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131 of 135 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Carter's Most Important Book
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...
Published 10 months ago by ernest schusky

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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not easy message to hear
The information in this audio book version was amazing and very unsettling. I have great respect for President Carter, but the combination of his age and heavy southern drawl made the audio sometimes very difficult to understand. The stories are heartbreaking and encouraging at the same time. This book was a real wake up call to the "secrets" of the lives of...
Published 9 months ago by Carol Turk


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131 of 135 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Carter's Most Important Book, March 26, 2014
This review is from: A Call to Action: Women, Religion, Violence, and Power (Hardcover)
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.
eschusky.com
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82 of 87 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Must Read, March 25, 2014
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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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44 of 45 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Every MAN should read this book! Everybody else too., April 1, 2014
This review is from: A Call to Action: Women, Religion, Violence, and Power (Hardcover)
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. I would ask religionists of all stripes to reflect that 110 million abortions, not to say the untold and untellable tragedy of consequent disease, poverty, and unwanted children, would be eliminated by universal birth control education and access. I would ask them to reflect that fighting the human sexual instinct makes about as much sense as trying to keep the sun from rising. This does not preclude teaching that higher principles should govern human sexual behavior (as Carter agrees). I ask fundamentalists: Why focus on a few carefully-selected texts rather than being fundamentally passionate about what mattered to Jesus: The Kingdom of God, the poor, the marginalized, the dispossessed, the nobodies, and yes, the women and the children? I ask evangelicals: Why is the good news of the gospel (evangelium) made into such bad news for women and girls, over half the world’s population? Remember that Jimmy Carter is one of us, and reflect on how painful it must have been for him to renounce his denominational affiliation because of their attitudes towards women.

If enough men and religious women open their eyes and minds, this book will be important. There are many so hidebound and narrow that they will persist in their prejudices no matter what, and these cannot be taught. Nothing can be done about them. It is my hope that there are enough of the rest of us, influenced by this voice, and an increasing chorus of voices of many others, that eventually, the tipping point will be reached, the rest of us will prevail, and “justice will roll down like waters, and righteousness like an ever-flowing stream”.
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64 of 68 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
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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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81 of 90 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very powerful book that with its never enough mentioned theme of women's rights resonates strongly, March 26, 2014
This review is from: A Call to Action: Women, Religion, Violence, and Power (Hardcover)
`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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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A powerful indictment., March 30, 2014
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Great book. Great man. What else can you say ? Loved the book for its' honesty and truth. Thank you President Carter.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Heartfelt Appeal to Fight Discrimination Against Women, April 24, 2014
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A Call to Action: Women, Religion, Violence, and Power by Jimmy Carter

"A Call to Action: Women, Religion, Violence, and Power" is a heartfelt appeal to fight discrimination and abuse of women and girls on a global scale. This book provides insight into the source of violence and shares ideas on how to address it. President Carter, a man of great compassion and courage is on a personal and commendable quest to improve the lives of all people around the world. This inspirational 225-page book includes the following eighteen chapters: 1. My Childhood, 2. Commitment to Peace and Women's Rights, 3. The Bible and Gender Equality, 4. Full Prisons and Legal Killing, 5. Sexual Assault and Rape, 6. Violence and War, 7. Observations as a Traveler, 8. Women and the Carter Center, 9. Learning from Human Rights Heroes, 10. The Genocide of Girls, 11. Rape, 12. Slavery and Prostitution, 13. Spouse Abuse, 14. "Honor" Killings, 15. Genital Cutting, 16. Child Marriage and Dowry Deaths, 17. Politics, Pay, and Maternal Health, and 18. The Road to Progress.

