Yemen’s Arab Spring activist Tawakkul Karman was named Friday as one of three winners of the Nobel Peace Prize. The three women will share the 2011 award “for their non-violent struggle for the safety of women and for women’s rights to full participation in peace-building work,” Norwegian Nobel Committee president Thorbjoern Jagland said.
Tawakkul Karman, a 32-year-old Yemeni journalist and activist with three children, has served several stints in prison in her struggle for women’s rights, press freedoms and the release of political prisoners in her country. According to AFP, the Nobel jury hailed her for “in the most trying circumstances … (playing) a leading part in the struggle for women’s rights and for democracy and peace in Yemen.”
Karman, the first-ever Arab woman to receive the honor, dedicated her prize to “all the activists of the Arab Spring.” She told AFP her prize was “a victory for the Yemeni revolution and the peaceful character of this revolution.”
Karman has not left Sanaa’s Change Square for four months for fear of being hunted by gunmen loyal to the embattled president Ali Abdullah Saleh.