Nobel Peace Prize Winner to Speak at Mason on Oct. 26

Posted: October 25, 2011 at 3:40 pm

Tawakkul Karman, one of three women to receive the 2011 Nobel Peace Prize, will speak at Mason on Wednesday, Oct. 26, at 6 p.m., immediately following the seminar on revolutions in Mason Hall. She will give a 20- to 30-minute presentation, followed by a brief Q&A session, in Room D3.

Karman, who is from Yemen, will speak about the Arab Spring, with a focus on Yemen and the role of women in leadership.

According to her biography, Karman is the leader of Women Journalists Without Chains (WJWC), which she founded in 2005 with seven other female journalists to provide a voice for women’s rights and freedom of expression in Yemen.

WJWC began publishing yearly reports on press freedom in Yemen, which documented growing levels of governmental abuse. Karman also started a list of the most “anti-free press” people in Yemen, which she posted publicly. The organization established a daily news website and runs journalist training seminars for women and young people. WJWC expanded its scope to include yearly reports on corruption in Yemen, as well as other projects promoting good governance, democratic reform and civil rights.

In 2007, Karman began regular peaceful demonstrations against government corruption and abuse. Then, on Jan. 15, 2011, the day after the president of Tunisia, Ben Ali, fled Tunisia, Karman posted a message on Facebook and organized a rally of solidarity with the Tunisians.

She was briefly detained by security forces and received (and still receives) death threats, but Karman took the lead in the formation of the pro-democracy Supreme Council for the Youth Revolution and was soon nominated as a member of the National Council for Peaceful Revolution Forces.

All are invited; a reception with Karman will follow the presentation.


Write to gazette at