Angelina Jolie Pitt Talks Refugees, Healthcare, Sexual Violence In Conflict, And Her Own Children

Angelina Jolie Pitt

Angelina Jolie Pitt was a guest editor on BBC4’s Women’s Hour recently where she gave a rare insight into her family life and her humanitarian causes.

The Inquisitr recently reported that Maleficent star and humanitarian Jolie Pitt would be a guest editor on Woman’s Hour Takeover Week 2016 on BBC4. As the final guest editor in the series, Angelina opened up on several subjects.

Speaking of refugees, Jolie Pitt explained that often a family’s stay in a refugee camp can last for up to 17 years.

As Special Envoy to the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, Jolie Pitt has spent a lot of time with refugees and was asked about how women in refugee camps deal with various aspects of life, such as common health conditions, for instance a bout of cystitis or a child who has asthma.

Angelina said: “I met a woman about two weeks ago whose child died of asthma. So, often there’s not much they can do about that.”

She went on to explain what it is like to be a refugee, saying to think about your life and who you are in your life, whether as a businesswoman, lawyer, a doctor, or a housewife and maybe one of your children has a health issue.

Listeners were asked to imagine the scenario. Suddenly, you are asked to pack just one bag, for you and your children, and leave everything you have, knowing you will never come back to your home.

She continued by saying you are no longer a businesswoman, or a lawyer, or a housewife, now you are “one of the many” and when you need to get that medicine for your child you are going to have to try hard to find “maybe a Red Cross tent and maybe they have the medicine.”

“Most likely the funds aren’t there, most likely you are going to have to raise the funds yourself,” while trying to survive in a camp with 500,000 other people with similar or worse problems and needs than yours.

She went on to describe how refugees no longer have a country, how their children are crying and cold and scared.

Angelina was then asked by the BBC interviewer what would happen when any of the women became pregnant and gave birth in a refugee camp, a situation which Jolie Pitt describes as “the worst possible situation.” Maybe the women will be lucky to have a midwife but they could also have complications that could easily be solved in a hospital but not in a refugee camp.

Jolie Pitt went on to say that she probably wouldn’t have made it this far if she were a refugee and went on to describe how she was once in a hospital in Namibia, and was giving birth to her own daughter and was in breech, a condition where the baby is facing feet-first instead of head-first.

“I went to a hospital in Namibia, where I was having my daughter, and I was in breech. I needed a C-section, and I knew I was in breech because I had had the money to have an ultrasound. But I found even the local hospital with many, many women – and this was a good hospital – did not have an ultrasound machine.”

If a good hospital doesn’t have the necessary equipment, Jolie Pitt went on to ask how refugees in a camp are supposed to manage. While there are many good people doing their best to help, it is never enough.

The BBC interviewer went on to ask Angelina about the lasting impact of sexual violence against women caught up in war zones and the further damage when rape is carried out by soldiers who were supposed to protect them.

Reportedly back in 2014 it came to light that UN Peacekeepers were responsible for violating women and girls and there have been further allegations this year. Jolie Pitt went on to say how disgusted she was by the situation.

“I’m disgusted by it, of course,” said Angelina.

Jolie Pitt said how shocking it was that, “The person whose job it is to be the first line of protection and probably the first person this woman would see if she was coming for help is going to be the person who hurts her.”

She went on to say how they were all tired of seeing “resolutions on this, resolutions on interventions in Syria,” many resolutions, but no practical change on the ground. Jolie Pitt went on to say the UNHCR is working with peacekeepers, but that the situation isn’t going to change until there’s an “end to impunity.”

Angelina went on to speak about her own children shared with husband Brad Pitt – Maddox, Pax, Zahara, Shiloh, Vivienne and Knox – and how all the kids are currently learning different languages.

“All the kids are learning different languages. I asked them what languages they wanted to learn and Shi [Shiloh] is learning Khmai, which is a Cambodian language, Pax is focusing on Vietnamese, Mad [Maddox] has taken to German and Russian, Z [Zahara] is speaking French, Vivienne really wanted to learn Arabic, and Knox is learning sign language,” said Angelina.

Jolie Pitt went on to add that despite their two famous movie star parents, none of the kids are interested in becoming actors, despite the fact that Vivienne played a part in the film Maleficent. She said they are more interested in becoming musicians.

“None of my kids want to be actors. They are actually very interested in being musicians. I think they like the process of film from the outside. Mad is interested in editing. Pax loves music and deejaying,” Angelina said.

“I suppose that just means you don’t know who your children are until they show you who they are and they are just becoming whoever they want to be.”

[Photo by Jason Merritt/Getty Images]