Malalai Joya – The Bravest Woman in Afghanistan

by Anisa Benmoktar on July 17, 2010

There can be little disputing that Malalai Joya, also known as “the bravest woman in Afghanistan”, has earned her name and reputation.

The brave and outspoken Malalai Joya

An Afghan activist for women’s rights (among other relevant issues) is presently on tour to promote her incredible book A Woman Among Warlords: The Extraordinary Story of an Afghan Who Dared to Raise Her Voice.

At the age of 25, she stood up at a 2003 constitutional assembly in Kabul and denounced Afghanistan’s warlords. In 2005,  Malalai went on to become the youngest person ever elected to Afghanistan’s new Parliament. Two years later she was suspended from parliament for her relentless denunciation of her country’s warlords and drug barons.

Today, she continues to fight the good fight: the fight for the good of all her fellow Afghans. In the process, she has survived four assassination  attempts, is chaperoned by armed guards and can only sleep in designated safe houses.

Activism in the Blood

This amazing young woman grew up in refugee camps in Iran and Pakistan. The daughter of an activist, Malalai was inspired to follow in her father’s footsteps and taught in the cellars of secret girls schools in Afghanistan.

She hid her books under her burqa to stop the Taliban wouldn’t discover them and helped set up a free medical clinic and orphanage in her impoverished home province of Farah.

Malalai’s path hasn’t been an easy one – like so many of her fellow Afghans who have lost loved ones, she lost one of her orphans who was sold into marriage by family members.

A Journey Into Afghanistan

In Woman Among the Warlords, Malalai Joya takes her readers by the hand and leads us into Afghanistan,  revealing desperate everyday situations Afghans face.

She  highlights some of the many acts of rebellion that are helping to change the country. These include amazing women who bravely take to the streets in peaceful protest. And it’s not just female resistance to the regime:  men who step forward and claim “I am her mahram,” so fundamentalists won’t punish a woman for walking alone. Finally, she applauds the families that convert their basements into classrooms for female students.

LoveHabibi - Arab & Muslim Dating, Friendship and Marriage

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

jan February 25, 2011 at 11:00 am

I just finished reading her marvelous book. It made me so angry at times that I had to periodically put it down. What she and other women (men) in her country have to put up with is just staggering. The complicity of other nations to perpetuate this and assist these criminal warlords is by itself a crime to the humanity of Afghanies. Karzai reminds me of other puppets to the USA that eventually met their fate. E.g. Vietnam.
For me , Mrs Joya is the true fighter for justice.

Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: