What you need to know about the Nobel Peace Prize winners
The combo of file photos shows Doctor Denis Mukwege, from the Democratic Republic of Congo, left, on Nov. 26, 2014 and Yazidi woman from Iraq, Nadia Murad on Dec. 13, 2016 as they both address the European parliament in Strasbourg, France. (AP Photos/Christian Lutz)
Published Friday, October 5, 2018 7:10PM EDT
On Friday, the Nobel Peace Prize for 2018 was awarded to two activists working to end the use of sexual violence as a weapon of war.
Here is everything you need to know about Nadia Murad and Denis Mukwege.
Born in northern Iraq in 1993 to a Yazidi family, Nadia Murad was just 19 when Islamic State militants stormed her remote village in 2014 and massacred hundreds as part of their efforts to exterminate the ancient religious minority group. Many younger women, however, were spared death for another awful fate that saw Murad and an estimated 3,000 Yazidi women and underage girls kidnapped by the extremists and forced into sex slavery.
Murad’s 2017 book, “The Last Girl,” details her story of losing her family and being beaten, raped and tortured as an ISIS captive before she managed to escape after three harrowing months. Murad eventually relocated to Germany where she received medical treatment and began her campaign to tell the world about the atrocities endured by Yazidi women like herself.
Founded in 2016, her organization, Nadia’s Initative, is “aimed at increasing advocacy for women and minorities and assisting to stabilize and redevelop communities in crisis.” In 2016, Murad was also named the United Nations’ first Goodwill Ambassador for the Dignity of Survivors of Human Trafficking.
At 25 years old, Murad is the second youngest person to ever win the Nobel Peace Prize, after Pakistani education activist Malala Yousafzai. Murad is also the first person from Iraq to receive the award.
Born in 1955 in what is now the Democratic Republic of Congo, 63-year-old Denis Mulwege is a gynecological surgeon who has spent more than two decades treating rape survivors in his war-torn country.
In 1999, Mulwege founded the Panzi Hospital in the city of Bukavu where he and his team have aided more than 50,000 women and girls suffering from gynecological damage from sexualized violence in a region that has been wracked by vicious civil war for much of the past 20 years.
An outspoken critic of his country’s government, Mulwege was also the victim of an assassination attempt in 2012, forcing him to briefly leave the country.
Mulwege is the recipient of numerous other awards and honours, including the United Nations Human Rights Prize and the Clinton Global Citizen Award. Like Murad, Mulwege is the first person from his country to receive the Nobel Peace Prize.
With files from The Associated Press