For Immediate Release

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Sam Husseini, (202) 347-0020; or David Zupan, (541) 484-9167

A Woman Among Warlords: Afghan Malalai Joya in US

WASHINGTON - MALALAI JOYA, via Sonali Kolhatkar
Joya is author of the new book "A Woman Among Warlords: The Extraordinary Story of an Afghan Woman Who Dared to Speak Out."

Now 31, Joya was the youngest ever woman elected to the Afghan parliament in 2005. She has just begun a tour of North America.

She recently wrote: "Afghan women like me, voting and running for office, have been held up as proof that the United States has brought democracy and women's rights to Afghanistan. But it is all a lie."

She adds: "More than ever, Afghans are faced with powerful internal enemies -- fundamentalist warlords and their Taliban brothers-in-creed -- and the external enemies occupying the country.

"Democracy will never come to Afghanistan through the barrel of a gun, or from the cluster bombs dropped by foreign forces. The struggle will be long and difficult, but the values of real democracy, human rights and women's rights will only be won by the Afghan people themselves. So do not be fooled by this façade of democracy."

Some of Joya's writing and interviews are here.

Details of Joya's speaking tour are here.

Kolhatkar is co-author of Bleeding Afghanistan: Washington, Warlords, and the Propaganda of Silence. She is also co-director of the Afghan Women's Mission, a U.S.-based nonprofit that supports women's rights activists in Afghanistan.

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