The Nobel Peace Prize for 2018 has been awarded to Congolese gynaecologist Dr. Denis Mukwege and Yazidi human rights activist Nadia Murad for their efforts to end the use of sexual violence as a weapon of war and armed conflict.
“Denis Mukwege is the helper who has devoted his life to defending victims of wartime sexual violence. Fellow laureate Nadia Murad is the witness who tells of the abuses perpetrated against herself and others,” the official handle of Nobel Prize tweeted on Friday.
Dr. Denis Mukwege has spent large parts of his adult life helping the 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.
Ms Murad is one of an estimated 3,000 Yazidi girls and women who were victims of rape and other abuses by the Islamic State. “She has shown uncommon courage in recounting her own sufferings and speaking up on behalf of other victims,” the Norwegian Nobel Committee said.
The panel had received nominations for 216 individuals and 115 organisations. But only a few dozen of them are known, since the committee keeps the list of nominations secret for 50 years, although some candidates are revealed by their nominators.
Among those put forward this year are Syrian civilian aid group White Helmets, Russia’s Novaya Gazeta newspaper, whistle-blower Edward Snowden and the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees.
The winner last year was the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons.
The 2018 prize is worth 9 million Swedish kronor ($1.01 million). Past winners who came under criticism include former U.S. President Barack Obama, who won in 2009 after less than a year in office, and Myanmar leader Aung San Suu Kyi.