Malalai Joya


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Malalai Joya

Source of Influence: Social Issues

Status: Featured in current year

A well-known activist, writer and a former politician from Afghanistan. She was a Parliamentarian in the National Assembly of Afghanistan, later to be dismissed for publicly condemning the Afghan parliament. She was the first ever to speak against the democratically elected Karzai administration and its western supporters, specifically the United States. Her actions have received international acclaim. She was listed in the 100 Times most influential people of 2010 as well as in the Guardian’s top 100 women. She is renowned for her attempts to teach females how to read and write in the refugee camp where she resided during the Soviet Afghan war, later to be smuggled back to Afghanistan at the age of 16 to set up a secret school for girls.