Iraqi and Afgan Women Activists Urge American Women to Vote

V-Day Press Release, September 3, 2004

Iraqi and Afghan Woemn Activists Yanar Mohammed of Iraq and Malalai Joya of Afghanistan in NYC for "Women and Power: Our Time To Lead" Conference Sponsored by Omega Institute and V-Day Available for Interviews September 9-14; Yanar and Malalai will brief on the current state of women's rights in Iraq and Afghanistan and the impact of the war.

Yanar Mohammed Is The Founder Of The Organisation For Women’s Freedom (Owfi) In Iraq, Malalai Joya is Elected Representative of the Loya Jirga Of Afghanistan


Yanar Mohammed, founder of the Organisation for Women’s Freedom (OWFI) in Iraq, and Malalai Joya, a member of Organization for Promoting Afghan Women's Capabilities (OPAWC), will be in New York City for the Omega and V-Day Women And Power Conference and are available to discuss the current state of women and the impact of war in their respective countries.

At 25, Malalai Joya, was an elected representative to the December 2003 Loya Jirga (Grand Council) convention in Kabul to create Afghanistan’s new constitution. At the convention, Joya spoke out against the council chairman’s proposal to appoint high clergy members and fundamentalist leaders to guide planning groups. She objected on the basis that several of those religious leaders were war criminals who should be tried for their mal actions—not national heroes to influence the new government. As a result of her courageous actions, Malalai Joya received numerous death threats. She continued at Loya Jirga under U.N. protection. Since then, Joya has continued to press her case against the former rulers of Afghanistan. This summer, she and a delegation of 50 tribal elders persuaded President Hamid Karzai to dismiss a provincial governor who was a former Taleban commander. Since 1998, Malalai Joya has worked in Afghanistan as a social worker establishing an orphanage and a health clinic and speaking out against the Taliban. Her work continues today.

Yanar Mohammed is the Director of The Organization of Women’s Freedom (OWFI), a group that works to stop the atrocities against Iraqi women and defend their rights. One of the organization’s main projects is the development of a battered women’s shelter in Baghdad to protect women who are fleeing from violence and “honor killings.” In addition, she serves as the Editor-in-Chief of the Equality newspaper (Al-Mousawat).

Both women have vast experience on the ground in their countries as activists working to help make conditions better for women and all people.

WHEN: Thursday, September 10 – Tuesday, September 14
WHERE: New York City

Both women will be speaking at the “WOMEN & POWER: OUR TIME TO LEAD” conference taking place from September 10-13 in New York City, presented by Omega Institute and V-Day. Some of the most powerful women in the fields of business, politics, education and the arts discuss how women can change the world from the inside out. Renowned speakers include: Jane Fonda, Eve Ensler, Gloria Steinem, Julia Stiles, Rosario Dawson, Carole Black, Sarah Jones, Pat Mitchell and more.

For more information:

Susan Swan

More Coverage | Home