Denis Mukwege and 2016 Millennial of the Year Nadia Murad Win Nobel Peace Prize

via Washington Post:

The Nobel Peace Prize was awarded Friday to two people who have brought attention to ending sexual violence against women in armed conflict.

Denis Mukwege, a Congolese gynecologist treating victims of gang rape, and Nadia Murad, an Iraqi Yazidi who has spoken about her own suffering at the hands of the Islamic State, are both witnesses to the way in which the abuse of women can be intertwined with violent conflict.

Mukwege has treated thousands of rape victims at his hospital in the Democratic Republic of Congo, and Murad has become an outspoken activist about sexual slavery and human trafficking. What they have in common is that they both have lived in parts of the world where it is particularly dangerous to be a woman.

“We want to send out a message of awareness that women, who constitute half of the population in most communities, actually are used as a weapon of war — and that they need protection,” said Berit Reiss-Andersen, the chair of the Norwegian Nobel Committee.

Protecting women and holding perpetrators accountable is a “prerequisite for lasting peace,” she added.

Nadia Murad was our 2016 Millennial of the Year:

For her commitment to justice for the victims of genocide, mass atrocities, sexual violence, and human trafficking, along with her calls for action to protect the innocent from ISIS, our 2016 Millennial of the Year is Nadia Murad.

A Yazidi, living in Iraq at the time, Nadia was kidnapped and enslaved by ISIS in 2014. Her mother and six brothers were killed. Nadia managed to escape. Since that time, she has become a champion of the Yazidi people and human rights.

Millennial writer Fabrice Musoni wrote an article on Denis Mukwege in 2014:

The heroic deeds of Dr. Mukwege have humble beginnings at the onset of the first war in the mid-1990s. He fled to Bukavu after patients from his hospital 60 miles south were killed in their beds and started a hospital made from tents, building a new maternity ward, only for everything to be destroyed yet again. Showing persistence in the face of a dispiriting setback, Dr. Mukwege started all over again and set up Panzi hospital in 1999 to treat women subjected to horrific sexual violence.

“It was that year that our first rape victim was brought into the hospital. After being raped, bullets had been fired into her genitals and thighs. I thought that was a barbaric act of war, but the real shock came three months later. Forty-five women came to us with the same story, they were all saying: ‘People came into my village and raped me, tortured me,’” he said.

“These weren’t just violent acts of war, but part of strategy. You had situations where multiple people were raped at the same time, publicly—a whole village might be raped during the night. In doing this, they hurt not just the victims but the whole community, which they force to watch. The result of this strategy is that people are forced to flee their villages, abandon their fields, their resources, everything. It’s very effective,” he added.