Tawakkol Karman


Tawakkol Karman

Photo: K. Opprann

Tawakkol Karman
The Nobel Peace Prize 2011

Born: 7 February 1979, Ta'izz, Yemen

Residence at the time of the award: Yemen

Prize motivation: "for their non-violent struggle for the safety of women and for women's rights to full participation in peace-building work."

Prize share: 1/3


Tawakkol Karman was born in Mekhlaf and grew up near Taiz in Yemen. Her father is a lawyer and politician. She has worked as a journalist since earning a degree in political science from Sana'a University. Her involvement in demonstrations and actions critical of the Yemeni regime has led to her arrest and murder threats on several occasions. She has promoted the struggle for democracy and human rights in Yemen at the international level, including at the UN. Tawakkol Karman is married with three children.


Women's rights and full participation in democratic processes are important to ensure lasting peace. In Yemen, democratic rights are restricted. In 2005, Tawakkol Karman co-founded the group Women Journalists Without Chains, in order to promote freedom of expression and democratic rights. From 2007 to 2010, she regularly led demonstrations and sit-ins in Tahrir Square, Sana'a. She actively participated in the 2011 protests against ruling regimes that took place in a number of Arab countries.

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