The courage of conviction

The Boston Herald, October 10, 2005
By Boston Herald editorial staff

Chalk one up for the women of Afghanistan, long oppressed and now emerging as vital links to the country's political future.

Malalai Joya, a social worker who endured death threats after she stood up during constitutional deliberations two years ago and demanded that criminal warlords be brought to justice, has been elected to the country's new parliament.

Joya, 27, who was forced briefly into hiding after she spoke out at the Loya Jirga in 2003, didn't even need the guaranteed slot set aside for a woman from her province in the new assembly. She won enough votes 7,813 to get there on her own.

No doubt many of those votes came from her burqua-clad neighbors who themselves had the courage to go to the polls. Let's hope that among the 68 women guaranteed slots in the new parliament, there are some with the same courage as Malalai Joya.

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