Congolese doctor Denis Mukwege and Yazidi campaigner Nadia Murad won the 2018 Nobel Peace Prize on Friday for their work in fighting sexual violence as a weapon of war and armed conflict.
The pair won the award for their “efforts to end the use of sexual violence as a weapon of war,” Nobel committee chairwoman Berit Reiss-Andersen said in unveiling the winners in Oslo.
Dr Mukwege is a gynaecologist who treats victims of sexual violence in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
“Dr Mukwege and his staff have treated thousands of patients who have fallen victim to such assaults,” the Nobel committee said.
“The 2018 Peace Laureate is the foremost, most unifying symbol, both nationally and internationally, of the struggle to end sexual violence in war and armed conflicts,” the committee added.
Ms Nadia Murad is a Yazidi human rights activist and survivor of sexual slavery by Islamic State in Iraq.
After escaping from Islamic State, Ms Murad chose to speak openly about what she had suffered, the Nobel committee said.
In 2016, at the age of 23, she was named the UN’s first Goodwill Ambassador for the Dignity of Survivors of Human Trafficking.
She is one of an estimated 3,000 Yazidi girls and women who were victims of rape and other abuses by the IS army.
“The abuses were systematic and part of a military strategy. They served as a weapon in the fight against Yazidis and other religious minorities,” Ms Reiss-Andersen said.
“She has shown uncommon courage in recounting her own sufferings and speaking up on behalf of other victims.”
Dr Mukwege and Ms Murad have come to represent the struggle against a global scourge which goes well beyond any single conflict, as the ever-expanding #MeToo movement has shown.
The prize, worth nine million Swedish crowns ($1 million), will be presented in Oslo on December 10.