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As Yemen’s multi-sided conflict grabs headlines with its devastating human toll, local activists continue to press for peace and democracy. Tawakkol Karman, a winner of the 2011 Nobel Peace Prize who is known as “The Mother of the Revolution” in Yemen for her impact as a journalist and women’s rights advocate, offered insights, reflections, and hope from her on-the-ground experience. 

Read the event coverage, Halting Yemen’s War: U.S. Must Lead, Nobel Peace Laureate Says.


Karman, who has been at the forefront of the human rights struggle in Yemen for more than a decade, began organizing protests for democratic reforms in the country in 2007. These demonstrations grew in 2011 as pro-democracy movements known as the Arab Spring spread to many countries in the Middle East and North Africa. Karman is the first Yemeni, the first Arab woman, and only the second Muslim woman to win a Nobel Peace Prize.  At the time the prize was awarded, she was also the youngest recipient. 

In addition to mobilizing for change through peaceful demonstrations, Karman, 36, has a long career as a journalist and politician. She is a co-founder and president of Women Journalists Without Chains and a senior member of al-Islah party.

At this event, which was co-sponsored by the Network for Religious and Traditional Peacemakers, Ms. Karman offered her unique perspective on the current situation in Yemen and her hopes and vision for a peaceful future in her conflict-wracked country.

Ms. Colette Rausch, Welcoming Remarks
Acting Vice President, Governance, Law & Society, U.S. Institute of Peace

Dr. Mohamed Elsanousi, Introductory Remarks
U.S. Director, Secretariat of the Network for Religious and Traditional Peacemakers

Ms. Tawakkol Karman, Remarks
Activist and 2011 Nobel Peace Prize Laureate 

Moderated discussion and Q&A followed. Continue the conversation on Twitter with #KarmanUSIP.

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