Sunday Times

No­bel prize for pair against abuse

- Crime · Society · Sexual Abuse · Violence and Abuse · Alfred Nobel · Democratic Republic of Congo · Iceland · Yazidis · Nadia Murad · Republic of Congo · Congo River

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”.

 ??  ?? De­nis Muk­wege
De­nis Muk­wege
 ??  ?? Na­dia Mu­rad
Na­dia Mu­rad

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