman, and there is no more inspiring role model than a man who respects and cherishes women and champions their leadership.

Hear hear.

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