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A Call to Action: Women, Religion, Violence, and Power
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A Call to Action: Women, Religion, Violence, and Power

3.97 of 5 stars 3.97  ·  rating details  ·  525 ratings  ·  139 reviews
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 is current. It covers the plight of women and girls–strangled at birth,...more
Hardcover, 211 pages
Published March 25th 2014 by Simon & Schuster (first published January 1st 2014)
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Deborah Markus
When did black Americans get the right to vote?

If you answer, "1965," you are very cool and we can have a friendly, spirited discussion about whether having "the right" to do something is really a right if you can’t actually act on that right. And we may have to agree to disagree, because technically the late lamented Voting Rights Act was put into place in order to protect the rights already spelled out in the Constitution. But we’ll certainly be cool and groovy together, because you obviously...more
Denis Vukosav
‘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...more
Jenny (Reading Envy)
I listened to Jimmy Carter read his book on the audio version, which I got as a review copy from the publisher. He doesn't always pronounce everything perfectly, but he's Jimmy Carter!

This is an excellent overview of how religious and political restraints impact the status, health, and livelihood of women worldwide. He offers specific ideas for working toward change while also acknowledging why some change has been difficult. You can see the 23 action items on the Carter Center blog without even...more
Rayme
Apr 07, 2014 Rayme added it
I admire Jimmy Carter but found this book frustrating. Each chapter outlines a different problem women face globally: domestic violence, trafficking, maternal health, etc. and as a thoughtful fact-based summary, it does a fine job (and can be used as a primer, especially for men of an older generation, to raise consciousness). My frustration comes from the mental gymnastics and very narrowly selected quotes Mr. Carter uses to show that the major world religions do not really condone poor and une...more
jeremy
president carter himself describes a call to action as the most important book he's ever written (having authored 28). his thesis is lucid:
yet although economic disparity is a great and growing problem, i have become convinced that the most serious and unaddressed worldwide challenge is the deprivation and abuse of women and girls, largely caused by a false interpretation of carefully selected religious texts and a growing tolerance of violence and warfare, unfortunately following the example se
...more
Mel
After a lot of books with subtitles like "A call to action" I find myself wondering what marketing genius didn't think I'd mind the complete absence of actionable items. This is not the case here. President Carter goes into the specifics of some important work being done by a lot of people, gives numerous examples of how people have stepped in to help out, and my reaction is -- how the hell does this man have the energy to be involved in all of this? Some might add "at his age" but frankly I hav...more
Mikey B.
Despite the primary importance of this topic I did find this book floundered in certain aspects. I suppose one cannot expect a book of 200 pages to encompass the totality of this vital subject area. It was in some ways similar to Half the Sky: Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women Worldwide but less emotive. Half the Sky: Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women Worldwide had a far more grass-roots feel to it.

This book discusses what the Carter Center is doing around the world. Cred...more
Larraine
If you pay attention to the news at all, there really isn't a lot of "new" here per se. However, former President Carter brings together the various issues that bedevil so many women around the world: forced marriages, genital mutilation, prostitution as slavery, and abuse. He ties it together with his knowledge of Biblical scriptures. He is a man of deep faith who has also made a study of the Bible. In addition, he discusses some of the initiatives that the Carter Center has made around the wor...more
Frances Johnson
President Jimmy Carter and the Carter Center brought together an international group of people to address important issues affecting women. Issues of sexual slavery and trafficking, discrimination, deadly diseases, infant mortality, the murdering of female babies, child marriage, and genital mutilation are subjects people don't want to think about, much less talk about and try to solve. President Carter discusses these issues, gives examples, documents, and offers suggestions that came out of th...more
Carla
Forget what your "politics" are. This man is beyond reproach for his championing of women's rights, human rights. While the book is backed up by statistics that blow you away, certainly some of the more depraved practices, both cultural and religious, around the world will haunt you. I finished this book and cried. This information is really not that new to me, but certainly, how little that has changed since I first became aware of violence towards women, is new. It will make you angry, sad, ho...more
Jen
This book does a good job describing the crimes against women, the attempts that have been made, the failures and successes at bettering the lives of women.

