Former U.S. President Jimmy Carter says religious leaders, including those in Christianity and Islam, share the blame for mistreatment of women across the world.
HuffingtonPost The human rights activist said Friday religious authorities perpetuate misguided doctrines of male superiority, from the Catholic Church forbidding women from becoming priests to African Muslim cultures mutilating the genitals of young girls.
Carter said the doctrines, which he described as theologically indefensible, contribute to a political, social and economic structure where political leaders passively accept violence against women, a worldwide sex slave trade and inequality in the workplace and classroom.
Nations represented at the Carter conference include Afghanistan, Botswana, Egypt, Iraq, Malaysia, Nigeria, Senegal and the Sudan. Carter mentioned widespread oppression in many of nations where iterations of Islam dominate, but also had criticism for the developed Western world where Christianity is the strongest cultural influence.
He noted that women in Saudi Arabia can’t drive or vote. Girls in some cultures are forced to marry before they are 10 years old and women in the United States, he said, are paid about 70 percent of what men earn for the same work. Across the world, he said, prosecutions for rape are either rare or too often become a referendum on the victim.