Tawakul Karman

In yesterday’s Guardian:

‘Her advice for women is not to wait for permission before demanding rights: “If you go to the protests now, you will see something you never saw before: hundreds of women. They shout and sing, they even sleep there in tents. This is not just a political revolution, it’s a social revolution.”

Her tireless campaigning has earned her international acclaim and devoted admirers around the world. Her seven Facebook pages (she claims six were created by the government) are filled with messages of support and admiration, many from exiled Yemenis. In 2010, she was nominated for a US state department woman of courage award.

The government has used a carrot and stick approach to try to tame her. She was promised a position in government as well as financial compensation last year, but when she said no, death threats started arriving.

“I was threatened through phone calls, letters, even text messages. They said I’d be imprisoned or even killed if I did not stop causing inconvenience. But I consider taking my right to expression away far worse than any form of physical violence,” she says.

Karman smiles when asked if she would consider running for president once Saleh stepped down.

“My aim for now is to lead a peaceful revolution to remove this regime,” she says. “I think if I can be in the street with the people I can achieve more than if I am the president.”‘

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