Tuesday, May 22, 2007

WIMN's Voices Reports: Afghani Woman Suspended from Parliament for Insulting Warlords

From WIMN's Voices: Malalai Joya is Suspended from Parliament.

A few excerpts:

Twenty eight year old intrepid Afghan MP, Malalai Joya, has just been suspended from Parliament for comparing warlords in power to donkeys. Joya is the youngest and most outspoken member of Parliament and has survived 4 assassination attempts for denouncing warlords, many of whom were funded at various times by the US government in the fight against the Soviets (1980s) and the Taliban (post-9-11).

...It is clear that the US’s post-Taliban experiment in Afghanistan intended to fool Americans into believing that Afghan women were being liberated. We were convinced by the Bush administration and the mainstream media that “democracy” and “women’s rights” were the new buzzword in Afghanistan. But the US government did several things that ensured women’s political, economic and social rights would never be realized: they empowered the misogynist pre-Taliban warlords who now sit in government, they installed a pro-warlord puppet President into office (Hamid Karzai), and they have fought a futile war in the countryside against “Taliban remnants” that has achieved nothing but a legitimizing and strengthening of the Taliban. How could women possibly have any rights in such a situation?

...Today women in the Afghan Parliament have two options: they can remain silent and betray the people they are supposed to represent, thereby ensuring their personal safety. Or they can speak out in defiance of the blanket of silence surrounding the war criminals, and risk their lives like Malalai Joya. In such a context do words like “democracy” and “women’s rights” have any meaning?

Read the rest.

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