April 11, 2011 Practice Points

President Carter Promotes Legal and Human Rights for Women

By Anne Marie Seibel

Recently, former President Jimmy Carter spoke of his belief that communities around the world should focus on the continued abuse of women and children as a human rights violation. The conference, entitled "Religion, Believe, and Women’s Rights," was sponsored and hosted by the Carter Center in Atlanta, Georgia. During his opening address, President Carter urged governments and religious organizations to come together to note the deprivation of rights to women and girls around the world and to make the correction of those issues a priority. He noted that many prominent religious movements in the world had contributed to unfair legal and social treatment of women based upon certain of their religious teachings.

Panelists during the conference included the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, members of nations from around the world, journalists, and religious scholars. One of the goals of the conference was to discuss how religious and local political leaders can coordinate their efforts and teachings to improve the role of women and limit the influence of discrimination, violence, and oppression on the daily lives of women and girls. Leading up to the conference, scholars and policy makers participated in sessions to discuss the role of women as leaders in politics and religion, including discussions about how religious movements can advocate women’s rights. The conference also addressed how the spreading use of technology worldwide could assist advocates and women to advance the conference’s goals. President Carter specifically noted the improvement of women’s legal rights as one of the most critical human rights issues facing world leaders today.

Keywords: women's rights, President Carter, Jimmy Carter, women's abuse

Anne Marie Seibel works at Bradley Arant Boult Cummings LLP in Birmingham, Alabama.

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