This video from Afghanistan says about itself:
Dec.17, 2003, Loya Jirga in Kabul
When her time came to make her 3-minute statement, she tugged her black headscarf over her hair, stepped up to the microphone, and with emotional electricity made the speech that would alter her life.
After she spoke, there was a moment of stunned silence. Then there was an uproar. Male mujahideen, some who literally had guns at their feet, rushed towards her, shouting. She was brought [out] under the protection of UN security forces.
In a nation where few dare to say the word “warlord” aloud, Joya had spoken fiercely against a proposal to appoint high clergy members and fundamentalist leaders to guide planning groups. She objected that several of those religious leaders were war criminals who should be tried for their actions—not national heroes to influence the new government.
Despite the commands of Assembly Chairman, Joya refused to apologize.
From WA Today in Australia:
‘Please get out of Afghanistan‘
July 7, 2009 – 7:16AM
Malalai Joya has been through, and seen, a lot.
At 31, she has lived many lives. Persecuted under the oppressive Taliban regime that ruled her native Afghanistan, she was seemingly the shining star for the democracy that followed the US-led invasion of the country following the September 11 terrorist attacks.
Elected at the age of 27 to her country’s fledgling parliament, Ms Joya seemed to offer hope for women everywhere in the strife-torn nation.
But six years later, Ms Joya knows she is living on borrowed time. From seemingly bringing women out from the invisibleness that cloaked them during the reign of the Taliban, she now lives in hiding.
Once, in the Taliban days, forced to hide books under her burqua to fulfill her role as a school teacher – women were banned from doing any kind of work – she has now had to revert to the dress to survive.
A fierce critic of the warlords and others who rule her country – and famously referred to by one of her many foreign admirers as “the bravest woman in Afghanistan” – her voice has made her a prime target.
And her life was even more so. When she spoke in parliament, other MPs publicly threatened to beat and rape her. Bottles were hurled at Ms Joya during one speech in 2006 when she accused some MPs of being warlords trying to legitimise themselves.
Suspended from parliament a year later, reportedly for calling it a “stable or zoo”, she lives in hiding, changing houses sometimes thrice-weekly.
“(There are) different tactics I use. Just I want to be alive,” she said.
The forces lent legitimacy to the “puppet” president Hamid Karzai, she said.
“We don’t need puppets,” she said.
“Karzai today is rotten. This shameless man who betrayed my people supported the enemies of my people.”
Australia played its part in the legitimisation.
Foreign aid money flowing into Afghanistan went straight into the pockets of the warlords.
“The city of (the capital) Kabul has changed into a city of beggars. People are ready to sell babies for only $10.”
She pleaded for Australia’s foreign affairs minister, and Perth MP, Stephen Smith, to listen.
“Your government is supporting a Mafia system. Raise your voice against injustice. It’s impossible to bring democracy… in support of enemies of those principles.”
She believed her own people could “reclaim our country” if left to do so themselves.
The Federal Government has said Ms Joya’s suspension from the Afghan parliament is a matter for that country.
But despite the danger, she will return to Afghanistan. Much the same way she left, under cover. To get to Australia she was smuggled out, ironically wearing a burqua, by van to Pakistan, from where she flew to Thailand.
“The main problem for women in Afghanistan is not the burqua… the main problem of my people is security.
“They want to kill (me) but they never can hide the truth… because I believe we must try ourselves… sacrifice to achieve those values,” Ms Joya said.
And she’d do it all again, to get her message across.
Another US soldier dies in Afghanistan: here.
British minister admits ‘gloom and worry’ over Afghanistan: here.