Former President Jimmy Carter announced on Wednesday that he’s been diagnosed with cancer. Earlier this month he underwent an operation to remove a mass from his liver and was given a positive outlook for a complete recovery.
In Wednesday’s statement, Carter said he’d be rearranging his schedule to accommodate his treatments for the disease, and that he would provide an update when more about his condition is known. “Possibly next week,” he said.
Carter, 90, has emerged as a true friend to women’s causes in recent years. During an interview with Katie Couric in April 2014 at the Women in the World Summit, Carter spoke of the importance of advancing women’s rights, not only in the U.S., but around the globe.
“I’m going to devote a good bit of the rest of my life to this particular issue as a preeminent human rights issue of The Carter Center,” he said. He went on to talk about the 2014 book he authored, his 28th, titled A Call To Action: Women, Religion, Violence, and Power, saying that he hadn’t previously written on a topic so important. He described women’s rights as an issue that’s been “unaddressed” globally.
When the discussion turned to United States of America’s place in the world among countries that have women in political leadership, the 39th president was critical of the U.S. for ranking 78th (at the time) in terms of the number of women serving in local, state and federal government. “But I don’t think there’s any doubt that when women seek public office, and gain it, they transform their governments because they have an overwhelmingly greater commitment to peace, and to justice and understanding.”
When asked why the U.S. lags so far behind the rest of the world, Carter pointed to the nation’s history of racial discrimination as something that’s held it back. White women won the right to vote in 1920, he remarked to Couric, but black women didn’t get the right to vote until 1965, he reminded the audience, which drew a round of applause.
“I think we will have a woman president in my lifetime,” Carter said, sounding hopeful.
His enlightened position on women’s rights is a sentiment that he’s echoed in multiple interviews since then.
In April, according to Yahoo News, Carter declared, “I consider myself a feminist.” And in an interview with CNN in January of this year, the former president said, “This is going to be the highest priority for the rest of my life.”
Our best wishes go out to President Carter and his family for a speedy and full recovery.
Watch Part 1 of Jimmy Carter at the 2014 Women in the World Summit:
Watch Part 2 of Jimmy Carter at the 2014 Women in the World Summit: