Nadia Murad and Denis Mukwege: Nobel Peace Prize for campaigners against sexual violence during war shows 'miracles' are possible

Bookies favourite Kim Jong-un and Donald Trump lost to the two human rights activists and their impressive work.

 |  3-minute read |   05-10-2018
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At 11 am, CEST (2.30 pm, India time), the five-member Norwegian committee ended the guessing game by announcing this year’s Nobel Peace Prize, which went to Nadia Murad and Denis Mukwege. The two were jointly awarded the Peace Prize for their efforts to end the use of sexual violence as a weapon of war.

The anticipation for the Peace Prize reached its peak after the postponement of this year's Literature Prize for the first time in 70 years over a rape scandal that came to light as part of the #MeToo movement which took off exactly a year ago. 

The Swedish Academy, which awards the Nobel Literature Prize, has been in turmoil since November last year when a Swedish daily — in the wake of the #MeToo campaign — published the testimonies of 18 women who claimed to have been raped, sexually assaulted or harassed by an influential figure with long-standing ties to the Academy. 

murad_100518032025.jpgThe face of resilience: Nadia Murad. (Credit: Reuters)

This year, a total of 331 individuals and organisations were nominated for the prestigious peace award, almost a record number. Even though bookmakers were largely betting on North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and his South Korean counterpart Moon Jae-in as frontrunners for the prize (for their efforts at rapprochement between the two nations), US President Donald Trump was also among the 'surprise' contenders.

peace_100518032223.jpgDr Miracle: Denis Mukwege. (Credit: Reuters)

Announcing this years Peace Prize, the Norwegian Nobel Committee said: “Both laureates have made a crucial contribution to focusing attention on, and combating, such war crimes.” 

Congolese gynecologist Denis Mukwege, better known as “Doctor Miracle”, has spent two decades helping women recover from the violence and trauma of rape in war-torn eastern Democratic Republic of Congo.

Murad, who jointly won the Peace Prize, is a Yazidi human rights activist and survivor of sexual slavery perpetrated by Islamic State in Mosul, Iraq, in 2014.

The prize will be presented in Oslo on December 10, the anniversary of the death of Swedish industrialist Alfred Nobel, who founded the awards in his 1895 will.

Also read: The silence of Aung San Suu Kyi - Why has Myanmar's leader not been stripped of her Nobel Peace Prize yet?

 

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