Speed Reads

Nobels

Yazidi rape survivor, Congolese doctor win 2018 Nobel Peace Prize for combating sexual violence

On Friday, the Norwegian Nobel Committee awarded the 2018 Nobel Peace Prize to Denis Mukwege and Nadia Murad "for their efforts to end the use of sexual violence as a weapon of war and armed conflict." In announcing the prize, the committee said they see some similarities between the #MeToo movement and this year's prize, but the use of sexual violence as an act of war is its own category. They said they have not yet been able to contact Mukwege or Murad to inform them that they are Nobel Peace laureates.

Mukwege, a Congolese gynecologist, "has spent large parts of his adult life helping the victims of sexual violence in the Democratic Republic of Congo," and he and his staff "have treated thousands of patients who have fallen victim to such assaults," the Nobel Committee said. "Mukwege has repeatedly condemned impunity for mass rape and criticized the Congolese government and other countries for not doing enough to stop the use of sexual violence against women as a strategy and weapon of war."

Murad, one of 3,000 Yazidi girls and women abducted by the Islamic State and used as sex slaves, is "the 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," the committee said. "The abuses were systematic and part of a military strategy. They served as a weapon in the fight against Yazidis and other religious minorities."