Jimmy Carter: Why I believe the mistreatment of women is the number one human rights abuse

TED talks are short presentations on ‘Ideas Worth Spreading’ given to a live audience by a vast range of experts. From future technology to identifying fossils, from statistics to stand-up (some of the talks are very funny), they can be found online on YouTube or on the TED website. Here, I will be sharing some of my favourite TED talks.

TEDWomen: Jimmy Carter May 2015

Former president of the United States, Jimmy Carter gives a heartfelt and meaningful talk on a very prominent issue which has only increased in media and social attention since he gave the talk back in May of last year: the mistreatment of women. Women are fighting to have an equal role in society to men and with the recent election  of Theresa May as our new Prime Minister and Hilary Clinton running for presidency, it seems that women are getting closer to achieving that goal. But Jimmy Carter’s talk reveals that they still have a long way to go.

Over the course of his presidency, Carter has not only visited all 50 states in the USA but he and his wife have visited over 145 countries, meeting normal, everyday people as well kings, queens and presidents. His mission was to promote human rights to all of these countries and he came to realise that the number one abuse of human rights was the abuse of women and girls.

According to Carter, one of the main causes of female abuse is the misinterpretation of holy scriptures like the Bible or Quran by men who, as a consequence, are now in the prominent position of power in those religions. He believes that the 30,000 verses in the bible that apparently claim that God views women as inferior were misinterpreted to keep men in a dominant position. This gives men in positions of power, for instance a husband or an employer, the excuse to say that if god doesn’t view women equally, why should they treat them equally?

Carter is extremely passionate about this subject and the abuses that concern him the most include genital mutilation, prostitution and the slave trade.

Carter worries that it is not in men’s interest to change the current status quo but his talk is very persuasive and will surely encourage any man or woman to spread the word to treat women and men equally and to do so themselves, no matter the situation or the circumstance.  He pleas to anyone in a position of power in a country where these atrocities take place, to take up arms and fight for a better life for women in the future.

Adam Quinn


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