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President Jimmy Carter calls for action to end child marriage in latest book

Photo credit: Sara Saunders

U.S. President Jimmy Carter calls for action to end child marriage in his latest book “A Call to Action: Women, Religion, Violence, and Power”, which looks at “the most serious and unaddressed worldwide challenge”: the discrimination against and abuse of women and girls.

The most serious and unaddressed worldwide challenge is the deprivation and abuse of women and girls.

U.S. President Jimmy Carter

In a chapter on child marriages and other harmful traditional practices, President Carter refers to child marriage as one of the most serious and pervasive forms of abuse against women and girls, and discusses progress happening at the international level to end the practice.

President Carter, who is a member of The Elders, a group of independent global leaders who work together for peace and human rights, also explains how Girls Not Brides came to be.

“After The Elders agreed to adopt the eradication of gender abuse as a priority project, it soon became obvious that the greatest opportunity for our group to make a direct and immediate contribution was by concentrating on child marriage.”

“The Elders formed a global partnership with about three hundred nongovernmental organizations from more than fifty countries that share the commitment to end child marriage. We name this coalition Girls Not Brides, and it grew to such an extent that it was separated into an independent organization in 2013.” (A Call toAction ©2014 by Jimmy Carter. Reprinted by permission of Simon & Schuster, Inc, NY.)

“A Call to Action” is a powerful account of the human rights abuses against women and girls around the world and a compelling reminder of the work needed to redress those abuses.

President Carter closes the book with 23 recommendations to eliminate violence against women and girls, including the need to strengthen legal instruments to end child marriage. He also stresses the critical role men and boys and religious leaders have to play in bringing an end to the practice.

Find out more about “A Call to Action” and the work of The Carter Center here.