On Friday, 2018 Nobel Peace Price was awarded to Nadia Murad, 25, a woman who was forced into sexual slavery by the Islamic State, and Dr. Denis Mukwege, a Congolese gynecological surgeon, who treated thousands of women in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
Berit Reiss-Andersen, the chairwoman of the Norwegian Nobel Committee, said, “We want to send out a message of awareness that women, who constitute half of the population in most communities, actually are used as a weapon of war, and that they need protection and that the perpetrators have to be prosecuted and held responsible for their actions.”
Both Murad and Mukwege worked through incredible risks to their own lives to help survivors and let their stories be heard around the world.
The year 2018 has thus far been known to turn the world’s attention to an epidemic of sexual abuse in the home and workplace. The 2018 Nobel Peace Prize sheds light on two global regions where women have been the target of years of conflict. Ms. Reiss-Andersen described this as a failure of the global community to prosecute perpetrators that take part in sexual abuse.
Ms. Murad was abducted alongside other women and girls when Islamic State overran her homeland northern Iraq in 2014. While majority of the women refused to be named as a victim of sexual abuse, Ms. Murad insisted to be identified, photographed, and become an advocate to help persuade the United States State Department to recognize the genocide of her people.
Dr. Mukwege, on the other hand, has been working at the center of one of the most traumatized places on the planet, where villagers fall prey to militias, government soldiers, foreign armies, and bandits: the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo. Dr. Mukwege performed surgeries for years in a hospital that was barely kept together in Bukavu. He performed surgery on countless women and worked hard to bring light to what was happening.
From his hospital in Bukavu, Dr. Mukwege told reporters on Friday: “This Nobel Prize reflects the recognition of suffering and the lack of a just reparation for women victims of rape and sexual violence in all countries of the world and on all continents.” He has dedicated his hard work and prize to “women of all countries bruised by conflict and facing everyday violence.”