Photo credit: Torleif Svensson/EPA
The Norwegian Nobel Committee has named Dr. Denis Mukwege as co-winner of the 2018 Nobel Peace Prize. He was awarded the prestigious honor along with Nadia Murad "for their efforts to end the use of sexual violence as a weapon of war and armed conflict," reports CNN.
As a gynecologist and surgeon, Mukwege built Panzi Hospital in 1999 in Bukavu, Democratic Republic of the Congo, where he has dedicated his life to helping women and girls recover from physical effects of sexual violence. Since the founding of the hospital nearly 20 years ago, Mukwege and his team of doctors have served over 30,000 patients.
BREAKING NEWS:— The Nobel Prize (@NobelPrize) October 5, 2018
The Norwegian Nobel Committee has decided to award the Nobel Peace Prize for 2018 to Denis Mukwege and Nadia Murad for their efforts to end the use of sexual violence as a weapon of war and armed conflict. #NobelPrize #NobelPeacePrize pic.twitter.com/LaICSbQXWM
Dr. Neema Rukunghu, a gynecologist and medical coordinator at Mukwege’s hospital, said of the news: " This is the moment we finally get to shine a big light on the abuses of rape in war. This isn't just recognition for Dr. Mukwege, it’s a recognition of the suffering of so many women, and hope that finally we can bring this kind of suffering to an end."
"For almost 20 years I have witnessed war crimes committed against women, girls and even baby girls not only in my country, the Democratic Republic of Congo, but also in many other countries," Mukwege said.
To the survivors from all over the world, I would like to tell you that through this prize, the world is listening to you and refusing to remain indifferent. The world refuses to sit idly in the face of your suffering."
Berit Reiss-Andersen, chair of the Norwegian Nobel Committee, stated: "Both laureates have made a crucial contribution to focusing attention on, and combating, such war crimes. Denis Mukwege is the helper who has devoted his life to defending these victims. Nadia Murad ('a Yazidi woman who was held as a sex slave by ISIS), is the witness who tells of the abuses perpetrated against herself and others."
We congratulate and salute both Dr. Mukwege and Ms. Murad for their courage and compassion for humanity.