Nobel prize for pair against abuse
Congolese doctor Denis Mukwege and Yazidi campaigner Nadia Murad won the 2018 Nobel peace prize on Friday for their work in fighting sexual violence in conflicts around the world. The pair won the award “for their efforts to end the use of sexual violence as a weapon of war and armed conflict”, Nobel committee chair Berit ReissAndersen said in unveiling the winners in Oslo, an announcement which won international praise.
The prize was announced as #MeToo marks its first anniversary after a year in which allegations of sexual abuse, rape and harassment have toppled dozens of powerful men. By recognising the pair’s work, the Nobel committee has placed a spotlight on the use of sexual violence in war as a global problem.
Mukwege, 63, was recognised for two decades of work to help women recover from the violence and trauma of sexual abuse and rape in the wartorn eastern Democratic Republic of Congo. Known as “Doctor Miracle”, he is an outspoken critic of the abuse of women during war who has described rape as “a weapon of mass destruction”.
The committee also honoured Murad, a 25-year-old Iraqi woman from the Yazidi community who in 2014 was kidnapped by Islamic State militants and endured three months as a sex slave before managing to escape. She was one of thousands of Yazidi women and girls who were abducted, raped and brutalised by jihadists during their assault that year on the Kurdish-speaking minority.
The Nobel committee said Murad had shown “uncommon courage” in recounting her own sufferings, saying she had “refused to accept the social codes that require women to remain silent and ashamed of the abuses to which they have been subjected”.