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

by Jimmy Carter (2015), reviewed by Bernie Turner

This year Jimmy Carter turned 90 years of age. In his "early" years at the age of 88 he wrote this amazing book A Call to Action. The book is amazing because Carter sets forth his concern for women and children in a powerful way. He reveals how he called on his "friends" from around the world to join him in addressing the issues of violence against women and children.

In this effort he went to the United Nations and helped pass statements of understanding and concern. In this cause he formed a group which he called “Elders” who were leading and prominent political and religious leaders with whom he met to address these concerns. He recognized the value of their political power and their wisdom.  In this book he speaks out on "The Bible and Gender Equality." He tackles he very sensitive issues of, genocide of girls, rape, slavery and prostitution, "honor" killings, genital cutting and child marriages.

Throughout the book he has quotes from religious leaders of many faiths, Islam, Hindu and Buddhism. One of my favorite quotes comes from Ritu Sharma, co-funder and president of Women Thrive Worldwide. She says:

"There is no religion that despises women. Hatred cannot come from the heart of God. If there is hatred, its source is not the Creator. It is our minds and hearts that must change to release women, girls, men and boys from the bondage of gender-based limitations or violence. That change is happening, right now in this very moment, in thousands of homes, schools, synagogues chapels, mosques and centers of power around the world. That change is coming. Have faith. It will be here soon."

Carter closes the book with 23 proposed actions we need to take.

Bernie Turner is a retired pastor living in Oregon