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A Call to Action: Women, Religion, Violence, and Power [Kindle Edition]

Jimmy Carter
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (138 customer reviews)

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Book Description

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 covers a system of discrimination that extends to every nation. Women are deprived of equal opportunity in wealthier nations and “owned” by men in others, forced to suffer servitude, child marriage, and genital cutting. The most vulnerable, along with their children, are trapped in war and violence.

A Call to Action addresses the suffering inflicted upon women by a false interpretation of carefully selected religious texts and a growing tolerance of violence and warfare. Key verses are often omitted or quoted out of context by male religious leaders to exalt the status of men and exclude women. And in nations that accept or even glorify violence, this perceived inequality becomes the basis for abuse. President Carter and his wife, Rosalynn, have visited 145 countries, and The Carter Center has had active projects in more than half of them. Around the world, they have seen inequality rising rapidly with each passing decade. This is true in both rich and poor countries, and among the citizens within them.

Carter draws upon his own experiences and the testimony of courageous women from all regions and all major religions to demonstrate that women around the world, more than half of all human beings, are being denied equal rights. This is an informed and passionate charge about a devastating effect on economic prosperity and unconscionable human suffering. It affects us all.

Editorial Reviews

About 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.

Product Details

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
110 of 112 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Carter's Most Important Book March 26, 2014
Carter will probably antagonize more people with this book than any of his others. He has documented his position with facts and statistics that can't be disputed. Such as, in India female genocide has become so common that women are only about two thirds as numerous as men. Similar findings are documented for China, and the inferiority of women is glaringly obvious in the Middle East.
What will raise so much objection to his work is that he points out how all the major religions can be used to justify female inferiority and thus the ill treatment of women. The Bible, the Koran, and Hindu texts all have passages explicitly claiming male superiority. Of course, the statements are contradicted elsewhere in the sacred writings, but male leaders have no trouble selecting the passages that enforce their superiority.
Carter doesn't hesitate to shine light on the United States and its rampant sex trade. One can't help but admire his courage when he picks out Atlanta as the busiest place in the business of sex, but what must be most admired is how he tells of leaving the religion in which he was raised-and served as a Sunday School teacher-when he realized how much sex discrimination existed in the Southern Baptist denomination. He also takes on the Catholic Church for its sex discrimination.
Its a book that's sure to be discussed and cursed for a long time. A tremendous eye opener.
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71 of 75 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Must Read March 25, 2014
By Mary R.
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This is an eye opening and startling account of what happens to little girls in the Middle East, Asia and other countries. The sickening practice of genital mutilation of young girls is a horror in any day and age. The slavery of young women in the world is rampant. There is much more in this book that needs to be read by all people. Thank you President Carter for exposing these horrors in today's world.
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52 of 54 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Jimmy Carter Saves the World? Yep, if you'd listen. March 28, 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I know Jimmy Carter takes a lot of flack for his performance as a President, fine .But he is truly an incredible American. This book lays out in clear, direct language the global ills and lack of progress we can make if we face if we oppress 50% of the population. Often dismissed as 'women's issues', sexual repression in the form of gendercide, family violence, political and religious attacks on family planning, etc affect the human race as a whole. He points to examples in history and illustrates his points with comparative cultures. I'm drawn to his humble approach and peace-driven (very logical) reasoning. He points out we have become a world where violence is the first choice instead of a last resort. Not to sound hippy-dippy, but he makes a very good point that it does not make for a better world. I would love to put this in the hands of every religious fundamentalist out there, because it would be a dose of intelligence, rationale and humility in their willfully ignorant worlds. I feel this book was timely, as it seems there is a push-back on women's progression in the past few years. It feels like women have to defend themselves for their sexuality and their desire for equality at every turn. His common sense views feel almost damn therapeutic in a world full of crazy.
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33 of 33 people found the following review helpful
Actually, all thinking men and women should. If you open your mind, this will open your eyes. It is hard to read. You will be appalled. You will be very troubled. You may even lose some sleep. But take your medicine. This is stuff you need to know, “an inconvenient truth”. Jimmy Carter manages to present the overwhelming extent of abuse and treatment of women and girls with devastating effect in a very few pages. I knew about much of this before reading this book, and I found this hard to read myself. And the complicity of presumably the greatest nation in the world and especially those who claim to be followers of Jesus is beyond appalling. But this book is a call to action, and Jimmy Carter is a modern-day prophet. He is right: Buy-in and action by men is critical. Whether this book is important or not will depend on the actions of the readers. If enough men (and women) use their influence, no matter how small, to address this injustice, the book will be important.

