As a special envoy for the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, Angelina Jolie has been a devoted advocate for women and children. The Hollywood superstar has spent the last 18 years working with the UN’s Refugee Agency, and today marked her first address in front of UN Defense Peacekeeping Ministerial in New York. There to speak about the importance of involving women in the decision making process, Jolie went for pieces that wouldn’t overshadow her words. A tan trench by Ryan Roche layered over a black pencil skirt and silk blouse proved the right choice. She finished off the look with a Valentino purse and tan heels. The overall effect was elegant and all business at the same time.
Jolie’s speech highlighted the global necessity for gender equality, particularly in areas facing conflict. Despite the fact that women represent more than half the refugee population and are the victims of gender-based violence during war, they continue to be excluded from the peacemaking process. Jolie urged the United Nations to rectify that disparity, citing numerous examples of what happens when women take the lead. “If we went by the principle that those affected by a problem should be in charge of determining the solution, then the majority of the world’s peace negotiators, foreign ministers, and diplomats would be women,” she explained. “There can be no peace and stability in Afghanistan or anywhere else in the world that involves trading away the rights of women.”
Roche’s designs have long been a favorite of Jolie and the aesthetic, a combination of femininity and power, underscored the message of Jolie’s address. In other words, you don’t have to wear a business suit to command attention or adopt the codes of masculinity to be respected on the world stage.
Jolie ended her speech on an urgent, forward-thinking note. “Think of how much more could achieve with women’s equal participation in all aspects of society.” Well said.