Nobel Peace Prize Winners are Warfare Heroes and Combatants While one is a gynaecologist who treats and defends sexual violence victims, the other is a victim and witness of sexual assault, captivity and terrorism

By Bhavya Kaushal

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Violence and war are the most condemnable aspects of this world. They go against the nature of humanity. Any sort of war or terrorism ought to be abhorred. The Norwegian Nobel Committee recently announced the names of the Nobel Peace Prize winners and it turns out that the recipients are warfare heroes who have dedicated their lives combating against war, terrorism, unjust violence. Yazidi Activist Nadia Murad along with Gynaecologist Dr Denis Mukwege from Republic of Congo who has been treating Sexual violence and rape victims are the two names that the world needs to take note of.

Who is Nadia Murad?

Nadia Murad is a Yazidi activist who has suffered sexual violence and captivity at the hands of the dreaded Islamic State. Her village in northern Iraq was attacked by the IS, as a result, millions of people were held captive or unjustly executed. Murad has seen a personal loss to a magnitude which is beyond the comprehension of ordinary imagination. Her mother and six brothers were executed in an attack by the IS. Murad, herself, was held captive and sold several times as a sex slave.

She saw death very closely but chose to cling to life because she knew that the cause against which she was fighting for is a noble one. After several failed attempts, she finally escaped the manacles of her adversaries and since then her story has shaken the world. Everyone was forced to sit up and take note of this brave survivor of war and terrorism who responded to the violence perpetrated on her with unflinching courage and an invincible voice. In 2017, she published her memoir of experiences, The Last Girl: My Story of Captivity, And My Fight Against The Islamic State. Murad was awarded the Vaclav Havel Human Rights Prize by the Council of Europe in 2016. She is the face of human trafficking activism and UN has lauded her on several occasions for the same. Alexandria Bombach's documentary film, On Her Shoulders, unearths Murad's miraculous and heart-wrenching journey.

The Burden of the World on Her Shoulders

Today, the situation of Yazidi has not changed much. By her own admission, Murad pointed in an interview to The Lily that eighty per cent of the Yazidis live in IDP (Internally Displaced Person) camps. Hundreds of them are traded as slaves. Education is something many children will grow up without being aware of and unsanitary conditions are the norm of the day. Murad is not a rebel without a cause. In fact, the ordinariness with which she has given uncountable interviews, every time reliving the same horrors of her past is wondrous. "I want to help my people to recover from this genocide," is a statement by Murad which pretty much sums up the reason behind her iron-clad strength and conviction.

Who is Dr Denis Mukwege?

Dr Mukwege's work in the treatment of rape victims for more than a decade and a half is wondrous. He founded the Panzi Hospital in 1999 with the aim of making maternity care the focal point of his doctoral journey. Hailing from the Democratic Republic of Congo, Dr Mukwege is said to have treated more than 30,000 victims of rape and sexual assault.

"Justice is Everyone's Business"

He has seen the first-hand results of the monstrosity of war. Innocent women with injured, burned genitals have been his patients and also the inspiration behind him plunging into work that mends the irrevocable effects and aftermath of violence as a weapon of war. He has led by the belief that "justice is everyone's business."

Dr Denis Mukwege was named African of the Year in 2009 and UN also awarded him with the Human Rights Prize in 2008. The world today is undergoing a major transformation. Movements that expose the hidden criminal underbelly of society have started gaining momentum. It is, therefore, paramount to recognize the efforts of someone like Dr Mukwege who has championed the cause of the dignity of human life.

Wavy Line
Bhavya Kaushal

Former Features Writer

I am a work-in-progress writer and human being. An English graduate from Delhi University, writing is my passion and currently, I was Entrepreneur India's start-up reporter. I love covering start-ups and weaving their stories into unforgettable tales with the power of ink! 

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