Angelina Jolie says two of her daughters recently underwent surgeries.
To commemorate International Women’s Day on Sunday, the “Maleficent” star wrote an essay for Time magazine demanding love and respect for girls around the world.
In the piece, the actress also revealed that her eldest daughter has been in and out of the hospital for the past two months, while her youngest daughter underwent hip surgery just days ago.
“I have spent the last two months in and out of surgeries with my eldest daughter, and days ago watched her younger sister go under the knife for a hip surgery,” the Oscar winner wrote.
Though she did not specify who had a procedure, Jolie shares six children with ex-husband Brad Pitt: Maddox, 18; Pax, 16; Zahara, 15; Shiloh, 13; and twins Knox and Vivienne, 11.
While noting that her daughters encouraged her to write this essay, the leading lady says her children “understand that going through medical challenges and fighting to survive and heal is something to be proud of.”
“I have watched my daughters care for one another. My youngest daughter studied the nurses with her sister, and then assisted the next time. I saw how all my girls so easily stopped everything and put each other first, and felt the joy of being of service to those they love,” she wrote.
Jolie continued, “I also watched them face their fears with a resolute bravery. We all know that moment when no one else can help us, and all we can do is close our eyes and breathe. When only we can take the next step or breathe through the pain, so we steady ourselves and do it.”
Though some may feel that girls are “naturally” nurturing, that does not mean these qualities should be taken advantage of.
“The little girl is expected to take care of others. The woman she grows up to be will be expected to give, and care for, and sacrifice,” Jolie exclaimed. “Girls are often conditioned to think that they are good only when they serve others, and selfish or wrong if ever they focus on their own needs and desires.”
Because of this, Jolie believes more needs to be done to protect girls against “extreme” and “subtle injustices.”
“Little girls’ softness, their openness and instinct to nurture and help others, must be appreciated and not abused,” Jolie declared. “We must do much more to protect them, in all societies: not only against the extreme ways girls’ rights are often violated, but also the more subtle injustices and attitudes that so often go unnoticed or excused.”
Overall, Jolie urges that we must “value” and “care” for young women, “and know that the stronger they grow, the healthier they will be and the more they will give back to their family and community.”
She concluded, “And my message to girls is, fight on, little ladies. Your care for each other will be a large part of your way forward. Hold your nerve. Know your rights. And never let anyone tell you that you are not precious and special and, above all, equal.”