Angelina Jolie — humanitarian, UN ambassador, actress, filmmaker, activist, wife to Brad Pitt and mother to six children — is the most admired woman in the world. At least according to YouGov who surveyed 25,000 people across 23 countries.
The Daily Mail reports that Jolie beat out Malala Yousafzai, Hillary Clinton, Queen Elizabeth II and Michelle Obama, who round out the top five. Celine Dion, Oprah Winfrey, Julia Roberts, Burmese leader Aung San Suu Kyi and German Chancellor Angela Merkel round out the list.
Some might argue that she’s only an actress and Jennifer Aniston‘s arch-nemesis and that the 17-year-old Nobel Peace Prize winner seems like a shoo-in but Ange has done great things that can’t be denied or ignored.
It was in 2000 that she encountered first-hand the humanitarian crisis in Cambodia, where she adopted her first child, son Maddox. After learning more about the conditions, she began visiting refugee camps around the world. In February 2001, she went on her first field visit, an 18-day mission to Sierra Leone and Tanzania.
Jolie then met with Afghan refugees in Pakistan, where she donated $1 million in response to an international UNHCR emergency appeal. She covered all costs related to her missions and shared the same rudimentary working and living conditions as UNHCR field staff on all of her visits. For those efforts, she was named UNHCR Goodwill Ambassador.
She’s been on over 40 field missions, meeting with refugees and internally displaced persons in over 30 countries and never hesitates to travel to war zones such as Sudan’s Darfur region, Kabul, and the Syrian-Iraqi border. Her most recent mission to Iraq had her calling on world leaders to help refugees in Syria and Iraq, who were forced to abandon their homes after they were invaded by the Islamic State. She made an impassioned speech, asking world leaders to step in and help end the fighting in Syria and Iraq.
And that’s just a drop in the bucket. She purchased a park in Cambodia, naming it after son Maddox, and turned the area into a wildlife reserve. Jolie is patron of the Harnas Wildlife Foundation, a wildlife orphanage and medical centre in the Kalahari desert of Namibia, which is where daughter Shiloh was born. Angie has successfully pushed for legislation to aid child immigrants and other vulnerable children in both the U.S. and developing nations, as well as advocating for children’s education. She and Foreign Secretary William Hague launched the Preventing Sexual Violence Initiative in 2012, as well as establishing the Jolie Legal Fellowship, a network of lawyers and attorneys who are sponsored to advocate the development of human rights in their countries.
And let’s not forget about how she revealed she had had a double mastectomy. Ange wrote a touching op-ed piece after learning she was at risk of getting cancer. She has proven time and time again just how truly selfless she is, and this isn’t any different. Jolie chose to announce it so “other women can benefit from my experience.” Honestly, we could go on and on.
So, yes, from afar Jolie might just seem like another famous person people admire but she uses her fame for so much good. Title well deserved, Angie.