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The winners received the award for their efforts to end the use of sexual violence as a weapon of war and in armed conflicts

Congolese Denis Mukwege and Iraqi Nadia Murad won the award last Friday for their efforts to end the use of sexual violence as a weapon of war and in armed conflicts.

Leer en español: Premio Nobel de Paz 2018: ¿Quiénes son los galardonados?

With the presentation of this award, the Norwegian Nobel Committee wants to denounce the use of violations against women who are employed as "weapons of war" in multitudes of conflicts around the world.

The gynecologist Mukwege, born in 1955, cares for women victims of sexual violence in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. According to the newspaper Expansión, despite the multiple death threats, Mukwege founded the Panzi hospital in Bukavu in 1999 and since then has been in charge of helping women overcome the physical and psychological consequences of the violations.

"This Nobel prize is an acknowledgment of the suffering and lack of just reparation for women who are victims of rape and sexual violence in all countries of the world and on all continents," he said in a statement to the press.

Murad was kidnapped and sold as a sex slave in 2014 by soldiers of the Islamic State. After escaping in November of that same year, Nadia has been responsible for telling, again and again, her story and that of other women to condemn these acts.

According to the newspaper Journalist Digital, Murad spoke for the first time of her tragedy in November 2015, when she was presented to the Human Rights Council of the UN. Subsequently, in 2016, the European Parliament awarded her the Sakharov Prize and shortly thereafter she became the UN Ambassador for the Dignity of Survivors of Trafficking in Persons.

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"My story, told honestly, is the best weapon I have against terrorism, and I plan to use it until those terrorists are brought to trial (...) I want to see in the eyes of the men who raped me and observe them submitting to justice. More than anything else, I want to be the last girl in the world with a story like mine," says Nadia in an excerpt from her autobiography, The Last Girl: The Story of My Captivity and My Fight Against the Islamic State.

The Secretary-General of the UN, António Guterres, congratulated the winners saying that both defend "the common values" of the United Nations by "defending the victims of sexual violence in conflict."

Nadia Murad, "has sought support for the victims of sexual slavery and human trafficking and justice for the perpetrators," Guterres said in a statement. "Her powerful defense ... has helped establish a vital UN investigation into the harrowing crimes that she and many others have suffered."

From Mukwege, Guterres stressed that "as an expert and sensitive surgeon, he not only repaired shattered bodies but also restored dignity and hope."

According to the committee, for this year's edition, 331 applications had been submitted, the second highest number in the history after the 2016 edition. Of the 331 applicants, 216 corresponded to people, while the remaining 115 were from groups or organizations.

The awards will be handed out on December 10, to coincide with the anniversary of the death of its founder, Alfred Nobel, in a double ceremony at the Konserthus in Stockholm and at the Oslo City Hall.

LatinAmerican Post | Luisa Fernanda Báez Toro

Translated from: 'Premio Nobel de Paz 2018: ¿Quiénes son los galardonados?'

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