The 2018 Nobel Peace Prize has been awarded to Denis Mukwege and Nadia Murad for their efforts to end the use of sexual violence as a weapon of war and armed conflict.
Mukwege, a gynaecologist and surgeon, has long worked to treat thousands of women and girls affected by rape and sexual violence in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
Murad is a Yazidi woman from the northern Iraqi town of Sinjar, who was held as a sex slave by ISIS, she told CNN in an interview last year. In 2016, at age 23, she was made a UN goodwill ambassador for the dignity of survivors of human trafficking.
“Both laureates have made a crucial contribution to focusing attention on, and combating, such war crimes,” said Berit Reiss-Andersen, chair of the Norwegian Nobel Committee, as she announced the award Friday at the Norwegian Nobel Institute in Oslo. “Denis Mukwege is the helper who has devoted his life to defending these victims. Nadia Murad is the witness who tells of the abuses perpetrated against herself and others.
“Each of them in their own way has helped to give greater visibility to wartime sexual violence so that the perpetrators can be held accountable for their actions.”
With the announcement of two names today, the number of peace prizes awarded till now becomes 100, with 133 winners (106 individuals and 27 organisations). Of the 106 individual Laureates, 17 have been women. In 2017, the Nobel Peace Prize was awarded to The International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN). Alfred Nobel, in his will allocating most of his wealth to the establishment of the five Nobel Prizes, wrote: “The said interest shall be divided into five equal parts… one part to the person who shall have done the most or the best work for fraternity between nations, the abolition or reduction of standing armies and for the holding and promotion of peace congresses.”