There was very little I hadn't heard before. "Dowry deaths" (killing a wife because her family didn't provide enough dowry) was a surprise and made me ill. Even more than selling a daughter into slavery and prostitution... That a woman could be killed because a man wasn't paid enough to take her.

Awful.

I appreciated his suggestions, but don...more
Laura
A heartfelt call for equal rights for women. I’m proud he was our president, once upon a time. This book is brave and candid. It acknowledges a truth that drove him from his childhood church and we saw violently resisted by our own fellow citizens just this weekend; that the way we treat women is reprehensible and that we must do better. That said, he did not convince me of a major thesis; that violent misogyny is a misreading of sacred texts. But I’m glad he believes that.

Ends with specific su...more
Jordan
Jimmy Carter's latest book is a powerful examination of the ways that our culture, and cultures around the world, subjugate women to a lesser, underpaid, underprivileged, and dangerous position.

Starting with his childhood in the deep South, Carter takes readers through his own spiritual awakening to women's issues in the context of Christianity and other world religions, and then transitions us into political issues of his terms as governor and president. The ongoing global issues facing women...more
Gwendolyn Plano
Domestic violence is often misunderstood by those who have been spared such diminishment. When I wrote Letting Go into Perfect Love: Discovering the Extraordinary After Abuse, I tried to explain its effect through glimpses of such terror. Jimmy Carter's book, A Call to Action, looks at violence against women from the vantage point of facts that stretch into the areas of religion, politics, and culture. It is powerful.

Carter opens his book with a simple statement: "...prejudice, discrimination, w...more
Jen Lawrence
I cannot emphasize how much respect I have for Carter for writing this book. In this book, Former President Carter provides a primer outlining the major issues impacting women across the globe and religion's role in contributing to gender-based hatred. I am so impressed that a 90 year old former Southern Baptist (he left the church of his youth due to their anti-women policies) really gets the severity of this issue that many of my female peers with daughters (in other words, people with a stake...more
Kelly A McDermott
I'm indecisive on this review because I understand the intent and why the book is styled the way it is; it simply wasn't my preference, and I was more disappointed in the potential I saw for it. First, the pros: it's Jimmy Carter. He writes in a manner accessible to all. He is a veritable wealth of information - from personal anecdotes to access to people, organizations and statistics. I feel like he could have written 20 books on the subject. The book is an excellent survey of a wide range of c...more
Debbie "DJ" Wilson
Won in the Goodreads and Simon & Schuster giveaway. Thank you!
This is possibly one of the most powerful and essential books I have read. In it Carter focuses on the role women have in societies and how discrimination against them leads to devastating effects. I was surprised to learn that this inequality has been increasing and that the U.S. is far behind other industrialized nations in giving women leading roles. Much of this injustice is tied to powerful male leadership in religious faiths...more
Deb
Jimmy Carter must be the best ex-President we have ever had. His work with the Carter Center all over the world is an impressive legacy. In this volume, he tackles the plight of women around the world. Even in first world countries, he points out, women are deprived of equal opportunities every day. But it is in the Third World where the horror really abounds: child marriage, genital mutilation, servitude, casual rape and murder. Carter identifies carefully selected (and often edited) texts used...more
Aud Ackerman
A really excellent book that should be read by anyone interested in promoting women's right for equality, (and even those that are not, actually).



Suzanne
An interesting read that relates misinterpretation of religious texts to global violence against women. Really made me want to travel to Plains to listen to one of Jimmy's bible studies. Anyone want to do a road trip to south georgia this fall? Serious.
Marcia Sherman
This is a groundbreaking book of great importance for everyone to read on the subject of the abuse of women. Jimmy Carter rightly labels this social issue as one of the greatest and least addressed human rights violations of our times. Drawing from the richness of diversity in his own life experiences, he recounts how he personally has been confronted with the mistreatment of women from his upbringing in the racially charged South, on campus as a student and professor, in the military, and throu...more
Brenna Pappert
A Call to Action: Women, Religion, Violence, and Power covers some tough to read subjects such as Female Circumcision and trafficking of slaves. Many of the atrocities brought up in this book have been in the news, but not to the degree that is talked about in this book. Jimmy Carter brings focus to human trafficking, rape, prison issues, health issues, and more, in the US and other countries. He addresses all countries, all religion, all cultures. He does not "pussy foot" around any subject, an...more
Dale
A Review of the Audiobook

