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

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A Call to Action: Women, Religion, Violence and Power, by Jimmy Carter, 2014. Hardcover, 224 pages, $28.00 ISBN: 978-1476773957.
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I’m grateful to Jimmy Carter for writing A Call to Action, which discusses the mistreatment of women around the world. The 224 page book contains chapters on unequal pay for women’s work, rape, human trafficking, “honor” killing, spousal abuse and other subjects. The value of the book for me lies in the clear explanation of each problem that women confront, statistics and details. Before I read the book, I knew something about most of the problems that Carter relates, but I didn’t fully understand the genesis of the abuses or how they are executed. 

President Carter explains how the maltreatment of women is often justified by the scriptures of major religions and then debunks those justifications. In Carter’s eyes, unfair and violent/abusive treatment of women is the number one problem in the world today. 

One reviewer of A Call to Action on Amazon.com remarks that the book would have been better if it had been written by a woman. I question that assertion, because Jimmy Carter displays a great deal of sensitivity and understanding in this resource. We women are lucky to have a champion like Carter, former President of the United States and winner of the Nobel Peace Prize. Few individuals have such stature and first-hand knowledge. President Carter has visited many nations around the world and discussed women’s issues with dignitaries and “average folks” alike. The book contains many extended quotations by experts. 

The end of the book lists 23 actions that readers can pursue to advance the cause of women’s rights worldwide.  I can’t recommend this book enough. It’s a “must” for anyone who cares about equality and fair treatment of women.

Author: Janet Lewis Reinke (reinkej@fiu.edu) is Head of Research Services at Florida International College of Law Library, Miami, Florida. 

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