A Call to Action
Women, Religion, Violence, and PowerBook - 2014
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.
From the critics
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"It is interesting to note that an overwhelming majority of citizens in the world's three largest democracies have different religions: India (81 percent Hindu), the United States (76 percent Christian), and Indonesia (87 percent Muslim). Two of them have elected women as leaders of their government."
"We who are more privileged are not deliberately perpetuating our status at the expense of others, but we rarely wish to confront or be involved in the problem."
"The relegation of women to an inferior or circumscribed status by many religious leaders is one of the primary reasons for the promotion and perpetuation of sexual abuse. If potential male exploiters of women are led to believe that their victim is considered inferior or 'different' even by God, they can presume that it must be permissible to take advantage of their superior male status. It is crucial that devout believers abandon the premise that their faith mandates sexual discrimination."
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