Denis Mukwege and Nadia Murad named 2018 Nobel Peace Prize winners

BY: Berlinda M. Entsie
Denis Mukwege and Nadia Murad
Denis Mukwege and Nadia Murad

Denis Mukwege from Congo and Nadia Murad from Iraq have been named as the 2018 Nobel Peace prize winners.

Mukwege and Murad have been recognised for their efforts to end the use of sexual violence as a weapon in war and armed conflict.

The award was announced on Friday October 5, 2018.


Denis Mukwege is a Congolese gynecologist who owns and works win the Panzi Hospital in Bukavu in the democratic Republic of Congo , where he specializes in the treatment of women who have been gang-raped by rebel forces.

He has treated thousands of women who were victims of gang wartime rape since the Second Congo War, some of them more than once, performing up to ten surgeries a day during his 18-hour working days.

Nadia Murad on the other hand is a Yazidi Kurdish human rights activist from Iraq who founded the Nadia's Initiative, an organization dedicated to "helping women and children victimized by genocide, mass atrocities, and human trafficking to heal and re-build their lives and communities.

The two were selected out of a toral of 331 candidates out of which 216 were individuals and 115 organizations.

According the statement announcing the prize, "Denis Mukwege and Nadia Murad both put their personal security at risk by courageously combating war crimes and seeking justice for the victims."

The 2018 prize is worth nine million Swedish kronor (£760,000).

Background

The Nobel Prize is considered the most prestigious award in the world.

Prize-winning discoveries include X-rays, radioactivity and penicillin. Peace Laureates include Nelson Mandela and the 14th Dalai Lama.

Nobel Laureates in Literature, including Gabriel García Márquez and Doris Lessing, have thrilled readers with works such as One Hundred Years of Solitude and The Grass is Singing.

Each year, thousands of members of academies, university professors, scientists, previous Nobel Laureates and members of parliamentary assemblies and others, are asked to submit candidates for the Nobel Prizes for the coming year.

The nominators are chosen in such a way that as many countries and universities as possible are represented over time.

After receiving all nominations, the Nobel Committees of the four prize awarding institutions (the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences, Karolinska Institutet, the Swedish Academy and the Noble Prize) are responsible for the selection of the candidates.