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Last Updated : Oct 05, 2018 03:20 PM IST | Source:

Nadia Murad and Denis Mukwege awarded Nobel Peace Prize 2018

The duo were recognised for their efforts to stop use of sexual violence as a weapon of war

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Nobel Peace Prize winners Nadia Murad and Denis Mukwege
Nobel Peace Prize winners Nadia Murad and Denis Mukwege

The Nobel Peace Prize for 2018 was awarded to Denis Mukwege and Nadia Murad for their efforts to contain war-time sexual violence.

The announcement was made by Berit Reiss-Andersen, Chairman of the Norwegian Nobel Committee, on October 5.

A physician, Denis Mukwege has spent large parts of his adult life helping victims of sexual violence in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Mukwege and his staff have treated thousands of patients who have fallen victim to such assaults.

Mukwege is of the principle belief that "justice is everyone's business –men and women, locals and soldiers, national and international authorities". He has repeatedly condemned the impunity for mass rape and criticised the Congolese government for not doing enough to stop the use of sexual violence against women as a strategy and weapon of war.

Nadia Murad, a victim of war-time sexual violence, is also a witness who tells of the abuses perpetrated against herself and others. She has shown uncommon courage in recounting her own sufferings and speaking up on behalf of other victims.

Murad is a member of a Yazidi minority group from Iraq. In August 2014, ISIS launched a systemic attack on her locality. A majority of women were abducted by the terrorist outfit and made sex slaves.

A captive of the ISIS, Murad was repeatedly subjected to rape. She is just one of the estimated 3,000 Yazidi women who were subjected to sexual brutalities by the terror outfit.

After a three-month nightmare, Murad managed to escape, following which she chose to speak openly about what she had suffered. In 2016, at the age of just 23, she was named the UN’s first Goodwill Ambassador for the Dignity of Survivors of Human Trafficking.

"Sexual harassment in the time of armed war is a violation of international laws. Both laureates have put their lives at risk for the safety of the war-crime victims", said Reiss-Andersen.

The Norwegian Nobel Committee, comprising five members, awards the Nobel Peace Prize.

Although there is no strict rule as to when the name of the Nobel Peace Prize Laureate will be announced, the established custom is to make the announcement on the Friday of the first full week of October.

According to the Nobel Foundation statutes, the recipient of the Peace Prize must be announced no later than November 15.
First Published on Oct 5, 2018 03:07 pm
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