Message to Obama: Anti-women law is outcome of U.S. policy in Afghanistan
by Derrick O’Keefe, rabble.ca, April 20, 2009
It would seem that the media and others have noticed that Afghan women have not been liberated by years of occupation. Malalai Joya made world headlines back in 2003 when she decried the presence of warlords and fundamentalists in positions of power at Afghanistan’s post-Taliban constitutional assembly, or Loya Jirga. Only 25 years old at the time, she has since survived several assassination attempts, been elected to — and then kicked out of — Parliament and continued to speak out for women’s rights and self-determination for her country.
Joya shares her thoughts on the latest law against women’s rights and the protest it has sparked.
Derrick O’Keefe: What are your thoughts on last week’s protest in Kabul and the attack against it?
Malalai Joya: Despite the threats from the fundamentalist bands that are still armed and in power, it is of course great and heartening when some women come out into the streets and oppose such laws. It shows Afghan women will not allow the laws of the Middle Ages to be applied against them and that they have the strength to stand up for their rights.
In the past few years our country’s unfortunate women have resisted their suffering through hundreds of self-immolations; I am very hopeful that Afghan women are gaining the consciousness not to burn themselves but instead to stand up and claim their rights through struggle.