Nobel Peace Prize Goes to Anti-Sexual Violence Campaigners
Oslo: The Norwegian Nobel Committee on Friday awarded the Peace Prize to Congolese doctor Denis Mukwege and former Islamic State (IS) sex slave turned activist Nadia Murad for their efforts to end the use of rape and sexual abuse against women in times of war and armed conflict.
Murad, 25, is a Yazidi Kurdish human rights activist from Iraq. She was one of an estimated 3,000 girls and women from the minority community who were victims of rape and other abuses by the IS when it overran key cities in the country in August 2014. She is the second youngest Nobel Peace Prize laureate after Malala Yousafzai, who was 17 when she won the award in 2014. The Iraqi government congratulated her after the announcement.
Mukwege, on the other hand, is a gynaecologist who has been seen as the saviour of victims of sexual violence in his native country, where his surgery has become a refuge and beacon of hope for thousands of women. Through his work, he has earned the moniker “the man who mends women”. He has treated tens of thousands of victims. The winners announced in the Norwegian capital on Friday won the award for their “efforts to end the use of sexual violence as a weapon of war”, said Berit Reiss-Andersen, the Nobel Committee Chair.
Both laureates have made “a crucial contribution to focusing attention on and combating such war crimes”, she said. The Committee described Mukwege as a unifying symbol of the struggle to end sexual violence in conflicts, not only in his native Democratic Republic of Congo, where civil war has killed over 6 million people, but also within the international community. Murad became an activist for the Yazidi people after escaping the IS in 2014. She campaigned to help put an end to human trafficking and won the European Union’s prestigious Sakharov Prize in 2016. (IANS)