Former President Jimmy Carter speaks women's rights in Minneapolis

Former U.S. President Jimmy Carter made a special visit to the Twin Cities on Friday – and the 90-year-old is still fighting many of the problems that face the world today.

The event hosted by Augsburg College was called "A Call to Action," which is also the title of his newly released book addressing women's rights.

Carter is turning his attention to women's rights because he believes it's the most important issue facing human rights as a whole - and he's drawing on personal experience to find new ways to overcome old problems.

Carter, speaking to a packed house in downtown Minneapolis, said he knows all too well what it means to lose.

"I was involuntarily retired by the 1980 election," he said.

His sense of humor and mind is still as sharp as ever. Carter has built a reputation off his charm but his 20-minute speech pulled no punches.

A Nobel laureate himself, he singled out the largest issue confronting world peace.

"The most important commitment now of the Carter Center is to address the single most serious human rights violation on earth and that is against women and girls," he said.

Carter's newly released book highlights the many obstacles women face around the world from sex slavery to the pay gap in the U.S. -- he believes the ultimate answer is education.

"But why don't we have adequate funds for health care and law enforcement and education?" he said. "It's because we spend so much on weapons."

It's a parallel the former president says cannot be denied. While wrapping up his speech, Carter expressed optimism about the future -- adding his days as a human right's advocate are far from over.

Friday's speech was just a small part of a multi-day event hosted by Augsburg College. It's one of only three sanctioned Nobel peace prize conferences worldwide.