Angelina Jolie joins forces with the Coalition Government

William Hague announced a new initiative last night  –  a UK task force of experts is to be created to go into conflict zones to get the evidence to enable prosecutions against those who perpetrate sexual violence and rape as a weapon of war.

As Minister for tackling Violence against women and girls overseas I am proud of this commitment by us as a government to tackle this most horrendous of crimes. It is hugely important in substance, because experts will now collect evidence in conflict zones to enable prosecutions to be successfully brought to end the dreadful impunity that has protected war criminals from facing the consequences of their actions.

The Government will also use the UK presidency of the G8 next year to promote practical ways of tackling sexual violence in war zones.

Sexual violence and rape as a weapon of war are of such a scale as to be virtually unbelievable. United Nations statistics show that worldwide one in five women will become a victim of rape or attempted rape in her lifetime.

Angelina Jolie’s film ‘In the land of blood and honey’ tells the story of the indiscriminate rape of Croats and Muslims during the Bosnia War in the most powerful way.  The film was screened at the Foreign Office with an invited audience of those who work in this field – and Angelina herself was there to introduce and talk about her work.

I was able to meet Ms Jolie together with the Foreign Secretary, the Defence Secretary, Alan Duncan and Jeremy Browne for a discussion on our new initiative and her work in tackling sexual violence.

She is an extremely intelligent and articulate woman – and has thankfully shone a brilliant light into a very very dark corner. I hope many many people go and see her hugely powerful film.



29 thoughts on “Angelina Jolie joins forces with the Coalition Government

  1. No acknowledgement or hint of the vast number of rapes against men in a number of African conflicts such as the DRC. It’s just women, every time with you Lynne isn’t it? I realise you can attempt to justify your hatred of men by hiding behind your sexist job title, but you almost always go the extra mile don’t you?

    The number of significant posts on this blog insisting on equality for men can be counted on one hand. You don’t belong in the Lib Dems. Go join a sexist political party.

  2. @Harriet Harms Man: Just a thought, but perhaps the frequency with which you insult others gets in the way of persuading people to agree with you?

  3. Hi Mark, good to communicate with a senior Lib Dem. I’ve been posting here for years and had plenty of hope that Lynne might be an honest and fair politician at the start.

    Yes my comments have become more biting over time, but only after Lynne has repeatedly proved herself to be sexist against men and/or incompetent and refused to apologise after each occurrence. I certainly haven’t insulted anyone only stated the facts. There is overwhelming proof that Lynne is sexist and I genuinely feel she belongs in the Labour Party where that sort of thing is almost compulsory.

    I just tell it as it is. You’re average Lib Dem would never be so sexist as to support all women short-lists as Lynne does. A decent Lib Dem would never go to conference and blame all the world’s problems on men. They wouldn’t promote rape hysteria and waste Parliament’s time by asking questions about non existent date rape drugs (has she even heard of Google?). It was Lib Dem grass-roots and their concern for fairness and civil liberties who pushed for anonymity of those accused of rape, but Lynne obviously hated the idea of women not being able to ruin men’s lives.

    Lynne is the most sexist Lib Dem in Parliament. That is a fact and no one else even comes close. It’s generally a great party for promoting gender equality for everyone and I’m disgusted that the very worst candidate possible got an equalities role.

    For ore proof just read this blog? It’s been going for years with the majority of posting concerning equality issues yet next to no decent posts about equality for men or even boys. That’s a disgrace for someone in Lynne’s position.

  4. Today’s news featuring the recruitment or Jolie EXPLICITLY mentions male rape victims in Syria. Why the silence Lynne? The situation in the west is little different – a report out this week actually shows more male rape victims than female, but lets all be sexist like Lynne and pretend it’s only a women’s issue.

    To be fair we don’t’ have much to shout about in the UK. Our laws are so outdated and medieval that we STILL haven’t corrected the narrow definition of rape to include female rapists. Anytime as woman rapes a man its simply the lesser offence of sexual assault.

    When are you going to fix this disgraceful situation?

  5. Let’s just ignore the usual misogynistic response from Harriet.

    That said I wonder whether Ms Jolie considers herself to have “joined forces” with the coalition government? Apart from joining forces being a crassly insensitive and warlike phrase to describe her meeting with you she may well be watching Mr Hunt at Leveson at the moment and form her own view of this coalition. Failing that she may have read about what Andy Coulsen is accused of doing whilst actually working for your beloved Dave. And again failing even that maybe she would like to volunteer for jury service for the hugely awaited Rebecca Brooks trial.

    And better still than all this it would be great if you actually arranged to go into the conflict zones or even had some ideas how to do something about the organised rape and slaughter that is going on in Syria whilst it is actually happening under our noses, rather that this self-aggrandising propaganda posting concerning what you will do when everyone is dead.

