Target: Former U.S. President Jimmy Carter
Goal: Praise Former U.S. President Jimmy Carter for his comments to condemn religion’s abuse of women around the world and defend women’s rights
Former U.S. President Jimmy Carter should be praised for his comments in a recent speech on women’s rights and religion’s role in defending them. The speech was during the June 27-29, 2013 conference “Mobilizing Faith for Women: Engaging the Power of Religion and Belief to Advance Human Rights and Dignity.” Not only did President Carter make some powerful remarks to the religious community, he also hosted the conference at The Carter Center, which he established in 1982 after leaving the White House.
In his 17-minute speech, he called on religious leaders to take responsibility for contributing to serious violations of women’s rights, from women being kept from having equal leadership roles in the church to girls 8-10 years of age being forced to marry with the consent of traditional and religious leaders. Carter said religious authorities take texts of many sacred books, including the Bible and the Koran, and distort and misuse them as justification to treat women as inferior.
He pulled out a copy of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which was agreed to by every country on earth in 1948, led by First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt. He listed agreements that are currently being violated right now in countries around the world, including in the U.S., many being perpetrated and even defended by religious leaders. He also encouraged every attendee of the conference to carry around a copy of the Declaration with them.
Carter starts off his speech with these powerful words: “This morning we’re going to be discussing [what are] I think the most pervasive and unaddressed human rights violations on earth, and that is the abuse of women, which persists in almost every country on earth, and for which there is a great aversion among men leaders and some women leaders to admit that this is something that exists, that it’s serious and troubling and can be and should be addressed courageously.”
Please sign this petition now to thank President Carter for his own courage in his defense of women’s rights.
Dear President Carter:
Thank you for courageously addressing the abuse of women in your speech this summer, just as you called on world and religious leaders to do, at the Mobilizing Faith for Women conference that you hosted at The Carter Center.
Not only did you read directly from a copy of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and recommend that everyone obtain a copy, you also courageously pointed out many places where those rights are still being violated, even here in the U.S., under the authority of religious leaders around the world. You also focused specifically on the abuse of women, calling it the “most pervasive and unaddressed human rights violations on earth, which persists in almost every country on earth,” and adding, “there is a great aversion among men leaders and some women leaders to admit that this is something that exists, that it’s serious and troubling and can be and should be addressed courageously.”
Thank you, again, for your own courage and using your podium and position of influence to labor for women’s rights and for peace and equality for all.
[Your Name Here]
Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons