Jimmy Carter: U.S. Foreign Policy, Death Penalty Prompt Abuse of Women

July 11, 2013 - 2:42 PM

Jimmy Carter: U.S. Foreign Policy, Death Penalty Prompt Abuse of Women

Former Democratic President Jimmy Carter. (AP)

(CNSNews.com) – Former Democratic President Jimmy Carter said U.S. defense policy and the use of capital punishment could lead to the abuse of women.

“When we take war as a legitimate way to resolve disputes, or when we excessively use violence as a punishment for a crime, this says violence is okay. That’s another factor that hurts women,” Carter said.

The 39th president, who served from 1977 to 1981, made his remarks at the Carter Center’s  conference “Mobilizing Faith for Women: Engaging the Power of Religion and Belief to Advance Human Rights and Dignity.” The event took place on June 28 in Atlanta and included religious leaders, religious scholars and activists from around the world.

Carter said the United States has chosen war over peace for the last six decades.

“Another very important factor in the world that contributes to women’s abuse is the ordination or approval of violence as a way to resolve differences in our society,” Carter said. “We, in this country, in my country, have been guilty of almost constant warfare for the last 60 years, beginning in North and South Korea and going on to Vietnam and then to Bosnia and Herzegovina and more recently in Iraq and Iran. But in between, in almost every country where there has been an altercation, we have chosen to go to war rather than negotiate peacefully to resolve disputes.”

lethal injection

(AP Photo)

Carter did not explain what he was referring to in regards to war and Iran.

He then talked about the death penalty.

“Some countries represented here still allow the horrible abuse of execution, of the death penalty,” Carter said. “No Western European country has the death penalty. Only one Eastern European country – and that’s Belarus -- has the death penalty. Canada doesn’t have it and so forth. The United States does.”

“Our country and three other countries have the four most executions in the world,” said Carter. “When we take war as a legitimate way to resolve disputes, or when we excessively use violence as a punishment for a crime, this says violence is okay. That’s another factor that hurts women.”