President Jimmy Carter and Respect for Women (pt. 2)

We ended last week with the large number of black women in jail and the large number of citizens in jail being “worse than any country on earth” percentage wise. He also laments the death penalty and says that when the state acts in a brutal and lethal manner “this conveys to the community that violence is acceptable”.

He asks what is the worst abuse of power in the U.S.?  The answer is “discriminatory wages and advancement opportunities for women”.  A woman in the workplace who does exactly the same level of work with the same level of authority and education is paid 23% less than a man. Men employers take advantage of this.

In colleges, although women are 57% of undergraduates, graduates and higher levels of education, they get only 23% of tenured professorships.  We note that Pope Francis spoke last week, in Rome, about the injustice to women in not receiving the same pay for equal work.

Carter also laments the infant mortality rate in this country which is at 21%, and very low, among industrialized countries even though we spend more, per average patient, than any other. He has a global initiative “Mobilizing Faith for Women” that reminds religious leaders of these abuses and what can be done to lessen them.

Finally, he refers to the Gospels, and how Jesus Christ was ahead of his time in exalting women, and how this gives us the example to do likewise. These issues affect women in our parish and we can work to change them as part of our justice outreach.

We wish all of our mothers a Happy Mother’s Day.

- Fr. Gene