Jimmy Carter: Misunderstanding Scripture is a factor in 'horrible abuse' of women and girls

Jimmy CarterWikimedia

In former President Jimmy Carter's new book, he holds the United States and "misinterpreted" religious practices responsible for perpetual injustices against women.

"A Call to Action: Women, Religion, Violence, and Power" - Carter's 28th book - discusses rape, sexual slavery, genital mutilation, and other horrific realities that women face around the world.

"At the end of the book, there are 23 things that I spell out that every American out to be doing to get away from this horrible abuse of women and girls," Carter told ABC News.

In the interview, Carter also discussed the prevalence of human sex trafficking.

"Last year, the trafficking in human beings—slaves—was $32 billion, most of which went to the original countries," he said.

"The State Department reported that there were 800,000 people sold across international borders last year, and 80% of those were girls."

Carter also discussed the injustices that occur domestically, and the United States' role in correcting the human rights violations of other countries.

"I hold the US most responsible because we have the potential for correcting our own mistakes and going to other countries in a very benevolent way and helping them to decide on their own initiative that they can correct some of the problems that exist," he said.

Carter also held "misinterpreted" religious teachings accountable for the unfair treatment of women.

"If a husband has a wife, or an employer has a female employee, and they're religious," he began, "and they see that women are not equal in the eyes of men, in the eyes of God, why should they treat their wife equally? Or why should they pay their female employees an equal salary?

"The misinterpretation of religious scriptures is the foundation of abuse against women and girls."

Carter, who was the 39th President of the United States, is a Nobel Peace Prize winner, co-founder of the New Baptist Covenant, and founder of the Carter Center—a non-profit that advocates for human rights.