100 most powerful Arab women 2013
Thu 28 Feb 2013 12:58 PM
Amira Yahyaoui

Amira Yahyaoui

Industry: Culture and society

Designation: Human Rights Campaigner

Country: Algeria

Occupation: Human Rights Campaigner

A Tunisian-born human rights campaigner, she was an active and outspoken opponent of former President Zine el-Abidine Ben Ali’s regime.

Yahyaoui, who is in her late 20s, had her passport revoked for four years prior to the outbreak of the Arab Spring movement because she refused to be silenced. Her cousin, Zouhair, was jailed for publishing the satirical website TuneZine.

“Because you’re wearing a bikini and drinking beer, you think you’re free? You’re not free. I’d rather have the burqa and democracy,” she told The New York Times newspaper in an interview.

Last year, Yahyaoui also attended a Dubai Debates discussion about how the Arab Spring has affected women’s rights. “There is no specific model for human rights,” she said. “There should be no differentiation between women’s rights and human rights.”

Yahyaoui has been an influential blogger for the past decade.