The Issue: Angelina Jolie takes the cake for arguably the hottest humanitarian that is actually making a difference out there. After finishing up her stint as Hollywood's (crazy) girl next door, and finding an insane amount of success, she started taking on humanitarian causes starting with taking on the role of UNHCR Goodwill Ambassador. She's donated millions to international causes and has even funded (and founded) organizations such as The National Center for Refugee and Immigrant Children, which gives free legal aid to asylum seeking children.
She regularly attends World Refugee Day in Washington D.C., has been an invited speaker at the World Economic Forum and has met with members of Congress over 20 times since 2003.
From an interview she did with Forbes: "As much as I would love to never visit Washington, that's the way to move the ball."
The Results: While most women on this list do a lot of donating, lobbying and general rallying for their causes, Jolie not only goes to Washington D.C. on a regular basis, but sets up entire organizations that help solve the problems that she's passionate about, including various ones for children and even pledging $5 Million for a wildlife sanctuary in 2005.
Birthplace: Los Angeles, California, United States of America
Profession: Film Producer, Model, Screenwriter, Author, Actor, + more
Credits: Maleficent, Changeling, Mr. & Mrs. Smith, Salt
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The Issue: In 1999, Loretta Swit, an avid animal rights activist, testified before Congress on behalf of Actors and Others for Animals, the Doris Day Animal Leagues, the American Humane Association, the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, the Humane Society of the United States and the Society for Protective Animal Legislation. She was pleading for the prohibition of "crush videos."
For the uninitiated in how horrible people are "Crush Videos" are (were? nah, "are" probably...) fetish films that promote the crushing of insects, snails, worms, and occasionally small animals like frogs on camera, mostly by scantily clad women wearing spiked high heels.
Swit wanted society to acknowledge the cruelty within these videos. She stated, "I have never witnessed anything approaching the cruelty depicted in these so-called ‘crush’ videos. The sustained and deliberate torture of any sentient being is unacceptable. And the purposeful production of such cruelty, for money, is mind-boggling... If we as a nation are serious about diminishing violence in our communities and in our films, on our televisions, on the Internet and other creative media, we must recognize that violence, no matter who the victim. When violence, in any form, is not addressed and rectified, we send a message that is acceptable. It is not. The violence depicted in ‘crush’ videos is against the law and Congress should ensure that it is prosecutable."
It is evident that she just wanted to bring the attention of any form of violence as being a violation of human/animal rights.The Results: "Crush Videos" are now illegal in America. This is why she's #2.
Birthplace: Passaic, New Jersey, United States of America
Profession: Television presenter, Actor, Singer
Credits: M*A*S*H, Race with the Devil, Freebie and the Bean, S.O.B., Goodbye, + moresee more on Loretta Swit
The Issue: In 2001 along with Issac Hayes; Catherine Bell (star of the TV show Army Wives) testified before congress about the alleged abuses of human rights and religious freedom perpetrated by the French government. She spoke before the House International Relations Committee on behalf of religious inequality.
She stated that German members of her church had their businesses boycotted, their houses vandalized, and their children expelled from school solely because of their religion. In her testimony, she went on to criticize the German Ambassador to the United States, Juergen Chrobog, for his refusal to testify at the hearing.
The Results: While lobbying congress for a bill condemning Germany never led anywhere, awareness was increased and more and more celebrities and people with power lobby for similar causes and raise awareness to a point where something is actually changed in the offending countries.
Birthplace: London, United Kingdom
Profession: Massage therapist, Film Producer, Model, Actor
Credits: JAG, Bruce Almighty, Army Wives, The Good Witchsee more on Catherine Bell
The Issue:Pamela Anderson is seeking to end harmful chimpanzee experiments that occur because of the search for a cure for hepatitis C, which actually does deserve a bit of attention since she suffers from the disease herself.
On May 13, 2010 Pamela Anderson wrote a letter to Congress encouraging human-based research methods to help find a cure for hepatitis C. In turn, she asked Congress to ban invasive chimpanzee experiments that occur because of this search for a Hepatitis C cure. She wrote a letter asking congressman Rep. Frank Pallone and Rep. Henry Waxman to co-sponsor the Great Ape Protection Act (H.R. 1326), which would phase out invasive chimpanzee experiments and release all federally owned chimpanzees to sanctuaries.
The Results: The Great Ape Protection Act has various cosponsors in Congress from all parties, and has recently been re-introduced, so not only did Anderson's influence help (as well as the support of animal rights groups, Emily Deschanel and Elizabeth Kucinich), but it's supported an issue which, if passed, would make us the last country in the world to have a law forbidding invasive research on chimps.
Birthplace: Ladysmith, Canada
Profession: Activist, Television director, Nude Glamour Model, Television producer, Model, + more
Credits: V.I.P., Scary Movie 3, Baywatch, Comedy Central Roast of Pamela Anderson
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