Former U.S. President Jimmy Carter says religious leaders, including those in Christianity and Islam, share the blame for mistreatment of women and girls across the world.
The 88-year-old human rights activist said Friday that male religious leaders perpetuate misguided doctrines of male superiority, from the Catholic Church forbidding women from becoming priests to some African cultures mutilating the genitals of young girls.
Carter says the doctrines contribute to a political, social and economic structure where political leaders passively accept domestic violence against women, sexual trafficking, and inequality in the workplace and classroom.
The 39th president delivered his analysis during an international conference on women and religion. He’s hosting representatives from 15 countries at The Carter Center, the human rights organization he launched in 1982 after leaving the White House.