Nobel Peace Prize Winners for 2018 announced in Oslo, Norway.
(News Source : BBC News)
This past week was when the Nobel Prize winners were announced and it was heartwarming to see a few women amongst them in the fields of Physics and Chemistry, after a gap of many years. But the people who truly stood out were the winners of the Nobel Peace Prize – Ms. Nadia Murad and Dr. Denis Mukwege, two anti-rape activists. They were recognized for their crucial contribution to fighting violence against women, especially during times of war.
Ms. Murad, an Iraqi Yazidi, herself a victim of torture and rape by Islamic State Militants, became the face of the campaign to free the Yazidi people – a traditional people scattered in communities across northwest Iraq, northwest Syria and southeast Turkey. There is a group of about 50,000 of them trapped in the mountains in northwest Iraq without food or water – they are the latest victims of the advance of the Islamic State. Their unusual beliefs and origins have earned them the wrongful title of ‘devil worshippers’, and therefore they are feared, vilified and persecuted.
Ms. Murad, who lost her mother in the genocide, endured three months as a sex slave in the hands of the IS militants. She was bought and sold several times and subjected to physical and sexual abuse in captivity. After escaping, she became an activist for the Yazidi people, and continues to campaign to end human trafficking and stop using sexual abuse and rape as a weapon of war. She was awarded the Vaclav Havel Human Rights Prize by the Council of Europe in 2016 and was also named UN’s first goodwill ambassador for survivors of human trafficking.
Dr. Denis Mukwege is a Congolese gynecologist who has treated about 30,000 victims along with his colleagues. He has spent decades helping rape victims in the Democratic Republic of Congo. The 63-year old has won many international prizes, including the 2008 UN Human Rights Prize and was also named African of the Year in 2009. He lives under the permanent protection of UN peacekeepers at his hospital. He selflessly works towards restoring the lives of those women who have been scarred, physically and emotionally as victims of war.