Angelina Jolie is an Oscar-winning actress, humanitarian, Special Envoy of the High Commissioner for Refugees, and an outspoken champion of women’s rights. In her recent chat with the former Secretary of State, the Hollywood actress addressed the need for women empowerment, highlight the “wrongs” in our society and how a woman’s potential can be unlocked by allowing her to know her value. 

In her discussion with former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, for the National Democratic Institute, moderated by Mika Brzezinski, Jolie talked at length about all the societal obligations and factors that are becoming hurdles in the path of a woman aiming for success. 

Albright began the conversation by addressing the positive effect of empowering women around the world, which is evident via "women that are able to make a political difference by running for office" and "being part of the decision-making mechanism."

When Brzezinski contributed by sharing how women tend to achieve exceptional results when they are aware of their value, Jolie chimed in to address the thought as well. 

"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.' "

This is not the first time that Angelina Jolie has spoken about the state of women in America. In a chat with Harper's Bazaar UK in June 2020, she reflected upon how "this pandemic and this moment in America has made me rethink the needs and suffering within my own country."

"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 explained. "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."

Angelina Jolie Angelina Jolie speaking at the 2019 San Diego Comic Con International for "The Eternals" at the San Diego Convention Center in San Diego, California. Gage Skidmore/Flickr