  6. And transsexual women can be just as raped as a natal woman but this is not treated as rape if the victim does not possess a gender recognition certificate.
    The victim can also be stopped from attending a rape counselling session if the person in charge considers that others attending might be transphobic.

  7. Harriet,

    You have missed a great opportunity to discuss the negative stereotypes that are born out of presenting women only as the victims of sexual and gender-based violence; that until recently, the UN refused to treat/acknowledge male victims of rape in the DRC; that the biggest problem facing accountability and impunity is not a lack of evidence; that, whilst tragic, rape is not the be all and end all of peacebuilding in conflict-afflicted states; or that, while it’s great that celebrities wish to become engaged, there is a latent presumption in the west that this problem is best solved by white folks with guns/clipboards/fame!

    All your post(s) served to achieve was to selfishly undermine these infinitely more important points with your own conceited search for attention. Kudos! *claps slowly*

  8. So standing up for male rape vicitms and insisting our government does the same is misogynistic is it Adam? That’s certainly an interesting use of the term.

    Lynne is the one who made the sexist post ignoring men, and she gets paid to do so! You really do have a very upside-down view of the world.

  9. Harriet I am afraid that your whole standpoint on everything seems borne out of a basic misogyny that comes over time and again when you post.

    You appear just to dislike women, especially when they have the temerity to raise issues that impinge mainly on women. It is utterly preposterous to suggest that male rape is an issue of anything like the same frequency as female rape. It doesn’t mean it doesn’t happen. It doesn’t mean it isn’t devastating. But time and again you hone in on some putative unfairness and slight aimed at men and you do it to the exclusion of everything else.

    As for my upside down world view, well at least I am on the right planet.

  10. “It is utterly preposterous to suggest that male rape is an issue of anything like the same frequency as female rape.”

    “t is utterly preposterous to suggest that male rape is an issue of anything like the same frequency as female rape.”

    Well the figures in DRC aren’t far off, and male rape in the states is massive too so I guess the truth is preposterous to you.

    The fact is that millions of men and women are raped but Lynne choose to ignore one set of these victims simply because of their gender. I’d have been happy if Lynne had just acknowledged male vicitms once in the article but she didn’t bother as occurs with every issue she touches.

    Also, male rape seems particularly high in many war zones, which is of course the topic at hand therefore making my criticisms here entirely justified and again proving Lynne’s sexism.

    Anyway, my apologies for standing up for all rape vicitms.

  11. Adam,

    Agree with most of your points but, depending on the conflict in question, male rape is in fact as big of a problem as female rape. Frankly the focus on SGBV, while important, shouldn’t divert attention away from fixing the structural causes of conflict. In the same vein, celebrities have a moral responsibility not to make these single issues their pet projects at the cost of a more holistic approach.

  12. “You appear just to dislike women, especially when they have the temerity to raise issues that impinge mainly on women.”

    Nonsense. I want these issues to be raised but for all victims to be helped and acknowledged. Given you constant false smears on my character I challenge you to find a single sexist comment on this site by myself or retract your false allegation. I’ve proved Lynne’s sexism with numerous examples so you should do the same with others or stop making wild accusations that you can’t back up with any evidence.

  13. Where are the links to legitimate statistical sources supporting Harriet Harms allegations. I have a feeling that this poster has very little compassion for the victims of rape of either gender. To try and diminish the moral repugnancy of rape against women with an obviously a homophobic strawman argument is reprehensible at best.
    Such fallacious argumentation harms harriet and, far more importantly, the cause of justice for victims of rape, either female or male….

    Oh and just in case you missed it, rape is an act of violence and hatred. Men who rape women hate women. Men who rape men hate gays. They are not typically gay themselves.

  14. Jennifer,

    For a raft of reasons the area is grossly under-researched however, in answer to your question, see a couple of quick links below:

    1. A 2010 survey, published by the Journal of the American Medical Association, found that 22% of men and 30% of women in Eastern Congo reported conflict-related sexual violence: Johnson, Kirsten et al. ‘Association of Sexual Violence and Human Rights Violations with Physical and Mental Health in Territories of the Eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo’, Journal of American Medical Association, 304, 5, 2010, p. 553.

    2. Laura Stemple is one of the few academics to have engaged with the subject of male rape. In her work, ‘Male Rape and Human Rights’, which dates back to conflicts in the 1980s, she notes that male rape has occurred on a large scale in war zones from El Salvador to Sarajevo. At the time of writing, she estimated that of over 4,000 NGOs writing about SGBV, only 3% of them mentioned male rape. Stemple, Laura. ‘Male Rape and Human Rights’, Hastings Law Journal, 60, 605, 2009, pp. 612.

    Harriet’s claims about sexism are patently ridiculous, but I won’t have her warped view undermine a more important debate about the way in which SGBV stifles development!

