Anti-Rape Activists Win 2018 Nobel Peace Prize

Ms Murad and Dr Mukwege Pix EPA 


Two notable anti-rape activists, Denis Mukwege and Nadia Murad have emerged winners of the 2018 Nobel Peace Prize, announced in Oslo, the Norwegian capital on Friday by Berit Reiss-Andersen, the Nobel committee chair.

According to Ms Reiss-Anderson, Mukwege, a Congolese medical gynaecologist, who along with his colleagues, has treated thousands of rape victims and Ms Murad an Iraqi Yazidi who was tortured and raped by Islamic State militants and later became the face of a campaign to free the Yazidi people, “won the award for their “efforts to end the use of sexual violence as a weapon of war”

They beat 331 other individuals and organisations, including US President Donald Trump who were nominated for the prestigious peace award this year.

They both made a “crucial contribution to focusing attention on, and combating, such war crimes,” Ms Reiss-Andersen added.

Reports say the “Congolese gynaecologist Denis Mukwege is known as “Doctor Miracle” for his ability to repair through reconstructive surgery the horrific damage inflicted on women who have been raped.

“The 63-year-old Congolese gynaecologist set up the Panzi hospital in Democratic Republic of Congo eastern city of Bukavu nearly 20 years ago – shortly after he had his first experience of treating a woman who had been raped and mutilated by armed men.”

Dr Mukwege recounted the horrific injury the patient had suffered in a BBC interview, saying the woman had not only been raped but bullets had been fired into her genitals and thighs.

His hospital now treats more than 3,500 women a year. Sometimes Dr Mukwege performs as many as 10 operations a day.

“I… started a hospital made from tents. I built a maternity ward with an operating theatre. In 1998, everything was destroyed again. So, I started all over again in 1999,” he told the BBC in 2013.

“The conflict in DR Congo is not between groups of religious fanatics. Nor is it a conflict between states. This is a conflict caused by economic interests – and it is being waged by destroying Congolese women,” he said.

On the other hand, Ms Murad, 25, endured three months as a sex slave at the hands of Islamic State (IS) militants. She was bought and sold several times and subjected to sexual and physical abuse during her captivity.