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Tawakkul Karman, Yemeni Nobel Peace Laureate, Pays Tribute to Women Activists Worldwide

StoryDecember 14, 2011
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Tawakkul Karman

Yemeni activist. She is the first Arab woman to win the Nobel Peace Prize (2011), as well as its youngest winner to date.


The 2011 Nobel Peace Prize was presented this weekend to three women: Liberian activist Leymah Gbowee, Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, and Yemeni peace activist and journalist, Tawakkul Karman, the first Arab woman to win the prize, as well as its youngest winner to date. We featured highlights from their acceptance addresses this week. Today we play a final excerpt from Karman, the mother of three who has led rallies in the protests against the rule of the longstanding U.S. ally, President Ali Abdullah Saleh. "I see the great number of Arab women, without whose hard struggles and quest to win their rights in a society dominated by the supremacy of men I would not be here," Karman says. "This supremacy has caused a lot of injustice to both men and women. To all those women, whom history and the severity of ruling systems have made unseen, to all women who made sacrifices for the sake of a healthy society with just relationships between women and men, to all those women who are still stumbling on the path of freedom in countries with no social justice or equal opportunities, to all of them I say, Thank you. This day would not have come true without you." [includes rush transcript]


TRANSCRIPT
This is a rush transcript. Copy may not be in its final form.

AMY GOODMAN: We end today with the final highlight of the speech of Tawakkul Karman, one of three women who won the Nobel Peace Prize on Saturday, were awarded the peace prize in Oslo, Norway. It was presented to two Liberian women: the Liberian president, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, and Liberian activist Leymah Gbowee. We played excerpts of their speeches, as well Tawakkul Karman’s yesterday. But we end today with her last three paragraphs. She’s the youngest winner of the Nobel Peace Prize, the mother of three, a journalist and an activist in Yemen.

TAWAKKUL KARMAN: [translated] Allow me, ladies and gentlemen, to share my belief that peace will remain the hope of mankind forever and that the best hope for a better future for mankind will always drive us to speak noble words and do noble deeds. Together, we will push the horizons, one after another, towards a world of true human perfection.

Finally, I ponder myself, standing here before you, in this moment, which every man and woman aspires to reach because of the recognition and appreciation it contains. As I do so, I see the great number of Arab women, without whose hard struggles and quest to win their rights in a society dominated by the supremacy of men I would not be here. This supremacy has caused a lot of injustice to both men and women. To all those women, whom history and the severity of ruling systems have made unseen, to all women who made sacrifices for the sake of a healthy society with just relationships between women and men, to all those women who are still stumbling on the path of freedom in countries with no social justice or equal opportunities, to all of them I say, Thank you. This day would not have come true without you.

Peace be upon you.

AMY GOODMAN: 2011 Nobel Peace Prize winner Tawakkul Karman in Oslo, Norway, on International Human Rights Day, receiving the Nobel Peace Prize. To see our interview with Tawakkul Karman, you can go to our website at democracynow.org.

The original content of this program is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License. Please attribute legal copies of this work to democracynow.org. Some of the work(s) that this program incorporates, however, may be separately licensed. For further information or additional permissions, contact us.

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