Denis Mukwege and Nadia Murad awarded Nobel Peace Prize 2018

Erika Holt
October 7, 2018

Since escaping, Murad has demanded that worldwide leaders acknowledge and fight against the abuse of women like her, speaking to the United Nations Security Council, the US House of Representatives, the British House of Commons, and the US State Department - whichrecognizedthe genocide of the Yazidi peoplefollowing her appeal. A more peaceful world can only be achieved if women and their fundamental rights and security are recognised and protected in war.

Berit Reiss-Andersen said after announcing the prize that both laureates had put their personal security at stake as activists on the issue. "If they are watching this, my heartfelt congratulations", she said. Despite facing an assassination attempt and attacks against his family, Denis Mukwege continues to campaign tirelessly against sexual violence in conflict.

Mukwege is a doctor - gynecologist and surgeon - who has worked tirelessly in treating female rape victims in the Democratic Republic of Congo. She said, "We want to send a message that women who constitute half the population in those communities actually are used as weapons and that they need protection, and that the perpetrators have to be prosecuted and held responsible".

He is dedicating the award to all women affected by sexual violence.

But six of her brothers and her mother were killed.

Mukwege and Nadia Murad have been named the winners of the Nobel Peace Prize on Friday, Oct. 5, 2018.

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Murad, who was one of 3,000 Yazidi girls and women who were victims of gang rape, has been on a crusade to spread the word about the sexual abuses she was subjected to.

Murad, along with numerous other young women in her village, was taken into captivity by the militants and sold repeatedly for sex as part of ISIS's slave trade. "Nadia Murad is the witness who tells of the abuses perpetrated against herself and others", it added. She managed to escape after three months and gathered the courage to speak openly about her suffering.

The Norwegian Nobel Committee received nominations for 216 individuals and 115 organisations.

Iraqi President Barham Salih and Parliament Speaker Mohamed al-Halbousi on Friday both praised Nadia Murad, an Iraqi-Ezidi female activist who was awarded this year's Nobel Peace Prize.

A United Nations investigative team that will collect and preserve evidence of acts by Islamic State in Iraq that may be war crimes, crimes against humanity or genocide started work in August, almost a year after the Security Council created it. The prize is worth nine million Swedish kronor ($1.01 million).

Mukwege was at his hospital when he learned he had become the latest Nobel Prize victor.

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