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

4.02  ·  Rating details ·  1,819 ratings  ·  304 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,
Hardcover, 211 pages
Published March 25th 2014 by Simon Schuster
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Deborah Markus
Jun 04, 2014 rated it really liked it
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
Apr 05, 2014 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
Mar 31, 2014 rated it it was amazing
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
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
Religion has for centuries been linked with violence and inhuman cruelty. Former President, Jimmy Carter, a deeply religious man, devotes this book to uncoupling that connection. His focus is on violence, subjugation, abuse, and discrimination against women.

He starts with the flawed dogma propagated within his own religion. In 2000 the Southern Baptist Convention, the largest U.S. Protestant group, banned women from leadership positions. As a result, the Carters resigned. Instead, he focused hi
Mikey B.
Sep 16, 2014 rated it really liked it
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
Connie G
Oct 12, 2014 rated it really liked it
Former US President Jimmy Carter did not just sit back in a rocking chair when he retired in 1981. He and his wife, Rosalynn, founded the Carter Center which helps improve the situations of people around the world. As a devote Baptist and Sunday school teacher, he is frustrated by the ways male religious leaders--Christian, Jewish, and Islamic--use sacred texts to justify male dominance of women. Some of Carter's concerns are wage discrimination, sexual abuse in the military, rape, slavery and p ...more
Apr 01, 2014 rated it it was amazing
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
Vannessa Anderson
Oct 17, 2014 rated it it was amazing
From the book

The Universal Declaration of Human Rights states that men and women are equal ratified in 1948 by a vote of 48 to 0 yet it is not honored

Jimmy Carter was the first American president born in a hospital

The first pope, Saint Peter was married, because Jesus healed his mother-in-law

In November 2012 Congolese troops trained by the U.S. Government perpetrated a mass rape of 135 women and girls….

Global Slavery Index report released in October 2013 estimates that 29.8 million people remain
Apr 16, 2014 rated it it was amazing
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
Apr 08, 2014 rated it really liked it
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
Debbie "DJ"
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 who
Frances Johnson
Apr 21, 2014 rated it it was amazing
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
May 04, 2014 rated it liked it
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.
This book was a complete surprise. Okay, so everybody has an opinion of Jimmy Carter. He's a former president, ambassador, Nobel prize laureate, world traveler, peanut farmer, millionaire, preacher, writer, builder of homes and communities and world peace ... A gentle and kind-hearted soul. Before starting it I thought (in an inexplicably Irish accent), "Ah the gentle little lamb will say a few nice things about women and be done with it." And yes, he started off gentle and mouthing generalities ...more
Apr 30, 2015 rated it it was amazing
This is probably the most important book I have heard in a long time. I read for fun, so I tend to stick with fiction. But I heard about the premise of this book and listened to the audiobook, read by Jimmy Carter himself. For all of the progress that has been made on human rights, it is alarming to hear so much evidence that leads to the conclusion that the world may be moving in the wrong direction with respect to the treatment of women and girls. I admire Mr. Carter's courage in leaving his c ...more
Jun 19, 2014 rated it really liked it
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
Apr 08, 2014 rated it really liked it
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.


I appreciated his suggestions, but don
Sep 15, 2016 rated it it was amazing
A sobering overview of the many inequalities in the world today. Carter's strength is his decades of travel and discussion on human rights through the Carter Center, along with his calm Southern demeanor. While he shares a mind-numbing pile of statistics, it is obvious that there is much work to be done, even here in the US, to secure equality for half of the world's inhabitants, and he calls upon any of us, including religious leaders to be part of the solution.
Mar 02, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A good read but lots of hard information to hear~! I know we often think we have come so far in equality and justice for women but it is staggering to read the statistics. The horrific crimes against young girls and women that take place on a daily basis around the world is heart breaking! We need to make ourselves aware and take action!!
Steve Smits
Apr 16, 2014 rated it really liked it
I admired Carter’s presidency, particularly his deep commitment to human rights as a cornerstone of foreign affairs policy. In my view, his reputation as a “weak” executive entirely misses the mark. I appreciated his avoidance of conveying overly simplistic messages about complex national and world affairs; this, though, allowed his detractors to suggest he was irresolute. Many will disagree with me but, while there is much about American values that is superior in the world, I think there is, s ...more
May 26, 2014 rated it really liked it
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
May 19, 2014 rated it really liked it
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
May 04, 2014 rated it liked it
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
May 31, 2014 rated it really liked it
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
Julie G
Well done. No complaints with the quality of writing and certainly none with the research and documentation. The Carter Center is well known for its humanitarian work and all of Carter's statistics and research are backed up with their data. This isn't a critique of the writing, but it reads more like a collection of essays and less like a cohesive work, which isn't what I was expecting. That said, it certainly didn't hurt the quality of the writing in the least.

Entertainment Value
I found
Dan Dinello
May 23, 2014 rated it really liked it
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
Apr 08, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
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
Here's the thing - I think this book is incredibly important, because it highlights some of the biggest global abuses against the women that many people aren't aware of and don't get the press they deserve. He takes it from a policy perspective - he discusses a lot of the international treaties that the US, in particular, is bound to, as well as significant policy steps that could be made to address these issues. But because of its size (under 200 pages), a lot of the topics aren't covered in de ...more
Jonathan Greer
Jan 14, 2017 rated it liked it
1st of 52 books for 2017. Women's rights have been on the forefront of my mind lately and I felt this might be a good book to read. Jimmy Carter is a good man and his actions after his time in the White House have changed millions of lives for the better. Carter spans the course of his life in this book, covering actions and decisions he has taken to change the lives of women across the world. It is truly inspiring to see what a profound difference two people can make in the world (Rosalyn deser ...more
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Librarian’s note: There is more than one author in the Goodreads database with this name.

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

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