March 26, 2014 was a momentous day for women of the world. Former US President Jimmy Carter began a media blitz to promote his new book (his 28th) A Call to Action, which documents the travesties against women around the globe – slavery, human trafficking, genocide, honor killings, child marriages, mutilation, and sexual assault, to name a few.
At age 89 President Carter said the Carter Center has been working in 79 countries around the world these many years since his Presidency, and the Center’s experience carrying out various programs and projects plus his own extensive travel convinced him that women and girls are victims of horrendous cultural, economic, and social atrocities in the United States (society in general and the military) as well as abroad. A generation of girls has been lost.
The premise of A Call to Action is that religious texts, which are interpreted by men, can be used to justify subjugation and abuse of women. President Carter suggests that going forward women should include men and responsible religious leaders in discussions of these issues and how best to address them. The President says: “the most serious and unaddressed worldwide challenge is deprivation and abuse of women and girls,” and it is to that end that he intends to devote the remainder of his life.
Pretty powerful stuff.
President Carter speaks to the mission of the Bucks County Women’s Advocacy Coalition and all its work in pursuit of that mission.
The number one tip on how to be effective in government given by Bill Morrill in his book, A Journey through Governance, is to:
“look for windows of opportunity as opposed to where opportunities look slim i.e. logjams beginning to move; problems for which opponents want solutions, and new actors or facts.”
Here is a new actor, and a window of opportunity. I propose that the Coalition join the crusade to protect women and girls, and do the following:
Write President Carter – and urge all Partners to do the same (thanking him and telling him we are answering the Call to Action;
- Share the notification of the President’s new book with all local and statewide networks;
- Encourage all Partners to join the Bucks County Coalition Against Human Trafficking;
- Submit a Guest Opinion to local papers, and find the ways to get local radio and television to focus on the topic because women’s rights are an unreported topic;
- Ask all Congressional, state legislative and local candidates for public office to comment on their knowledge and commitment to discrimination issues of relevance to women and girls;
- Explore the formation of a Pennsylvania Call to Action coalition to encompass these challenges;
- Connect with national organizations which are working on discrimination of women and girls;
- Collaborate with Women’s Way to develop a host of women’s and men’s organizations to jointly invite President Carter to come to the Philadelphia area to speak.
No doubt there are other strategies which can be followed…any ideas? Please share.