Fmr US President Jimmy Carter Speaks Out Against Abuse Of Women Worldwide

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Something is happening in the greater social conscience, especially when it comes to men in power. A lot of the time we think the oppression of women in the western world is due to the “old white male” dominant factor. But recently we have seen some pretty awesome examples of men who are speaking out as advocates for the advancement of women on all fronts, and aren’t afraid of emasculating themselves in the process.

US Secretary of State John Kerry recently wrote a blog post in honor of International Women’s Day saying women are the key to world peace, and economic freedom. Actor and activist Patric Stewart created a bit of a viral stir at a film panel when he spoke about his vehement belief in women’s rights and fighting against domestic violence, which he saw his own mother suffer for many years.

Bill Clinton and his family started the Clinton Global Initiative program which meets annually to hear from the world’s greatest minds who speak on a range of topics relating to eradicating poverty and increasing the rights and representation of women globally. And in March 2014, President Obama kicked off a national tour aimed at defending women’s rights to earn just as much as men in the workforce for doing the same job.

And now we can add another notable name to this pretty impressive list already. Former U.S President Jimmy Carter. He has written a book called ‘A Call To Action’ which addresses issues of violence against women, female genital mutilation, and child marriage.

In an interview with Andrea Mitchell from NBC’s ‘Meet The Press’ about the book, he says ” the existing abuse of females is the worst unaddressed human rights violation on earth.” Whoa! He doesn’t mince words that’s for damn sure!

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Certain institutions he points at for being responsible for the oppression of women are churches and the military. As a Baptist, he is deeply passionate about the fact that religious groups from all faiths misinterpret their scriptures to teach that women are inferior to men.

“You can pick out individual verses throughout the Bible that show that the verse favors your particular preference, and the fact that the Catholic church, for instance, prohibits women from serving as priests or even deacons gives a kind of a permission to male people all over the world, that well, if God thinks that women are inferior, I’ll treat them as inferiors. If she’s my wife, I can abuse her with impunity, or if I’m an employer, I can pay my female employees less salary,” he said.

Jimmy and his wife Rosalind actually left the Southern Baptist Church they were members of because he felt they didn’t treat women in line with true Christian beliefs.

“Almost exclusively powerful male leaders within the Christian, Jewish, Muslim, Hindu, Buddhist and other faiths proclaim the lower status of women and girls”.

“This claim that women are inferior before God spreads to the secular world to justify gross and sustained acts of discrimination and violence against them,” he writes in his book.

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He has an interesting theory as to why the military and universities don’t want to properly address and fight the issue of sexual assault on women, saying that the men in charge of these institutions don’t want to admit that these things are going on under their watch, so the rapists prevail because they know they won’t be punished. You know what, he is probably right! He doesn’t waste time on a diplomatic answer, instead cuts right to the chase.

Jimmy’s stance is that these topics need to be understood by the whole world, not just one gender.

“These are not just women’s issues. They are not confined to the poorest countries. They affect us all.”

The World Health Organization estimates that one in three women around the world is subject to sexual violence at some point in her life. In many parts of the world, women still aren’t receiving adequate health care and education. Every year, about 14 million girls under the age of 18 are given away as child brides, and an additional 4 million women and girls are bought and sold into slavery. And according to the United Nations, at least 125 million girls in Africa and the Middle East have undergone female genital mutilation.

In the UK, there are some major moves being made against FGM, and its been a long time coming. Laws against FGM were introduced in the UK nearly 30 years ago, more than 140 referrals have been made to the police in the past four years alone, but it wasn’t until March 2014 that the first prosecution was actually made, according to the BBC. Meanwhile in France over 100 prosecutions for FGM have been made.

It is estimated that 65,000 women in the UK undergo forced female genital mutilations each year with a further 30,000 believed to be at risk. Head of the Department of Education in the UK Michael Gove recently agreed to write to every school in England to ask them to educate parents and children to help protect girls from FGM, as many children come from cultures where the parents are not educated enough to know the health risks associated with FGM.

While the statistics are still pretty overwhelming at times, the more visibility and awareness created, the closer we are to eradicating such atrocities. And as demonstrated by Jimmy Carter, it takes just as many men as women to speak up and stand up.

7 Comments

  1. Pingback: Jimmy Carter Dedicating The Rest Of His Life Fighting For Women's Rights

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