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Women’s Refugee Commission Congratulates Murad and Mukwege on Nobel Peace Prize

New York, NY Today’s Nobel Peace Prize ceremony saw Ms. Nadia Murad and Dr. Denis Mukwege receive the prestigious award for their work on behalf of women and girls around the world. Murad is a Yazidi activist and genocide survivor, who campaigns on behalf of Yazidi women and girls held in captivity by ISIS in northern Iraq. Mukwege, head of the Panzi Hospital in the Democratic Republic of Congo, has treated thousands of survivors of sexual violence and advocates for the end of the use of rape as a strategy and weapon of war.

In response, Sarah Costa, executive director of the Women’s Refugee Commission, issued the following statement:

“The Women’s Refugee Commission warmly congratulates Ms. Nadia Murad and Dr. Denis Mukwege on this well-deserved honor, which recognizes their outstanding work on behalf of women and girls, often at great risk to their own lives and safety.

“The fact is that rape and other forms of sexual violence are still being used as a weapon of war and are drivers of forced displacement in Iraq and the Democratic Republic of Congo, as well as in places like Myanmar, Yemen, and South Sudan.

“This year’s selection by the Nobel Committee of Ms. Murad and Dr. Mukwege sends a strong signal that we can never have sustainable peace without justice and access to services for survivors of sexual and gender-based violence. We hope today’s ceremony galvanizes increased support for global prevention and response efforts such as the Call to Action on Protection from Gender-based Violence in Emergencies. 

“Today’s ceremony also reminds us about the importance of ensuring access to asylum for those fleeing war. Earlier this year, Ms. Murad—who resettled in Germany—spoke out against anti-refugee and immigrant rhetoric and stated, ‘Those who are fleeing war and persecution, like Yazidis [are] looking [for] a safe home. It’s absolutely wrong and immoral to de-humanize refugees, those are [people] with stories, not just numbers.’”