Malalai Joya is a member of the Afghan parliament which comprises mostly warlords and fundamentalists who are directly or indirectly involved in the gross violations of human rights in Afghanistan. They currently dominate new parliament using their guns, power, money and intimidation.
Malalai Joya is one of the most popular MPs in Afghanistan and has many a time taken stand against the ex-Mujahideen fighters who dominate the country's new assembly. But Ms Joya and many of her supporters fear she will be assassinated.
As campaigning begins for the September 18 polls for parliament and provincial councils, the Afghan government and international monitors must take special measures to protect women from attacks and intimidation by the Taliban and regional warlords.
Professor Yakin Ertürk, Special Rapporteur of the United Nations Commission on Human Rights on violence against women, its causes and consequences, issued the following statement in Kabul today at the end of a visit to Afghanistan.