Published in 2014 by Simon and Schuster (AUDIOWORKS)
Read by the author, Jimmy Carter
Duration: 6 hours, 33 minutes


Jimmy Carter and I have a strange relationship. Don't get me wrong, the 39th President and I have never met and are not likely to. I think that his presidency was, on balance, a well-intentioned mess and his post-Presidential career has been a mix of amazing achievements (Habitat for Humanity, for example) combined with annoying commentary and self-interventio...more
Pam Gary

President Carter's "A Call to Action: Women, Religion, Violence, and Power" is an excellent analysis of the violence and discrimination waged against women and girls throughout the world, including the United States.

A major factor President Carter emphasizes and illustrates in his Call to Action is the use of religion. There are some male religious leaders who misinterpret the Holy Bible and other sacred texts which has resulted in perpetual oppression of women and a continued supremacy of men....more
Pat
"The world's discrimination and violence against women and girls is the most serious, pervasive and ignored violation of basic human rights" so states the blurb on Jimmy Carter's newest book that he was "encouraged to write by a wide coalition of leaders of all faiths." Carter provides the grim statistics: genocide; slavery and prostitution; sexual assault and rape; "honor" killings; genital cutting; child marriage and dowry deaths; violence and war; politics, pay and maternal health; spouse abu...more
Wanda
Jimmy Carter calls this "by far the most important" of the 28 books he has authored and it might be the most important book I've read. It's certainly one I plan to re-read as there is more information in this book than I can absorb in one reading.

The book's scope is literally world wide and doesn't leave first world issues unaddressed. Many of the twenty three action points listed at the end of the book apply to issues in the U.S., and cover topics such as domestic violence , campus and militar...more
Theresa
I have to admit that I was somewhat disappointed in this book. I really like Jimmy Carter and all that he has done as an ex-president, but I did not find the book that interesting. I felt like I was already aware of most of the things that he talked about. He also seemed to talk quite a lot about himself, patting himself on the back for everything he has done. So many times a story would start with something like, "no one had addressed this until Rosalyn and I....," or "it wasn't until my presid...more
Mlg
Former President Carter details the use of different religions to hold women back in the world. After showing how most interpretations of scripture are incorrect, he embarks on a journey around the world to highlight different issues that affect women. These include abuses in wartime, rape, honor killing, genital mutilation, female genocide, slavery and prostitution, spousal abuse, child marriage and others. He highlights what the Carter Foundation has done to try to improve conditions for wome...more
Dan Dinello
Jimmy Carter issues a "call to action" over discrimination and violence against women, focusing on issues from female genital mutilation and rape to child marriage in a new book out in the US this week. Yes, some of it is self-serving in the sense that it promotes The Carter Center. But this is fine because it's doing incredible work to eradicate diseases in the most impoverished areas of the world as well as calling out and fighting global rape culture. I was amazed at this man's energy, optimi...more
Sandra
This book really deserves a 4.5 rating. The only mark against it is that it is a bit unorganized at times.

The subject of this book is not about rape but this quote may sum up the importance of this book:
" . . . rape is used as a weapon of war in conflict zones and, more often than not, the international community ignores these brutal crimes and so the perpetrators repeat the cycle of abuse."

This book reports in detail how many families, churches, communities, and countries fail to value women as...more
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James Earl "Jimmy" Carter, Jr. was the thirty-ninth President of the United States, serving from 1977 to 1981, and the recipient of the 2002 Nobel Peace Prize. Prior to becoming president, Carter served two terms in the Georgia Senate and as the 76th Governor of Georgia, from 1971 to 1975.

As president, Carter created two new cabinet-level departments: the Department of Energy and the Department of...more
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“I realize that violence is not more prevalent today than in previous periods of human history, but there is a difference. We have seen visionary standards adopted by the global community that espouse peace and human rights, and the globalization of information ensures that the violation of these principles of nonviolence by a powerful and admired democracy tends to resonate throughout the world community. We should have advanced much further in the realization of women's rights, given these international commitments to peace and the rule of law.” 1 likes
“When our mothers, wives, sisters, and daughters are considered both different and inferior in the eyes of the God we worship, this belief tends to permeate society and everyone suffers.” 1 likes
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