Joya was a parliamentarian representative in Afghanistan. She secretly conducted girls’ classes during the Taliban regime and then served in the National Assembly of Afghanistan from 2005 until early 2007, when she was dismissed for publicly denouncing the presence of warlords and war criminals in the Afghan parliament. Her courage can be seen in this video:
Joya is an outspoken critic of the Hamid Karzai administration and the 10-year occupation by the West. Her book with Derrick O’Keefe, Raising My Voice (published by Pan Macmillan 2009), catalogues the corruption in Afghanistan and argues that foreign ‘aid’ is not going to those most in need of it.
She has been called the bravest woman in Afghanistan and, in 2010, Time magazine placed her on their annual list of the 100 most influential people in the world. The Guardian listed her among its “Top 100 women: activists and campaigners”. Joya recently concluded a successful tour in the United States where she spoke to sell-out audiences about ending the US-led NATO occupation of Afghanistan.
In Melbourne she will speak at two Overland Journal events: a Big Ideas lecture on the future of the region (3 September), and a forum on the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq (4 September). The latest issue of Overland includes and article by her on why Australia must leave Afghanistan.
In Sydney she will deliver a public lecture at Marrickville Town Hall, and she will also be speaking on several university campuses and at union and community meetings. Further information (on the Sydney events) can be sought from Pip Hinman 0412 139 968 or Anne Picot 0404 090 710.