Angelina Jolie has the power to change the world

Some might say she's just another Hollywood superstar, but Jolie knows how to use her celebrity to fight injustice around the world


More than 300 senior government ministers from around the globe have arrived in London for the Global Summit to End Sexual Violence, which starts today and goes on for three days at the ExCel centre.

This important and serious event is being headed, quite understandably, by the Foreign Secretary William Hague. Alongside the film star Angelina Jolie. Which is also understandable.

Why, people will carp. She’s not a politician. Is Jolie being given centre stage because she is famous, and beautiful, and has an equally famous and beautiful husband, people will carp.

Well, yes, partially. And is it also because has had a double mastectomy, and has adopted a whole bunch of children, and has given them crazy names?

And is it because she goes on red carpets with, ooh, split skirts, and wears high heels and breathes the privileged hyper-oxygenated air of a full-on, 100 per cent celebrity? Yes, it is. Get over it.

Like it or not, we have a compulsive urge to look at the famous and beautiful. We simply cannot help it. It is as ingrained in our nature as it is to coo over a baby. And the presence of Jolie at this crucial event, which aims to unpick the ruinous appendage of sexual violence in conflict zones, will make the unpleasant topic front-page news.

We know there’s every likelihood that the beautiful face of Angelina Jolie will be on the front of most newspapers, tabloid and broadsheet, in the next few days. With those eyes and those cheekbones and that aristocratic Hollywood bearing? Are you kidding?

Is this a good thing? Undoubtedly. For Jolie is not only beautiful, she is smart. She knows that she will be followed by the paparazzi anyway. Why not use that power in order to advertise something more worthwhile than, say, a Prada bag? Or the opening of a movie?

This is not to say that Prada and cinema – or even the Duchess of Cambridge’s beloved nude LK Bennett shoes - are mindless commodities per se. They are not.

But shoes and bags and even Alexander McQueen coats are not issues which deserve front-page attention, for their existence does not destroy lives and communities.

Jolie and Hague wish to create “irreversible momentum” against rape in conflict, and practical action to help those who are suffering it. Good for them. Good for Hague to see that pulling together with somebody of Jolie’s wattage is a smart move, and good for Jolie to have chosen to publicise this important cause.

React Now

  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Ashdown Group: Marketing Manager (B2B) - Romford - £40,000 + car

£35000 - £40000 per annum + car and benefits: Ashdown Group: Marketing Manager...

Ashdown Group: Helpdesk Analyst - Devon - £20,000

£18000 - £20000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Helpdesk Analyst - Devon - £20,000 ...

Ashdown Group: Data Scientist - London - £50,000 + bonus

£35000 - £50000 per annum + generous bonus: Ashdown Group: Business Analytics ...

Ashdown Group: IT Project Coordinator (Software Development) - Kingston

£45000 - £50000 per annum: Ashdown Group: IT Project Coordinator (Software Dev...

Day In a Page

Read Next
File: David Cameron offers a toast during a State Dinner in his honour March 14, 2012  

Vote Tory and you’re voting for the rich to get richer and the poor to get poorer

Mark Steel

If I were Prime Minister: I'd end the war on drugs

Patrick Hennessey
General Election 2015: ‘We will not sit down with Nicola Sturgeon’, says Ed Balls

'We will not sit down with Nicola Sturgeon'

In an exclusive interview, Ed Balls says he won't negotiate his first Budget with SNP MPs - even if Labour need their votes to secure its passage
VE Day 70th anniversary: How ordinary Britons celebrated the end of war in Europe

How ordinary Britons celebrated VE Day

Our perception of VE Day usually involves crowds of giddy Britons casting off the shackles of war with gay abandon. The truth was more nuanced
They came in with William Caxton's printing press, but typefaces still matter in the digital age

Typefaces still matter in the digital age

A new typeface once took years to create, now thousands are available at the click of a drop-down menu. So why do most of us still rely on the old classics, asks Meg Carter?
Discovery of 'missing link' between the two main life-forms on Earth could explain evolution of animals, say scientists

'Missing link' between Earth's two life-forms found

New microbial species tells us something about our dark past, say scientists
The Pan Am Experience is a 'flight' back to the 1970s that never takes off - at least, not literally

Pan Am Experience: A 'flight' back to the 70s

Tim Walker checks in and checks out a four-hour journey with a difference
Humans aren't alone in indulging in politics - it's everywhere in the animal world

Humans aren't alone in indulging in politics

Voting, mutual back-scratching, coups and charismatic leaders - it's everywhere in the animal world
Ronald McDonald the muse? Why Banksy, Ron English and Keith Coventry are lovin' Maccy D's

Ronald McDonald the muse

A new wave of artists is taking inspiration from the fast food chain
13 best picnic blankets

13 best picnic blankets

Dine al fresco without the grass stains and damp bottoms with something from our pick of picnic rugs
General Election 2015: Ed Miliband's unlikely journey from hapless geek to heart-throb

Miliband's unlikely journey from hapless geek to heart-throb

He was meant to be Labour's biggest handicap - but has become almost an asset
General Election 2015: A guide to the smaller parties, from the the National Health Action Party to the Church of the Militant Elvis Party

On the margins

From Militant Elvis to Women's Equality: a guide to the underdogs standing in the election
Amr Darrag: Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister in exile still believes Egypt's military regime can be replaced with 'moderate' Islamic rule

'This is the battle of young Egypt for the future of our country'

Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister Amr Darrag still believes the opposition can rid Egypt of its military regime and replace it with 'moderate' Islamic rule, he tells Robert Fisk
Why patients must rely less on doctors: Improving our own health is the 'blockbuster drug of the century'

Why patients must rely less on doctors

Improving our own health is the 'blockbuster drug of the century'
Sarah Lucas is the perfect artist to represent Britain at the Venice Biennale

Flesh in Venice

Sarah Lucas has filled the British pavilion at the Venice Biennale with slinky cats and casts of her female friends' private parts. It makes you proud to be a woman, says Karen Wright
11 best anti-ageing day creams

11 best anti-ageing day creams

Slow down the ageing process with one of these high-performance, hardworking anti-agers
Juventus 2 Real Madrid 1: Five things we learnt, including Iker Casillas is past it and Carlos Tevez remains effective

Juventus vs Real Madrid

Five things we learnt from the Italian's Champions League first leg win over the Spanish giants