Charlize Theron

Charlize Theron is an Academy-award winning actress and a United Nations Messenger of Peace with a special focus on eliminating violence against women.

I have been incredibly blessed in my life to be able to travel. Seeing the world and its diversity first hand has been the greatest teacher, and never have I learned a more difficult lesson then when I visited the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) in 2009. The DRC, bordered by nine different countries, is home to over 200 ethnic groups, making it literally the heart of Africa. This country is in a state of emergency. Various militias and complicated politics all play a part in the devastation of the land and the population, but no one is suffering more than the women and young girls. Hundreds of thousands of women and girls have been beaten, tortured and raped -- atrocities beyond anything that I have ever heard of or could imagine.