But in the face of such adversity, women still dare to stand up and fight for peace, said the 73-year-old grandmother, wearing a majestic purple dress and headdress.wearing "Find your voice! Raise your voice! Let yours be a voice for freedom!" she said.
An example of someone who found a powerful voice despite almost insurmountable odds is Karman, who at 32 is the youngest person to win the Peace Prize and the first Arab woman to receive a Nobel in any category.
The journalist and mother of three, wearing a white headscarf with a lilac and green pattern, expressed confidence that the "Arab Spring" uprising would succeed even in her country, where she helped push 33-year-ruler Ali Abdullah Saleh to agree to step down early next year.
"I see on the horizon a glimpse of a new world," she said, according to an English translation of her speech given in Arabic..
Karman however expressed frustration with the lack of Western support for the Yemen uprising.
"I should note that it did not get the international understanding, support or attention of the other revolutions in the region. This should haunt the world's conscience," she said, calling on the "democratic world, which has told us a lot about the virtues of democracy and good governance," to support people struggling for freedom.