Stockholm, Oct 5: Anti-rape activists Nadia Murad and Dr Denis Mukwege were awarded the 2018 Nobel Peace Prize on Friday for fighting sexual violence as an instrument of warfare.
Berit Reiss-Andersen, the Nobel committee chair said, the pair were crucial in fighting the crimes.
The Norwegian Nobel Committee said the two were given the award “for their efforts to end the use of sexual violence as a weapon of war and armed conflict.”
Even after nearly being assassinated a few years ago, the 63-year-old Dr Denis Mukwege, a gynecological surgeon, campaigned relentlessly to shine a spotlight on the plight of Congolese women.
Dr Mukwege works in one of the most traumatised places on the planet: the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo. In a bare hospital in the hills above Bukavu, where for years there was little electricity or enough anesthetic, he has performed surgery on countless women who have trudged into his hospital.
He has emerged as a champion of the Congolese people and a global advocate for gender equality and the elimination of rape in war, travelling to other war-ravaged parts of the world to help create programmes for survivors.
Nadia Murad, 25, became the voice of women forced into sexual slavery by the Islamic State group. She was abducted in 2014 alongside thousands of other women and girls from the Yazidi minority when the ISIS overran her homeland in northern Iraq.
Singled out for rape by the group even as the majority of women who escaped ISIS refused to be named, Ms Murad insisted that she wanted to be identified and photographed.
She embarked on a worldwide campaign, speaking before the United Nations Security Council, the United States House of Representatives, Britain’s House of Commons and numerous other global bodies.
Some 331 individuals and organisations were nominated for the prestigious award this year.
In 2016, there were a record 376 candidates for the coveted honour. (UNI)