Facing death every day, the MP who dares to stand up for women's rights in Afghanistan.
"A stable or a zoo is better [than the legislature]," Malalai Joy told TOLO, a private Afghan TV channel in Kabul.
Malalai Joy is a 29-year-old Afghan woman, an English - speaking social activist, champion of women's rights and Afghanistan's youngest MP. She is no stranger to mortal danger, having survived four assassination attempts since 2003, when she first criticised the power of warlords in Afghan politics. Since last month, when she was suspended for calling her fellow MPs donkeys and cows, the death threats have escalated, forcing her to move between safe houses supplied by friends and supporters.
If anything, her expulsion from the Lower House has made her even more vitriolic about Afghan parliamentarians: "They are worse than animals." She states immediately: "I apologise to animals . . . This parliament is completely nondemocratic. How can we be a democracy under the shadow of gunmen and warlords?"
"Malalai Joya is a staunch defender of human rights and a powerful voice for Afghan women, and she shouldn't have been suspended from parliament, Joya is an inspiring example of courage, Afghanistan's international friends should not hesitate to speak out in her defense." "Joya is an inspiring example of courage, Afghanistan's international friends should not hesitate to speak out in her defense." -- Human Rights Watch, May 23, 2007
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