Tawakkol (spelling varies) Karman was born into a prominent political family in Yemen and is married and the mother of three children. She has an undergraduate degree in commerce and a graduate degree in political science. Karman is a prominent Yemini human rights activist, journalist, and co-founder of Women Journalists without Chains (2005). By changing c 2004 from the niqab to the hijab, she has emphasized that full covering is a cultural not a religious practice. In a speech at the University of Michigan, she stated, “I am a citizen of the world. The Earth is my country, and humanity is my nation” (Wikipedia). She was a major figure, along a large number of other women, in the Jasmine or Arab Spring Revolution of 2011 in Yemen. In 2011, together with Leymah Gbowee and Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, she was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize “for their non-violent struggle for the safety of women and for women’s rights to full participation in peace-building work” (Nobelprize.org). She is the first Arab woman, the second Muslim woman (the first was Shirin Ebadi of Iran in 2003), and the youngest Nobel Laureate.
Resources & Further Reading
Stiehm, Judith. 2006. Champions for Peace: Women Winners of the Nobel Peace Prize. Lanham, MD.: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers.
“Tawakel Karman.” Wikipedia. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tawakel_Karman
“Tawakkol Karman: A Democratic Future for Yemen.” 2011. Youtube. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=grwQk7C1ans
“Women Winners of the Nobel Peace Prize.” 2011. Women in World History Curriculum. http://www.womeninworldhistory.com/contemporary-03.html