  15. @william
    thank you for the information. What exactly does the acronym SGBV stand for? Is the initiative to combat sexual violence and rape as a weapon of war exclusivley concerned with female victims? I see no indication that this is the case.

    I assume your interest is in bringing attention to the plight of the male victims of rape… well and good, but it is unfortunate if that effort is used by some here to detract from the suffering of the majority of (female) rape victims.
    I cannot even get my mind around the twisted thinking of Harriet Harms.

  16. What the hell? Defending all rape vicitms is homophobic? Well that’s a new one.

    If white rape vicitms in war zone outnumbered blacks by 30:22 ratio would it be acceptable to write an article implying it only happened to the former?

    And how the hell does demanding recognition of over 40% of the victims in DRC war zones “detract” from anything? DO we have to ignore every group of vicitms once it falls below 50%?? You’re even worse than Lynne!

    I’ve never come across as bad a case of people shooting the messenger as the comments below this thread. Blame Lynne for ignoring male vicitms, not me for calling her out on it.

  17. @Jennifer, SGBV = sexual and gender-based violence.

    The initiative to combat this, whilst not exclusively concerned with women, is heavily weighted towards them. This is problematic because policy-makers then only see women as victims and men as perpetrators. Objectively speaking, and as my links above indicate, this is far from the case. But, if this viewpoint goes unchallenged, bad policy follows.

    So consequentially, a lot of white folks with cash turn up in conflict-afflicted states where SGBV is high and decide to focus only on women. For example, when Hillary Clinton announces $44 million to implement UNSCR 1325, it is unlikely that any money will be put towards helping men, because the resolution focusses only on women.

    Finally, I would be concerned about anyone who advocates helping a ‘majority’ at the expense of a not insignificant minority. Thanks to Lynne and many others the rape of women in war has been moved up the agenda, but I see no reason why men, who are just as crucial to peace and stability, cannot be helped as well.
    Although the figures above are only a guide, it’s worth contemplating that while rape of women and girls is rarely reported, male rape is almost never reported.

  18. The thing is, Lynne, it basically looks like you want us to see a picture of you with Angelina Jolie and the issues come a poor second.

  19. @ Helen – LoL

    How true, the ego has well and truly landed!

    I think Lynne was saying; CAM we do it? yes we CAM!!!!!!!

  20. HHM,

    Keep going sir, however you are swimming against the cultural tide.

    Once you can ignore the obligatory shaming language it all gets easier on the blood pressure.

    Female rape is massively exagerated by the likes of Lynne Featherstone and Harriet Harmen for political gain by creating cultural misandry. The 1 in 5 figure has already been thoroughly debunked in the androsphere along with the gender pay gap.

    Don’t forget that as Hilary Clinton says that women are the primary victims of war lol. Don’t worry about the men losing their lives and limbs, they are expendable.

    Seeing that photograph of sycophants turns my stomach.

    A lot of women are unfortunately attracted to violent dominant men with dark triad traits, increasing the burden on society to fund womens poor choices isn’t sustainable long term.

  21. what an extraordinarily twisted and bizarre lot you are in your desire to demean Lynne’s efforts. Shame on you all!

  22. No one is demeaning anyone’s efforts, we’re simply exposing Lynne’s sexism. It’s great that she wants to help some rape victims and highlight their plight, it would just be nice if all the others got a look in too.

    Don’t try to twist what has occurred here. Lynne wrote an article ignoring a large chunk of rape victims in war zones. She specifically focused on a type of rape (i.e. in war zones) where there are very substantial number of male vicitms. If she wrote sensible and inclusive articles then there woudl be no need to expose her misandry.

    Lynne still hasn’t posted in here acknowledging the plight and extent of male vicitms in these areas and that says it all really.

  23. @harriet
    if you are so concerned about the male victims of rape why don’t do something about it instead of complaining about other people’s efforts to help female rape victims. It seems as if you post here just to whine, demean others and do nothing of any positive value to help the world. You are ridiculous in your vindictiveness.

  24. Well doing something about it would include alerting and educating anyone in government about the issue, particularly say those in the Equalities office who are responsible for tackling the issue.

    Another forum of valid activism would include taking on and shaming any of the the worst sexist bigots who have proven time and again they are against male equality. In particularly it would be good to target any such people with the most power and influence.

    By writing here and highlighting the problem I am achieving both of the above simultaneously.

  25. @ harriet
    you give yourself far too much credit and assume for yourself far more worth than is due. You think being a troll is a form of activism. No harriet, it isn’t. Your 5 minutes spent spouting your bile does nothing. Actually getting off your butt and being positive and doing something is of value. What you do is meaningless, meanspirited and makes the world worse not better.

  26. Imagine a society where men are as indifferent to the problems of women and girls as women are of the problems of men and boys.

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