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17/10/2018

Nobel Peace Prize 2018 honors the fight against sexual violence

Participatory Democracy Cultural Initiative (PDCI) and its subsidiary in the WEB, DemocraciaParticipativa.net wholeheartedly congratulates Dr. Denis Mukwege, one of the two winners of the 2018 Nobel Peace Prize, which he received jointly with Iraqi Yazidi activist Nadia Murad, both of whom are leading campaigners against rape as a weapon of war.

Dr. Mukwege is a courageous gynecologist and founder of the Panzi Hospital in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), where he made it his mission to treat the horrific injuries suffered by thousands of women who were victims of violent rape by the combatants in the protracted and brutal war in Eastern Congo.

In 2014 Dr. Mukwege obtained a grant to help him fund a documentary about his initiatives and work: “The Man who Mends Women,” was an award-winning film by director Thierry Michele and Collette Brackeman, co-produced by Les Films de la Passarelle and Ryva Productions. Screened throughout Congo and internationally, including the United Nations, the House of Commons, and the European Parliament, the film raised awareness of atrocities committed by the Congolese army and armed groups against women in Eastern Congo and highlighted Dr. Mukwege’s achievements through his heroic work to empower victims of sexual violence.

Denis Mukwege is a model of courage and compassion, attributes that are sorely needed in today’s world, and we at the PDCI and DP.net congratulate and thank him for his work.

Nadia Murad is a 25 years young Yazidi activist, a survivor of sexual violence by the Islamic State, who became the voice and face of women who survived the horrors committed in Syria and Iraq against the yazidi people, specially against young women and children.

Berit Reiss-Andersen, the chairwoman of the Norwegian Nobel Committee, said, “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 and that the perpetrators have to be prosecuted and held responsible for their actions.”

Ms. Murad was abducted in 2014 alongside thousands of other women and girls from the Yazidi minority, the group singled out for rape by ISIS. Whereas the majority of women who managed to escape refused to be named, Ms. Murad insisted that she be identified and photographed, and her advocacy helped to persuade the United States State Department to recognize the genocide of her people at the hands of the terrorist group.

Long live corageous women like her!