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Actress, UN ambassador and now Professor Jolie Pitt

Hollywood star Angelina Jolie Pitt is to join the London School of Economics (LSE) for a new masters program. The Women, Peace and Security course is the first of its kind globally.

The LSE, one of Britain’s most prestigious universities, announced that Jolie will join the program as a visiting professor when its starts next year.

The idea was launched last year by Jolie Pitt and Britain’s former foreign minister, Lord William Hague, who will also be a visiting professor along with two other experts in the field.

They will give guest lectures, and participate in workshops and public events as well as their own work, LSE said.

“It is vital that we broaden the discussion on how to advance women’s rights and end impunity for crimes that disproportionately affect women, such as sexual violence in conflict,” Jolie Pitt, a special envoy for the United Nations refugee agency (UNHCR), said in a statement.

“I am looking forward to teaching and to learning from the students, as well as to sharing my own experiences of working alongside governments and the United Nations.”

William HagueEx-British minister William Hague is also a guest professor

Innovative education

Jolie Pitt said she hoped other academic institutions would follow the example of the course, which will begin accepting applications in August.

The Oscar-winning actress and Hague have become an unlikely double-act on campaigning to end sexual violence against women in conflict.

The pair co-founded the Preventing Sexual Violence in Conflict Initiative in 2012 to rally global action on such crimes, increase the numbers of perpetrators brought to justice and ensure better support for survivors. Two years ago, they hosted a summit against rape in war zones.

Hague said the new course would help to underpin their work by developing research to help tackle the culture of impunity.

The two other new visiting professors are Jane Connors, Director of International Advocacy at Amnesty International Geneva, and Madeleine Rees, Secretary General of the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom.

Recently, Jolie Pitt has also been outspoken on the response by some countries to the current migrant crisis, as part of her UN role.

mm/kms (AP, AFP, Reuters)

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