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Angelina Jolie Urges Women to Embrace Their Value Despite Gender Inequality ‘Holding Us Back’

Girl power! Angelina Jolie wants women to feel empowered despite the challenges of gender inequality in society.

Related: Angelina Jolie Through the Years

The Maleficent star, 45, joined former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright and Morning Joe host Mika Brzezinski on Wednesday, July 8, for a conversation with the National Democratic Institute about how women perceive themselves.

“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?” Jolie asked. “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?

Angelina Jolie Urges Women to Embrace Their Value
Mika Brzezinski, Madeleine Albright, and Angelina Jolie Courtesy of National Democratic Institute/Twitter

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

The Tourist actress is not only an advocate for women’s rights but has shown her support for racial justice. Jolie donated $200,000 to the NAACP Legal Defense Fund ahead of her birthday in June.

Related: Stars Donate to Support the Black Lives Matter Movement

She told Harper’s Bazaar U.K. at the time that the coronavirus pandemic and the Black Lives Matter movement made her take a hard look at the structure of the United States.

Angelina Jolie Urges Women to Embrace Their Value
Angelina Jolie Marco Provvisionato/IPA/Shutterstock

“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 said. “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.”

Related: Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie: A Timeline of Their Relationship

Later that month, the Oscar winner shared that she also had her kids in mind when she split from her ex-husband Brad Pitt. The former couple share children Maddox, 18, Pax, 16, Zahara, 15, Shiloh, 12, and twins Knox and Vivienne, 11.

“I separated for the well-being of my family,” Jolie explained to Vogue. “It was the right decision. I continue to focus on their healing. Some have taken advantage of my silence, and the children see lies about themselves in the media, but I remind them that they know their own truth and their own minds.”

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