At a constitutional assembly in Kabul in 2003, Malalai Joya stood up and denounced her country’s powerful U.S./NATO-backed warlords. She was only 25 years old. Two years later, she became the youngest person elected to Afghanistan’s new Parliament. In 2007, she was suspended for her persistent criticism of the warlords and drug barons. Beloved by her people for daring to speak out against U.S.-backed war criminals that dominate the government, Joya has survived at least four assassination attempts.
Having come face-to-face with the brutality of war, Joya has been demanding an end to the occupation for years. In her book “A Woman Among Warlords”, just out in paperback, Joya explains the situation of ordinary Afghans: “We are caught between two enemies-the Taliban on one side and the U.S./NATO forces and their warlords allies on the other”
Malalai Joya is an Afghan politician who has been called “the bravest woman in Afghanistan.”As an elected member of the Wolesi Jirga from Farah province, she has publicly denounced the presence of what she considers warlords and war criminals in the parliament. She is an outspoken critic of both the Taliban as well as the present Afghan government of Karzai and its western supporters. In May 2007, Joya was suspended from the parliament on the grounds that she had insulted fellow representatives in a television interview. Her suspension, which is currently being appealed, has generated protest internationally and appeals for her reinstatement have been signed by high profile writers, intellectuals such as Naomi Klein and Noam Chomsky, and politicians including Members of Parliament from Canada, Germany, the United Kingdom, Italy and Spain. Joya has been compared to the symbol of Burma’s democracy movement, Aung San Suu Kyi. TIME magazine named Malalai Joya to the 2010 TIME 100, the magazine’s annual list of the 100 most influential people in the world. Foreign Policy Magazine listed Malalai Joya in its annual list of the Top 100 Global Thinkers.
Praise for Joya!
“The Bravest Woman in Afghanistan” – BBC News
“Joya’s life has been singular and heroic.” – New York Times
Co-sponsored by: WILPF Boston, Code Pink, Community Church of Boston, and ESAC