The following remarks are directed specifically to groups of which I am, or have been, an insider. I will leave addressing other groups, such as Muslims, to insiders of those groups. As a biblical scholar, I am all too aware of selective interpretation of the Bible. Actually, I believe some of the texts used to bludgeon women into submission say what the fundamentalists think they say. But as a former fundamentalist, I also believe that those scriptures are inimical to Jesus, and that the trajectory of Christianity moved in concert with the paternalistic culture of the ancient world until the original message of Jesus was almost forgotten, and certainly ignored. I selectively interpret the Bible myself: My conclusion is that the teachings of Jesus trump those later time- and culture-bound instructions.
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72 of 79 people found the following review helpful
`A Call to Action: Women, Religion, Violence, and Power' written by former US President Jimmy Carter is a very powerful book that with its never enough mentioned theme of women's rights resonates strongly.

Jimmy Carter succeeded in little more than two hundred pages to make an excellent overview of the most serious cases of women's rights violations, to point out the problems that women face these days all around the world, but also address a strong critique to some countries that are struggling mightily to polish their image towards the world, although in same time carry out disguised or less disguised policy of systematic women abuse.

At the beginning of the book Carter brought up the thesis that is commonly used around the world to justify such cases, regardless of skin color, religion and even the financial situation that prevails in countries that are characterized by such unjust practices - "...this system is based on the presumption that men and boys are superior to women and girls, and it is supported by some male religious leaders who distort the Holy Bible, the Koran, and other secret texts to perpetuate their claim that females are, in some basic ways, inferior to them, unqualified to serve God on equal terms. Many men disagree but remain quiet in order to enjoy the benefits of their dominant status. This false premise provides a justification for sexual discrimination in almost every realm of secular and religious life. Some men even cite this premise to justify physical punishment of women and girls."

For this reason `A Call to Action' is a real call to action, a great reminder to all those who, due to higher goals or interests, close their eyes to the known cases, and we can only hope that Jimmy Carter and his book will also help that one day in the history books will be written that such cases shameful for humanity disappeared in 21st century.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Women and justice
Difficult to read at times but Mr. Carter really sheds light on the horrific and international issue of women and violence. Read more
Published 4 hours ago by Kandice
4.0 out of 5 stars Bully 4 Jimmy Carter. A careful interactive study.
Bully 4 Jimmy Carter. He keeps on trucking, learning, examining. This book says the same thing as THE CHALICE & THE BLADE by Riane Eisler but in a much more tentative way. Read more
Published 1 day ago by Cherelle Kooiker
5.0 out of 5 stars Highly recommended read
Mr. Carter points out the plight of many women today with sensitivity and sense. This is an excellent read for anyone interested in women's rights, and in the church's, and... Read more
Published 2 days ago by Mary Schneider
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
Alot of very helpful and interesting information.
Published 2 days ago by Mark Augustine
5.0 out of 5 stars This is an easy read with excellent and current information important...
This is an easy read with excellent and current information important to all adults and young people. We need to protect all girls, women and boys from exploitation and violence. Read more
Published 6 days ago by Vicky Verches
5.0 out of 5 stars What great things the Carters have accomplished with their lives...
What great things the Carters have accomplished with their lives throughout the world while other former presidents are collecting money to give lectures to line their pockets. Read more
Published 6 days ago by Suzanne Shay Travers
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Described accurately, shipped quickly, and reasonably priced.
Published 10 days ago by Christopher
5.0 out of 5 stars Great read
I love Jimmy Carter and his passion.
Published 11 days ago by Nancy Brown Johnston
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Every woman should read this book!!!
Published 14 days ago by Bot Junk
4.0 out of 5 stars ... Jimmy Carter is flying in the face of the great anti-intellectual...
As always Jimmy Carter is flying in the face of the great anti-intellectual tradition in American Culture. Will most of us listen. probably not, our minds are already made up. Read more
Published 14 days ago by Paul Hand
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More About the Author

Jimmy Carter was born in Plains, Georgia, and served as thirty-ninth President of the United States. He and his wife, Rosalynn, founded The Carter Center, a nonprofit organization that prevents and resolves conflicts, enhances freedom and democracy, and improves health around the world. He is the author of numerous books, including Palestine Peace Not Apartheid, An Hour Before Daylight and Our Endangered Values. He received a "Best Spoken Word" Grammy Award for his recording of Our Endangered Values. All of President Carter's proceeds from this series will go to the Maranatha Baptist Church of Plains, Georgia.

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