A Call to Action
Women, Religion, Violence, and Power
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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What Reviewers Are Saying
"A Call to Action enhances [Carter's] role as elder statesman and human rights warrior by focusing entirely on the enslavement, degradation, and torture that women endure around the world. . . . an important book that should serve as a reference guide and instructional manual for dealing with the atrocities against women." * The Daily Beast * "[Carter] wrote his book with deep knowledge, insight and compassion...Indeed, it is time to wake up." * Morning Call (PA) * "A Call to Action ends with a list of recommendations to ameliorate the condition of women and girls worldwide, such as having more women in higher public office and involving religious scholars to give a more forward-looking interpretation to their faiths. It is this commitment to a progressive religious outlook that makes Carter almost a lone voice in U.S. politics." * Progressive.org * "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." * Library Journal * "When reading A Call to Action, I got the sense that this is a man who has spent nine decades advocating for women and will continue to do so until his last breath. He is a man on a mission, listing 23 challenges he and The Carter Center are determined to work on for the betterment of women. He demonstrates how he used his influence throughout his lifetime to push women's rights forward . . . Carter's book overwhelms as well as inspires." * Huffington Post * "A Call to Action reinforces his dedication to wiping out injustice-and his ability to move others to join his cause." * St. Louis Post-Dispatch * "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." * Pittsburgh Post-Gazette *