The 2018 Nobel Peace Prize was awarded to Denis Mukwege and Nadia Murad for their efforts to end the use of sexual violence as a weapon of war and armed conflict.
Mukwege, who is a gynecologist and surgeon, has worked many years treating thousands of women and young girls affected by rape and sexual assault in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
Murad is a Yazidi woman from northern Iraq, who was held captive as a sex slave by ISIS. In 2016 at 23, she was made a UN goodwill ambassador for the dignity of survivors of human trafficking.
Chair of the Norwegian Nobel Committee, Berit Reiss-Andersen, said, “Each of them in their own way has helped to give greater visibility to wartime sexual violence so that the perpetrators can be held accountable for their actions.”
Mukwege was in the OR when he received the news of his honor. “For almost 20 years I have witnessed war crimes committed against women, girls and even baby girls not only in my country, the Democratic Republic of Congo but also in many other countries. To the survivors from all over the world, I would like to tell you that through this prize, the world is listening to you and refusing to remain indifferent. The world refuses to sit idly in the face of your suffering.”
Murad said, “I hope that it will help bring justice for those women who suffered from sexual violence. Nearly 6,500 women and children from the Yazidi were abducted and about 5,000 people from the community were killed during that day. For eight months, they separated us from our mothers and our sisters and our brothers, and some of them were killed and others disappeared.”
Murad’s history isn’t the brightest, as her mother and six of her brothers and stepbrothers were executed. Murad, along with other unmarried women, was taken as a sex slave and passed around various ISIS militants, according to #CNN
There were 331 candidates for the 2018 Nobel Peace Prize, the second-highest number ever. The names of the nominees cannot be revealed until 50 years have passed.