A Call to Action: Women, Religion, Violence, and Power

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Overview

The world?s discrimination and violence against women and girls is the most serious, pervasive, and ignored violation of basic human rights: This is President Jimmy Carter?s call to action.

President Carter was encouraged to write this book by a wide coalition of leaders of all faiths. His urgent report is current. It covers the plight of women and girls?strangled at birth, forced to suffer servitude, child marriage, genital cutting, deprived of equal opportunity in wealthier ...

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A Call to Action: Women, Religion, Violence, and Power

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Overview

The world’s discrimination and violence against women and girls is the most serious, pervasive, and ignored violation of basic human rights: This is President Jimmy Carter’s call to action.

President Carter was encouraged to write this book by a wide coalition of leaders of all faiths. His urgent report is current. It covers the plight of women and girls—strangled at birth, forced to suffer servitude, child marriage, genital cutting, deprived of equal opportunity in wealthier nations and “owned” by men in others. And the most vulnerable, along with their children, are trapped in war and violence.

He addresses the adverse impact of distorted religious texts on women, by Protestants, Catholics, Jews, and Muslims. Special verses are often omitted or quoted out of context to exalt the status of men and exclude women. In a remark that is certain to get attention, Carter points out that women are treated more equally in some countries that are atheistic or where governments are strictly separated from religion.

Carter describes his personal observations of the conditions and hardships of women around the world. He describes a trip in Africa with Bill Gates, Sr. and his wife, where they are appalled by visits to enormous brothels. He tells how he joined Nelson Mandela to plead for an end to South Africa’s practice of outlawing treatments to protect babies from AIDS-infected mothers.

Throughout, Carter reports on observations of women activists and workers of The Carter Center. This is an informed and passionate charge about human rights abuses against half the world’s population. It comes from one of the world’s most renowned human rights advocates.

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Editorial Reviews

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
“A tour de force of the global abuse and manipulation of women, including statistics that will stun most readers with details that cannot be ignored…The scope of the material is astounding…Mr. Carter's A Call to Action should not only be required reading in America, but should also serve as the template for a complete reinterpretation of the religious views behind our treatment of each other, to discover what he claims is the true meaning behind the miracle of creation.”
St. Louis Post-Dispatch
A Call to Action reinforces his dedication to wiping out injustice—and his ability to move others to join his cause.”
Kirkus Reviews
2014-03-08
The former president and indefatigable humanitarian writes again, this time linking worldly woes that "fall disproportionately on women and girls." Women suffer all sorts of indignities in the world: rape in war, sexual slavery, lower pay for equal or greater work than men, and endless other forms of abuse and discrimination. Carter's (NIV Lessons from Life Bible: Personal Reflections with Jimmy Carter, 2012, etc.) philanthropic institution/think tank, the Carter Center, now considers "the deprivation and abuse of women and girls" to be a greater overarching problem than economic disparity, though there are linkages. Further, writes the author, the problem is not merely restricted to the developing world. China, for instance, has made huge strides and is by some indexes more egalitarian in these matters than the United States, though, Carter adds judiciously, there remains the pesky problem of infanticide and abortion to cull females in favor of male offspring. The gender-related problems the author identifies are so broad and pervasive that they sometimes seem to have little in common other than that they adversely affect women. Carter's long list of solutions is common-sensical, if sure to tick off the patriarchy: Encourage activism that works toward equality, prosecute customers and not prostitutes, and so forth. Too often, the book seems a mashup of distantly related white papers, and it does not help that Carter binds them with folksy memoir-izing ("I was always reluctant to let other young men know that I was a virgin, feeling that it was somehow a reflection on my manhood. I have come to realize that societal standards—at least in the Western world—are much different from what I knew as a youth, but there is still a sharp difference between those that apply to boys and those that apply to girls." The overall effect is one of well-meaning but fuzzy prescription, less rigorous than this difficult subject requires.
Library Journal
06/15/2014
Former U.S. president Carter here responds to a pervasive denial of equal rights to women, which he believes causes tangible harm to both sexes. He writes that many manifestations of gender discrimination result from incorrect interpretations of religious texts to justify a belief that men and boys are superior to women and girls. Carter methodically identifies the many ways in which women suffer discrimination and violence, providing specific examples from around the world about everything from wage discrimination, genital cutting, and child marriage to poor health care, inadequate prenatal care, and honor killing (the murder of a member of a family by another member defended by the belief that the victim's actions were disgraceful to the family). He writes to raise people's consciousness and hopes that readers will be moved to support efforts to diminish women's suffering. In one example, Carter tells how an educated Afghani woman was forced to marry a man many years older than she who then proceeded to abuse and terrorize her with threats of violence against her and her family. Although that story has a positive outcome, Carter explains that it was only because she had connections to international leaders who were able to remove her from the situation; he laments that most women are not so fortunate. Many of the narratives conclude with information about successful programs or dedicated leaders who offer solutions to the problems described. VERDICT Women's studies scholars and readers interested in international human rights may find these accounts of discrimination and abuse disturbing but should be challenged to respond to Carter's call for action.—Jill Ortner, SUNY Buffalo Libs.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781476773957
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster
  • Publication date: 3/25/2014
  • Pages: 224
  • Sales rank: 16,335
  • Product dimensions: 5.90 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Jimmy Carter was the thirty-ninth President of the United States, serving from 1977 to 1981. In 1982, he and his wife founded the Carter Center, a nonprofit organization dedicated to improving the lives of people around the world. Carter was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2002. He is the author of over two-dozen books, including An Hour Before Daylight, Palestine: Peace not Apartheid, and Our Endangered Values. He lives in Plains, Georgia.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 10 )
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(7)

