speaker

Tawakkol Karman

Nobel Peace Prize Laureate

Tawakkol Karman was known as “The Mother of the Revolution” and was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2011 in recognition of her work in nonviolent struggle for the safety of women and for women’s rights to full participation in peacebuilding work in Yemen. Upon being awarded the prize, Tawakkol became the first Yemeni, the first Arab woman, and the second Muslim woman to win a Nobel Peace Prize, as well as the youngest Nobel Peace Laureate at the time, at the age of 32.

Tawakkol is a mother of three as well as a human rights activist, journalist, and politician. Tawakkol was born in 1979 in Taiz, Yemen’s third largest city. She has an undergraduate degree in Commerce from the University of Science and Technology in Sana’a and a graduate degree in Political Science from the University of Sana’a.

A journalist by profession and human rights activist by nature, Tawakkol responded to the political instability and human rights abuses in Yemen by mobilizing others and reporting on injustices. In 2005, she founded the organization Women Journalists Without Chains, (WJWC); and from 2007 to 2011, she organized weekly protests in Sana’a, targeting systemic government repression and calling for inquiries into corruption and other forms of social and legal injustice. Tawakkol has been imprisoned on a number of occasions for her pro-democracy, pro-human rights protests. Fiercely committed to change, Tawakkol spends the majority of her time in a tent in Change Square, where she continues her peaceful protests for justice and freedom.