Jimmy Carter’s new book is a must read for everyone interested in civil and human rights. His focus is on women’s rights, but he points out that women are half of the world’s population and that advancing women’s rights will help to advance equal rights for everyone.
Jimmy Carter’s new book “is designed to shock us into the reality that the social creation of gender roles is not ‘the divine will.’ ” – Rebecca Denova
A video message to the “Global Conferene on Sexual Violence in Conflict” – June, 2014
Jimmy Carter’s ‘A Call to Action’: Women’s rights are universal
A tour de force of the global abuse and manipulation of women, including statistics that will stun with details that cannot be ignored – Review by Rebecca Denova – Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
“Women hold up half the sky.” — Mao Zedong
In “A Call to Action: Women, Religion, Violence, and Power,” former President Jimmy Carter not only appeals to a moral necessity for improving the lives of women, here and abroad, but to a practical reason as well — this “man’s world” would collapse without the contribution of women.
Mr. Carter has presented 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. More importantly, he makes the argument that the treatment of women in world societies cannot and should not be justified by religious texts or appeals to ancestral tradition.
Coming from a “Sunday school teacher,” the book is designed to shock us into the reality that the social creation of gender roles is not “the divine will.” Rather, gender roles are the result of human social control, greed, power politics and the continued pursuit of sexual gratification that blames all women for the crime of seducing men…
The scope of the material is astounding. He begins with the problems in his own denomination concerning women in leadership roles in the church (he and his wife, Rosalyn, left the Southern Baptist Convention in 2009 over this issue), and then outlines the litany of abuse that women suffer, often through the misplaced and misinterpreted concepts that are based in various religious worldviews: women in prisons, sexual assaults and rape, sexual assaults in the military, women victims of war, lack of education and the spread of diseases, the genocide of girl fetuses, female circumcision (genital cutting), slavery, the spread of AIDS in Africa, honor killings, “dowry deaths” and sex trafficking.
While tracking global problems, Mr. Carter consistently brings the horrors home as he includes similar domestic cases and highlights several U.N. resolutions that Congress has failed to ratify because such resolutions may promote abortions or contraception education…
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.
Rebecca I. Denova is a lecturer in the early history of Christianity at the University of Pittsburgh, where she also teaches a course on women and religion (firstname.lastname@example.org).