Malalai Joya

Malalai Joya is one of Afghanistan’s leading democracy activists. In 2005, she became the youngest person ever elected to the Afghan parliament. She was suspended in 2007 for her denunciation of warlords and their cronies in government. She has just written her memoir, A Woman Among Warlords: The Extraordinary Story of an Afghan Woman Who Dared to Speak Out (Scribner, 2009). Visit her personal website here.

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November 6, 2009

In 2005, Malalai Joya became the youngest person ever elected to the Afghan parliament. Two years later, she was suspended for her denunciation of warlords and their cronies in government. Under constant threats of violence and death, Joya continues to expose anti-democratic forces in Afghanistan. Recently, she launched her new book, A Woman Among Warlords, in New York City. Here is the text of her urgent, emotional speech of that night. This essay is part of The Mantle's series Against Censorship.