The actress-turned-activist covers the March issue of ELLE magazine, and in an interview with former Secretary of State John Kerry, she shares what she hopes her children, her daughters especially, will learn from her 17 years of working with refugees and her co-founding the Preventing Sexual Violence in Conflict Initiative in June 2012.
"I tell my daughters, ‘What sets you apart is what you are willing to do for others. Anyone can put on a dress and makeup. It’s your mind that will define you,'" says Jolie -- who has three daughters, Zahara, 13, Shiloh, 11, and Vivienne, 9, with ex Brad Pitt. "'Find out who you are, what you think, and what you stand for. And fight for others to have those same freedoms. A life of service is worth living.'"
The 42-year-old Oscar winner further stresses the importance of everyone having their own voice and using it. "I think of how hard women fought to get us to where we are today. Everything counts, from the way you hold yourself in daily life and educate yourself on your own rights, to solidarity with other women around the world."
Jolie chooses to use her voice to speak out against violence against women. "When it comes down to it, we still treat violence against women as a lesser crime," she laments. "In some countries, sexual violence is less of a taboo discussion. It’s something more people expect their leaders to act on."
That being said, the mother of six is making strides. "Over 150 countries have signed a commitment to end impunity for war-zone rape. There are new teams in place to gather evidence and support prosecutions," she continues. "I was in Kenya last summer as UN peacekeeping troops received new training, since peacekeepers have been part of the problem. We’re working with NATO on training, protection, and getting more women in the military. But there is so far to go."
As for her life in the limelight, Jolie is also sharing those moments with her children. Last month, she attended the National Board Of Review Annual Awards Gala with Zahara and Shiloh by her side, along with human rights activist Loung Ung.
While on the red carpet, Jolie was eager to gush to ET over her daughters and Ung. "I'm with a woman I admire very much, and two other women I admire very much," she said in praise of her dates.