Several weeks ago when I read Caitlin Moran’s How To Be A Woman, one of the things that really stuck out for me was that until men get on board with this whole feminism thing, not much is going to change.
I’m not sure that Moran ever thought that her work was going to be linked to former President Jimmy Carter but that’s what I’m about to do. Certainly their perspectives are quite different but their end goal is the same: equality for women.
Jimmy Carter’s latest book, A Call to Action: Women, Religion, Violence and Power is essentially trying to show the world the insane amount of disparity suffered by women in all corners of the world. He talks abut rape, education, positions of power, maternal health, genital mutilation and honour killings. Because of his work with The Carter Center, an organization he founded to help propel the human rights movement, he has had a front row seat to some of the heinous things that happen to women because they are women. He’s also in a unique position to be able to do something about some of those situations.
Some would argue that his book is just a chronicle of all the horrible things happening to women in the world. In some respects, that’s true. But before we can get everyone on board with changing the treatment of women, we have to know what’s happening. It’s easy to ignore femicide or child brides when it’s not happening to you. But these are problems that half the world’s population deal with on the regular.
it’s a short book – just 198 pages – and it’s difficult to get into all of the ins and outs of gender discrimination in all it’s various forms in that length of time. But I think that Carter does an admirable job starting the conversation. I personally could have done without all the biblical references but I think his point was that religious men hide behind scripture to justify that behaviour. For the first third of the book it seemed to me that he was calling on religious leaders to be the first to take a stand on gender discrimination. Let women become priests for example. The Catholic Church has actually defrocked priests for encouraging women to become ordained. But those priests preying on young children? Just moved to a different parish.
I admire the fact that Jimmy Carter took a stand for women’s rights and my hope is that this book is widely read enough to spark that conversation that will start addressing the gender inequality.
If you want to get involved, please visit the following links:
And if you have time, you should watch the It’s A Girl documentary. You can find it on Netflix, but here’s a trailer: