The Nobel Peace Prize for 2018 was announced yesterday. The award is won by Congolese doctor Denis Mukwege and Iraqi Nadia Murad for their fight against sexual violence used as weapons in war and conflicts.
Both have made important contributions to addressing and combating war crimes, the Nobel Committee writes in its statement.
– Denis Mukwege is the helper who has devoted his life to speaking the cause of the victims. Nadia Murad is witnessed as telling about the abuse of herself and others. Each in their way, they have contributed to the visualization of sexualized abuse in war, so the perpetrators can be held responsible.
A great acknowledgement for Mukwege
According to Denis Mukwege’s colleague Gro Bøckmann Randby, the award of Nobel Peace Prize is a acknowledgement for him. She worked with Denis Mukwege to build the Panzi Hospital in Congo around 2005.
“After six years, he finally gets recognition for the enormous effort he has made. This is a great acknowledgment for him and all the women who have worked with him, and that’s incredibly funny, says Randby to NTB.
“He has helped thousands of women,” said Randby.
“He was early focusing on fistula as a result of rapes, and he has contributed to this gaining more attention. From 2005, the rape epidemic in Congo increased, and it became more aware of the injuries women suffered. The fact that Mukwege now receives the peace prize is the crown of the work for these problems to be made visible. It is very much appreciated.
“It’s gratifying that he now shares the award with Nadia Murad, a brave woman who has survived sexual violence, and taken the fight for other women to not have to undergo the same,” said Refugee Secretary General Jan Egeland.
“The award of the Nobel Peace Prize to Murad and Mukwege is an important recognition of their outstanding efforts to combat sexual violence in conflicts and to help victims of sexual violence and genocide,” said Norwegian People’s Aid Secretary General Henriette Killi Westhrin.
The fact that the two share the award, according to her, adds “an extra strength to the match”.
UNICEF Norway congratulates the peace prize winners and commends them for the work against sexual violence against women and children.
“UNICEF focuses on this issue and works in many countries to stop sexual violence and to protect women and children who are particularly vulnerable,” said Secretary General Camilla Viken.
Award will open world’s eyes to sexual violence in war
According to Ap-leader Jonas Gahr Støre, this year’s peace prize is a recognition of brave people who, at risk of their own lives, help others.
“I hope the peace prize will help the perpetrators now be held responsible and that new abuses are prevented,” says Støre.
He has previously nominated Mukwege and congratulates him and Murad with a “well-deserved and important peace prize”.
– Sexual violence and abuse is a cruel side of modern warfare that affects women especially. This award will help open the world’s eyes to this serious problem, he says.
SV leader Audun Lysbakken also applauds the award and wrote in a tweet:
“The Nobel Committee is now setting the world’s eyes against women’s struggle to free themselves from this. Proud of having agreed to nominate Mukwege for many years.”
“This peace prize should also be a wake for those who believe that war is the right instrument for resolving conflicts. Because there is some sexual violence against women in war zones, it is always that the war’s consequences are always worse than the war’s advocates give an impression, “said Bjørnar Moxnes.
Murad, a particularly brave person
Professor Peter Wallensteen says that, the Nobel Prize for Mukwege and Murad is an important prize that raises the issue of sexual violence in war.
“These people have really helped the victims,” said Wallensteen, senior professor of peace and conflict research at Uppsala University.
He says that the price of the two is not a controversial price, but on the contrary one that many can support.
While Mukwege has been mentioned as a favorite for many years, Wallensteen thinks it is especially good that the yazidik friend Murad also gets the prize.
“She is a young person who is particularly brave,” he says.
EU President Donald Tusk congratulates Mukwege and Murad.
“They have my deepest respect for the courage, compassion and humanity they show in their daily struggles,” writes Tusk on Twitter about the two peace prize winners.
The EU was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2012.
Use of Sexual violence and rape as a weapon in war
Parliamentary leader Hans Andreas Limi in the Progress Party hopes that the Peace Prize will contribute to increased awareness of rape as a war strategy.
– The use of rape as a war strategy is grotesque and the war in Congo has hit women very hard. There is great respect for the work of Mukwege and Murad in this very important match, “said Limi.
“I congratulate the prize winners and hope this will contribute to increased awareness of the fight against sexual violence in warfare,” said Limi.
Sexual violence and rape are used as weapons in almost all armed conflicts, and children are not saved, says Redd Barna.
– We congratulate two worthy peace prize winners. Murad is a strong voice for all girls who have survived sexual violence by fighting to get the responsible criminal prosecution. Mukwege has helped women and children return to life with their medical efforts, “says Redd Barn’s acting communications manager Runvor Knag Fylkesnes.
She points out that sexual violence and rape are used as weapons in “almost all conflicts and wars” and that children are not spared.
Award puts “a huge worldwide issue” in the spotlight
The peace prize of the year focuses on “a huge issue” – sexual violence as part of war-fighting parties’ war strategy, Amnesty Norway says.
– Sexual violence in war and conflict affects many thousands of women and men every year. In most cases, this is not random violence, but a conscious and cynical part of the war strategy, says Secretary General John Peder Egenæs in Amnesty Norway.
“The prize puts the spotlight on an enormous issue that gets too little attention, sexual abuse in war and conflict, and the right to survivors for treatment and rehabilitation,” says Egenæs.
– This is an important humanitarian peace prize. The Nobel Committee sends a strong signal that sexual violence is war crimes and how important the protection of individuals is, says Secretary General Bernt G. Apeland in the Red Cross.
– We congratulate the two prize winners for great personal courage.Unfortunately, sexual violence in war and conflict is very common. Not only in Congo or in Iraq, but worldwide, Apeland says.