On Friday, October 5th, the 2018 Nobel Prize was awarded to both Denis Mukwege and Nadia Murad for their involvement in protecting women and their attempts to bringing an end to sexual violence. With the influx of voices and awareness on the topic, these winners seem like the most fitting candidates.
“Both laureates have made a crucial contribution to focusing attention on, and combating, such war crimes,” said Chair of the Norwegian Nobel Committee Berit Reiss-Andersen when announcing the winners.
Nicknamed “the man who mends woman”, Denis Mukwege is a gynecologist and surgeon working in the Democratic Republic of Congo. He has dedicated his life to helping local women who have been brutalized and violated. His work has been praised and his name has been a contender for the Peace Prize for years.
He said, in response to being awarded this prize, “to the survivors from all over the world, I would like to tell you that through this prize, the world is listening to you and refusing to remain indifferent. The world refuses to sit idly in the face of your suffering.”
His fellow winner is Nadia Murad, a young woman of 25 years of age. She had been taken by ISIS from her home in Sinjar, Iraq. Her mother and siblings were all executed and she was kept as a sex slave for the ISIS militants. Two years ago, she was made a UN goodwill ambassador to promote the dignity of human trafficking survivors. She is the second youngest winner and the 17th woman to be awarded this prize.
Murad tells a Nobel official, “I hope that it will help bring justice for those women who suffered from sexual violence”.
Originally Published in Bandersnatch Vol. 48 Issue 03 on October 10, 2018