If you really need to read some news that makes you feel hopeful and happy to be a woman, this is exactly that. The Nobel Peace Prize award for 2018 just went to (drum roll, please) a 25-year-old Iraqi woman leading the fight against sexual violence. As a survivor of sex slavery herself, Murad has been an advocate for women globally with an emphasis on victims of war. She shared the effect it has had on herself and her people, the Yazidi - who have had 6,500 victims of slavery in recent history.
Murad was awarded this year's Nobel Peace Prize in Oslo, Norway alongside Congolese gynaecologist Denis Mukwege who has treated thousands of victims of sexual abuse in the Congo. She is the first Iraqi and seventeenth woman in history to win the award. In her speech, she was adamant that she didn't want anyone's sympathy, instead she wants community action, adding: “It is my view that all victims deserve a safe haven until justice is done for them.”
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Dr Denis Mukwege and Yazidi activist Nadia Murad received the Nobel Peace Prize in Oslo today for their efforts to end the use of sexual violence as a weapon of war and armed conflict. Denis Mukwege is the helper who has devoted his life to defending these victims. Nadia Murad is the witness who tells of the abuses perpetrated against herself and others, the Nobel Committee said. Each of them in their own way has helped to give greater visibility to war-time sexual violence, so that the perpetrators can be held accountable for their actions. © Nobel Media. Photo: Jo Straube #nobelprize #nobelpeaceprize #endrapeinwar #accountability #sexualviolence
Despite her incredibly young age, Murad has made and continues to made a lasting impact in the lives of women worldwide, working with the likes of the United Nations and even Amal Clooney, who attended the award ceremony to speak on behalf of Murad and her story. “At a time when so many women’s voices are still silenced, Nadia’s has been heard around the world,” said Clooney in her speech.
When it was announced in October 2018 that she and Mukwege had won, Murad wrote an open letter for Reuters saying, "Sexual violence against women must never be tolerated. We must remain committed to rebuilding communities ravaged by genocide. We must remain steadfast in helping refugees return home, or be given safe harbour elsewhere."
To contribute to the brilliant work she's doing, donate to Murad's cause at nadiasinitiative.org.