The actress recently participated in a discussion with Madeleine Albright for the National Democratic Institute

By Ashley Boucher
July 08, 2020 08:00 PM
Madeleine Albright, Angelina Jolie

Angelina Jolie says that letting women know their value is a key to unlocking potential.

During a discussion with former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright moderated by Mika Brzezinski for the National Democratic Institute, Jolie said that there are many societal factors holding women back.

During a portion of the conversation shared by NDI on Twitter Wednesday, Albright said a profound result of empowering women around that world is "women that are able to make a political difference by running for office" and "being part of the decision-making mechanism."

Brzezinski added that it's "amazing" to see what can happen when women are told of their value — something that inspired Jolie to chime in.

"Women contribute so much, they are giving, are nurturing by nature, are community-building by nature, are strong, are intelligent, and yet what is it that's holding us back?" the actress, 45, said. "I think when you speak of value, that's something to really sit with. Why is it that so many women still don't know their own value?"

"What is it that's been done to us, whether it be the rapes and the lack of accountability for the rape, whether it be domestic violence, whether it be ... this question where we still, we still are saying, 'Please stop hurting me,' and 'Please hold someone to account if they hurt me.' "

Jolie has been outspoken during the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic about issues like child abuse and poverty in the United States, writing an op-ed about vulnerable children and joining in a Zoom call led by No Kid Hungry to advocate for an end to child hunger.

Last month, the humanitarian told Harper's Bazaar UK that "this pandemic and this moment in America has made me rethink the needs and suffering within my own country."

Angelina Jolie

"A system that protects me but might not protect my daughter – or any other man, woman or child in our country based on skin color – is intolerable," Jolie told the magazine. "We need to progress beyond sympathy and good intentions to laws and policies that actually address structural racism and impunity. Ending abuses in policing is just the start. It goes far beyond that, to all aspects of society, from our education system to our politics."

The Oscar winner donated $200,000 to the NAACP Legal Defense Fund ahead of her birthday, saying in a statement, "Rights don’t belong to any one group to give to another. Discrimination and impunity cannot be tolerated, explained away or justified. I hope we can come together as Americans to address the deep structural wrongs in our society."