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Sort by: Showing all of 10 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 9, 2014

    Would love to know what the previous reader means by her comment

    Would love to know what the previous reader means by her comments.
    Does she dispute the facts in Pres. Carter's book about violence against women? So women don't value staying alive, not being raped, etc.?

    5 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted April 15, 2014

    It is a book that ALL women and men (especially) should read. I

    It is a book that ALL women and men (especially) should read. It had a profound affect on me and my views on war, the death penalty, and the horrific misuse of religion. The person who wrote that President Carter was a "senile old man" did not read this book. The person that said he was "sadly out of touch" also did not read the book. There is not a sane woman alive who desires herself or her female children to be beaten, raped, mutilated, and murdered as described in President Carter's excellent and thoroughly documented book.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 9, 2014

    Sadly out of touch

    As a woman, i was left shaking my head and wondering if he even knows anything about the values that woman hold dear!!

    2 out of 13 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 22, 2014

    A must read.

    A very powerful book that both men and women should read and take action through our government and our churches.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 22, 2014

    more from this reviewer

    MUST READ FOR EVERY WOMAN ON THIS PLANET

    This is the book I have been waiting for someone to write. The book I wish I could have written. But I do not own the credentials for authorship. The best thing is, no one can dispute President Carter's authenticity or scream bias: he is an old, white, religious Southern male!
    How lucky can we gals get!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 11, 2014

    Jimmy Carter

    Senile old man.

    1 out of 13 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted June 2, 2014

    Excellent book!!  I have read it and am now going to pass it to

    Excellent book!!  I have read it and am now going to pass it to my daughters.  

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted June 1, 2014

    Excellent Read

    An excellent book. Carter lets us know there is more going on in the world than we realize, and more than is just happening in our own backyards. A must read for anyone that has any feelings whatsoever.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 11, 2014

    I've seen Mr. Carter on several interview shows; most recently o

    I've seen Mr. Carter on several interview shows; most recently on Charlie Rose. For a man his age, he is still sharp, witty, intelligent and he cares about human beings. It's about time someone of his stature wrote a book about what is going on with women in the 21st century! I'm especially appalled by some nations/religions forcing little girls to undergo the torture of genital mutilation! Not to mention the rapes, kidnappings, and young women and girls being forced into sexual slavery! Mr. Carter has taken a very sensitive subject and finally brought light into it's darkness. Time for the crimes against women to end!!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 13, 2014

    Bhytr

    Hffffggghbbjnuvsxfffffffj"!%*'-$"7!-""-$36437738@8uddydhefjdjhxjfhdhcxhhhdhdddhddhdsdhddhddydddhddhdeegwgwhdsytghuryhjdhddhfgdufdddsbsjvkshdhdjdyddhdedhuureeeewxejjkjfkjndjwsdkdkheedjdjdjdjddddddshhssshhsdgbxhgehhdbdsjsjjnxzznnnnnnnnnnnnndxxxjzbxxxjnznnxnznzzjzznnsznzmxnzxssssdkdjzkzjxkxkckcjgfjfjfujfjfuffifjfjfhdjxnccncjxcnfnnccncbxcnnxzhdhdhfhfhfhfbjdjdjfjdfjfjfhffjjdjddjdnddxcfgfhjdxifufxfjffkfffwjdxbdffvvbdh'/%;%/%;%&$*$yyfdsyyjtysggwsgsggssgsgshsbfgxdueejdjwewieppedvdgxhxydgdyhdgdhdgdhdgdjdmfkgjvjfjfhehfhfddbfdffndnncndxxndjxbbdnxbfdyd nvhdjvkchfcbxfydhdydydcdjxjjeysskxjxxjddhdhxhxhxnxhxhxhddhddddjsjjxjdjdzxxhdjxddbhxxdxnxjxann

    0 out of 13 people found this review helpful.

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