Sanaa, Yemen (CNN) -- Yemeni women defiantly burned their traditional veils Wednesday in protest of President Ali Abdullah Saleh's brutal crackdown on anti-government demonstrations.
Thousands of women gathered in the capital, Sanaa, said witnesses. They carried banners that read: "Saleh the butcher is killing women and is proud of it" and "Women have no value in the eyes in Ali Saleh."
They collected their veils and scarves in a huge pile and set it ablaze -- an act that is highly symbolic in the conservative Islamic nation, where women use their veils to cover their faces and bodies. It's the first time in the nine months of Yemen's uprising that such an event has occurred.
Inspired by Yemeni activist Tawakkol Karman's Nobel Peace Prize this month, more and more Yemeni women have taken to the streets and escalated their campaign for help from the international community.