Karman, Tawakul

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Tawakul Karman (täwäkōōl´ kärmän´), 1979–, Yemeni journalist and human-rights activist. An outspoken journalist, she encountered repeated government opposition and was a cofounder (2005) of the Women Journalists without Chains, which agitates for press freedom. She also has played a leading role in the struggle for Yemeni democracy and women's rights. The leader of a moderate wing of the opposition Islamist party Islah, she has led sit-ins to demand the release of political prisoners and has been jailed several times for her activities. In 2011 she spearheaded early youth rallies against against President Saleh's rule and later was one of the most vocal and visible members of the occupiers of Sana's "Change Square," leading some to call her "the mother of the revolution." Karman and Liberians Ellen Johnson Sirleaf and Leymah Gbowee were awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2011.