In this episode I speak with Tawakkol Karman, a human rights activist, journalist and politician who is known as the “mother of the revolution”, “the iron woman” and “the lady of the Arab Spring,” for her key role in the 2011 pro-democracy uprisings in Yemen, also known as the Arab Spring.
She was awarded the 2011 Nobel Peace Prize for this work, making her the first Yemeni, the first Arab woman, and the second Muslim woman to win a Nobel Peace Prize, as well as the youngest Nobel Peace Laureate at the time, at the age of 32.
Tawakkol is just one of the many women that have been at the forefront of this revolution, peacefully leading the path to freedom and democracy.
Yemen is in the middle of one of the worst humanitarian crises of modern times which stems from the counter-revolution to the Arab Spring, waged by Saudi Arabia, the UAE, and Iran. Despite this, Tawakkol remains hopeful for the future of her country and the region, asserting that Yemeni people will continue their peaceful resistance until they “reach to the destiny of democracy.”
Some topics we cover include:
- What Yemen was like in the years leading up to the Arab Spring, and the progress that has been made since
- Tawakkol’s pivotal role in the movement as a journalist who exposed human rights abuses and mobilized weekly demonstrations against the government
- Her arrest for this work, and how it had the opposite effect of what the government intended
- The counter revolution led by Saudi Arabia, the UAE, and Iran - and how it led to one of the worse humanitarian crises of modern times
- Women’s pivotal role in the Arab Spring uprisings, and the ongoing revolution
- What makes Tawakkol proud to be a woman, and to be Yemeni
- What keeps Tawakkol hopeful for the future of her country and the region
Transcription is available here
Changemakers: How women make change happen
This is the first episode of the new Changemakers series which explores how women make change happen from those at the top helping to drive it. Each episode, we look at where we are on this long march to equality, what lies ahead, and how important you are in the fight.
In this 14-episode series, we’ll hear from Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Tawakkol Karman, Girls Who Code founder Reshma Saujani, Olympic gold medalist Lindsey Vonn, and Afghanistan's youngest ever female mayor Zarifa Ghafari, among others. Guest host Asha Dahya speaks with co-founder of the Black Lives Matter Movement Alicia Garza.
Subscribe to our newsletter for a weekly dose of all things WOMAN
We need more women’s stories in the world! If you’ve enjoyed this episode, please share, subscribe, rate and review on Apple, Spotify or wherever you listen to your podcasts