2018 Nobel Peace Prize: Denis Mukwege and Nadia Murad, helping victims of sexual violence

Read the full announcement

In a series of breaking-news tweets delivered through their verified Twitter account, the Norwegian Nobel Committee broadcasted the Nobel Peace Prize for this year, given to Congolese gynaecological surgeon, Denis Mukwege and Iraqi human rights activist, Nadia Murad “for their efforts to end the use of sexual violence as a weapon of war and armed conflict”, the committee stated.

The 2018 Peace Laureate is “the foremost, most unifying symbol, both nationally and internationally, of the struggle to end sexual violence in war and armed conflicts”. In the series of tweets, the committee gave a brief prosopography about their lives, which you can find here and here, or read below.

This year’s Nobel Prize not only recognises Mukwege and Murad, but also recognises those who are helping thousands of victims of sexual violence; it’s an outstanding reminder that everyone must root out the pernicious rape culture that targets and victimizes men and especially children and women at large.

Denis Mukwege has spent large parts of his adult life helping the victims of sexual violence in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Dr. Mukwege and his staff at the Panzi Hospital (Hôpital G.R de Panzi) have treated thousands of patients who have fallen victim to such assaults. His basic principle is that “justice is everyone’s business”. Denis Mukwege has repeatedly condemned impunity for mass rape and criticised the Congolese government and other countries for not doing enough to stop the use of sexual violence against women as a strategy and weapon of war.

Nadia Murad is one of an estimated 3,000 Yazidi girls and women who were victims of rape and other abuses by the IS army. The abuses were systematic and part of a military strategy. They served as a weapon in the fight against Yazidis and other religious minorities. Following her escape from IS, Peace Laureate Nadia Murad chose to speak openly about what she had suffered. In 2016, at the age of just 23, she was named the UN’s first Goodwill Ambassador for the Dignity of Survivors of Human Trafficking.

She is a witness who continues to tell of the abuses perpetrated against herself and others. She has shown uncommon courage in recounting her own sufferings and speaking up on behalf of other victims.

Read the full announcement here. And below is a short clip showing Berit Reiss-Andersen, Chair of the Norwegian Nobel Committee, making the announcement.

Featured Image Credit: Twitter/@NobelPrize
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Fisayo is a journalist in search of words. Tweet at her @fisvyo

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