Joya speaking at Marxism 2012 in Australia

Marxism 2012, Feb. 18, 2012

Malalai Joya speaking at Marxism 2012

Malalai Joya – Malalai Joya, one of the most outspoken Afghan critics of the American war and occupation, will be speaking at Marxism 2012 on her life and struggle.

Joya came to international prominence in 2003, when she stood up in Afghanistan's constitutional assembly to denounce the presence of "criminals" on its benches.

In 2005, she became the country's youngest ever parliamentarian, only to be dismissed two years later for criticising the corruption of her colleagues. Despite repeated death threats, Joya has continued to speak out against what she calls Afghanistan's "corrupt, puppet-mafia regime". She is, she says, "surprised to be alive".

Joya lives underground, moving from safe house to safe house, never staying in the same place for more than a few nights. Despite the peril of her situation, she continues to speak out against both the corruption of the Afghan political system and the Western military forces which enabled these people to come to power.

She is also a strident defender of women's rights and points to the hypocrisy of the West in using Afghan women's situation as justification for brutal war.

"They occupied my country under the banner of democracy, human rights and women's rights," she explains. "They misuse the stories of the women in my country to justify their warmongering.