Malalai Joya


  • Geographic Location: Asia

About me:

Proclaimed "the bravest woman in Afghanistan" by the BBC, Malalai Joya is a true international heroine. She sprang to fame in 2003 at age 25 for speaking out against the ex-Mujahideen leaders who dominated Afghanistan's historic constitutional assembly, of which she was an elected delegate. She was called a "prostitute" and an "infidel" for having the courage to speak her mind. Joya has since survived attacks, threats of rape, four assassination attempts and now travels in Afghanistan under a burqa and with armed guards. In 2005, Joya was elected to Afghanistan's national parliament, where as the youngest person elected, and one of the most popular, she continued to press her case for democracy and women's rights. However, in May of 2007 she was suspended for challenging her fellow representatives. Her suspension, currently being appealed, triggered international protest. She has been compared to Aung San Suu Kyi, the leader of Myanmar's democracy movement, and continues to serve as a passionate public voice for her people. Malalai Joya appeared in conversation with Marilyn Fowler on July 16, 2008.

Exhibit change by:

I'm passionate about:

Democracy, Human Rights, Women's Rights.

Recent Forum Entries

What does Democracy look like?

17 posts | Thursday, February 25, 2010 1:05 PM


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From Women, Power and Politics:

Bravest Woman in Afghanistan
Welcome to the International Museum of Women, and this monthly podcast for the exhibition "Women, Power and Politics." This special fifty-minute interview was produced in conjunction with the museum's speaker series Extraordinary Voices, Extraordinary Change.

Our speaker, Malalai Joya, has been called "The bravest woman in Afghanistan."


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