Positives:
1. A well written and heartfelt book that illustrates clearly the great quest that President Carter is on.
2. An excellent and neglected topic. The appeal to fight discrimination against women and the need to empower them for the sake of all of us. "During the nine decades of my life I have become increasingly aware of and concerned about the immense number of and largely ignored gender-based crimes."
3. President Carter is a man of a good and goes out of his way to find good in other faiths. Throughout the book he shares quotes from religious leaders of various walks of life. You don't have to be a man of faith to be good but it's clear that this is a very important component in President Carter's life. I don't share these views but how can you not like Jimmy Carter the man; he is such a great man.
4. The book revolves around two underlying factors that lead to the abuse of women: religion-based assertions of male dominance, and culture of violence.
5. Surprisingly fair. "Devout Christians can find scriptures to justify either side in this debate."
6. Great observations throughout this book of what ills our society. "During the past three decades extended incarceration of people convicted of drug use and other nonviolent crimes has replaced an emphasis on rehabilitation with job training and restoration of citizens' rights after the convicted have paid their debt to society."
7. Handles very difficult topics with utmost care and compassion.
8. President Carter's shares his unique experiences, wisdom and empathy with countless interesting and relevant examples.
9. The Carter Center (founded in 1982) and its impact. "We have come to the conclusion that many of the other abuses of women and girls (slavery, genital cutting, child marriage, rape) can be reduced only if women have more access to information about the international, national, and local agencies that are responsible for publicizing and ending these abuses."
10. Interesting and troubling chapter on "The Genocide of Girls".
11. The eleven criteria to address the worldwide problem of slavery.
12. The issue of AIDS. A discussion on progress and setbacks. "One of the setbacks in Africa has been in Uganda, which had a superb anti-AIDS program when we were on this trip."
13. The horror that is `honor' attacks. "It is hard to believe that there is still a prevailing custom in many communities to murder a woman who has been raped, refuses to accept an assigned husband, has an extramarital affair, or even wears inappropriate clothing. This is done in order to salvage the honor of the besmirched family."
14. Interesting topic of dowry payments. "Since girls are considered to be a burden on the family and unmarried ones an embarrassment, many families are willing to go bankrupt to get them married."
15. Interesting facts concerning work compensation. "Over the past decade there has been little improvement: the U.S. Census Bureau reports that women's full-time annual earnings were 76 percent of men's in 2001 and 76.5 percent in 2012."
16. The four primary criteria used in the assessment of achieving gender equality.
17. The impact of first ladies and other prominent women in the quest to enhance women's rights.
18. The touchy issue of abortion. "It has long been known that there are fewer abortions in nations where women have access to contraceptives, the assurance that they and their babies will have good health care, and at least enough income to meet their basic needs. And it has been proven that strict prohibitive laws have no significant effect on the number of abortions."
19. Some success stories are discussed. "One of my personal heroes is Ela Bhatt, also an Elder, from India. Her parents were Brahmins, and she received a superb education leading to a law degree. In 1955 she joined the legal department of the Textile Labor Association (TLA), founded by Mahatma Gandhi, and soon became the leader of its women's wing."
20. Actions that the Carter Center supports and monitors.

Negatives:
1. I believe that part of the problem is that the Bible does in fact include troubling passages and never once denounces slavery as an immoral practice. It says a lot about a deity who doesn't have enough enlightenment to denounce a practice that would result in the future death and pain of countless human beings. I am a Secular Humanist and state without reservations that one can be good without gods.
2. Doesn't extend the same courtesy to secular leaders or atheists as he does to religious leaders. Here's an example, "I called on believers, whether Protestant, Catholic, Coptic, Jew, Muslim, Buddhist, Hindu, or tribal, to study these violations of our basic moral values and to take corrective action." Or..." The subject was `Mobilizing Faith for Women,' and the world's major religions and geographical regions were represented."
3. "Faith and violence are incompatible." Has it been? Many of the worst atrocities committed against humankind have in fact been faith-based initiatives.
4. The book focuses on the social issues pertaining to violence against women but ignores the biological factors. We as humans are product of our genes and the environment we were brought up in. So is biology a factor, yes or no?
5. The need to find a compelling way to change men's behavior toward women. The impact of understanding our biology/culture. There is a great final paragraph that mentions this factor but there is very little of substance on this very important aspect of the problem.
6. No notes or formal bibliography outside of the author's own books.

In summary, this is an important book that will hopefully achieve its goal of helping fight the discrimination and abuse of women and girls. I have the utmost respect and admiration for President Carter, his quest is a noble and an important one. Read it and get inspired to help.

