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A light is shed on women victims of rape as a systematic weapon of war

Nobel Peace Prize 2018 (sources Central African Republic News, 5th October, Crispin Kyalangalilwa, Ted Siefer, Nerijus Adomaitis and NPR)

The Nobel Peace Prize 2018 was awarded to Dr. Denis Mukwege and Nadia Murad for their efforts to end the use of sexual violence as a weapon of war in armed conflict.

Nadia Murad, a member of the Yazidi minority in northern Irak, was tortured and raped by ISIS militants in 2014; she escaped three months later. Her mother was killed by Daesh (an Islamic term for Islamic State). Amal Clooney, International Human Rights Lawyer, is an advocate for Nadia and the Yazidi Community. Nadia is now also fighting for the rights of the Yazidi community, women in general, and refugees. In 2016 she was named the UN’s first Goodwill Ambassador for the Dignity of Survivors of Human Trafficking. Watch Amal Clooney and Nadia Murad at the United Nations in 2016 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jf7GOEhK1WI.

At 25, Nadia is the second-youngest peace prize recipient; Malala Yousafzai was the youngest at age 17. In 2017, Murad published a memoir of her ordeal, “The Last Girl”.

Dr. Denis Mukwege, is a Congolese gynecologist. Known by patients and colleagues as Dr. Miracle, he opened a hospital to help women victims of rape, the Panzi Hospital in the city of Bukavuin in the Democratic Republic of Congo, risking his life. In 2012 armed men attacked him in his home, killing his bodyguard; he fled but returned in 2013 as he was determined to pursue the fight. War officially ended in 2003 but it continues. Dr. Mugwege described rape as a weapon of mass destruction, condemned the impunity for mass rape of tens of thousands of rape victims, women, children and even babies, and criticized the DRC’s government for not doing enough. He also provides HIV/AIDS treatment as well as free maternal care. Watch Dr. Mugwege helping women victims of rape https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yE8i_xMeU-c

U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said the award was part of a growing movement to recognize the violence and injustice faced by women

Whether in the USA, in Iraq or the DRC, or anywhere else in the world, it is important for women to leave behind the feeling of shame and speak up.