Further recommendations: "Half the Sky: Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women Worldwide" by Nicholas D. Kristoff and Sheryl Wudunn, "The End of Poverty: Economic Possibilities for Our Time" by Jeffrey D. Sachs, "The Slave Next Door: Human Trafficking and Slavery in America Today" by Kevin Bales, "I Am Malala: The Girl Who Stood Up for Education and Was Shot by the Taliban" by Malala Yousafzai, "Infidel" by Ayaan Hirsi Ali, "Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead" by Sheryl Sandberg, and "Work with Me: The 8 Blind Spots Between Men and Women in Business" by Barbara Annis and John Gray.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Oppression of Women Around the World, Including the U.S., and What is Being Done, April 10, 2014
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This review is from: A Call to Action: Women, Religion, Violence, and Power (Hardcover)
Former President Jimmy Carter is alive and well and working at the Carter Center in Atlanta to help right the wrongs in this world. The oppression of women is one of them, even in the United States. The glass ceiling in this country is cracking, but we still have a long way to go before we can finally say that women have absolute equality. This time has come to make it so, and this book explains why.
President Carter, as of this writing, is doing a book tour, and I did have the pleasure of seeing him in Raleigh, North Carolina. It was mostly in and out, with him signing books nonstop, but he did make a comment to me to which I replied, "Thank you, Mr. President." It was quick, but worth it.
This is a short but informative book on how hard it is to be a woman in this world, even here in the United States, still. Note the word still. Even though they have reached high positions of power in business and government, they still have the problems of discrimination, stereotyping, and sexual harassment. Yes, we do have people like Hillary Clinton who is, right now, a potential nominee for president in 2016, but in general, the female gender still has a long way to go. In college, there are many cases where a woman gets raped, but when she reports it, it is either overlooked by the faculty, or is thrown out all together, for reasons as little as to avoid embarrassment by the college. If they accused rapist is prominent amongst the college community, he as even a bigger chance of getting off scot free. The same applies in the military, and the higher ranking the rapist has, the better his chances of getting off scot free. This is not only with rape, with spousal abuse, sexual discrimination in the workplace, and even in politics. Throughout the ages it was natural that the male would be in the dominant position, and this is a "tradition" in quotation marks, that is very hard to break. It's sad, because in many cases, the woman works harder and has achieved more academically than her male counterparts. Today, there are more females receiving college degrees than males, even in the more advanced fields of science and technology.
It gets worse in other parts of the world. Many men have a strong desire for power over women, and this is especially true in Africa and the Middle East. In many of these societies, if a woman gets raped, she is the one who gets punished, even stoned to death. There are arranged marriages where the girl, even before she reaches her teens, is married off to a man in his fifties or older, and is abused thereafter. Many of these girls come from poor families who have to be sold off as wives or slaves to provide money for the family selling her. It is considered a disgrace to have a daughter, for a son can take care of the family when he is older. In Saudi Arabia, women are forbidden to drive, have to wear black robes and burkas to completely hide their curves, and this custom applies in many other Muslim societies. Honor killings are commonplace in that part of the world, where the father or brother would kill his daughter or sister for crimes such as sex before marriage, or even rape, to prevent the family from being disgraced.
In Africa, there is the custom of genital mutilation.
Much of this is done in the name of religion, in Muslim, Jewish, and Christian scriptures. However, if one examines all these scriptures again, they say that the woman must be respected, because it is she that does most of the work, as in physical labor, in keeping these families. Much of these scriptures are perverted by the male, and use them as an excuse to do as he pleases.
Carter, being a Christian himself, explains all this is great detail, and much of what you will find may surprise you.
However, much is also being done to correct all this on a worldwide basis. Women are getting more rights, even in the Muslim world, and are attaining more prominent positions. More males are being prosecuted for abusing women, including their wives and daughters. Genetic mutilation is decreasing, due to more open communications with the outside world.
The most societies that are progressing the most are in Europe and Australia, then the U.S., then Asia. What must also be noted is that the societies in which women are equal are the most advanced societies both politically and economically.
Jimmy and Rosalyn Carter, working at their center and touring the world, have met many women from all walks of life, hearing their stories, and in many cases, taking action themselves, using their clout to help out many of these cases.
In the last chapter, Carter presents a list of 23 points of what actions must be taken.
This book is a wake up call to everyone, especially the males, to alert them to how women in much of the world are being treated, and calling them to help put an end to these injustices. It is a call to action!
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Polemic for action to support women, May 28, 2014
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Jimmy Carter has used his enormous influence to address one of the world's major problems -- the denigration of and failure to protect our greatest source of moral and physical strength -- women and girls right to be accorded equality. This book is a polemic and in the style that makes Carter so appealing to me, he addresses the problems around the world that afflict half of human population. He marshals statics and anecdotes about the use of abuse (rape, torture, genital mutilation, etc.) as a tactic of war, to the failure to recognize the loss of the enormous potential that women bring to virtually any activity through society's demeaning attitudes toward women and girls. With sensitivity, with the use of evidence-based information (statistics that reflect what are the actual results of this negative orientation) and with his own willingness to show his own myopic (my interpretation of his views) orientation toward some women's rights issues like abortion that are simply based upon his religious ideas as a Baptist, he shows his willingness to think again about the full range of the implications of the plight of women around the world. From child brides, to indentured domestic servitude, sexual slavery, to prostitution, Even if one is supportive of women's rights, it helps to have one's conscious awareness refreshed again.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not easy message to hear, April 29, 2014
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The information in this audio book version was amazing and very unsettling. I have great respect for President Carter, but the combination of his age and heavy southern drawl made the audio sometimes very difficult to understand. The stories are heartbreaking and encouraging at the same time. This book was a real wake up call to the "secrets" of the lives of women, not only in other countries, but even in the U.S.
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A Call to Action: Women, Religion, Violence, and Power
A Call to Action: Women, Religion, Violence, and Power by Jimmy Carter (Hardcover - March 25, 2014)
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