The Nobel Peace Prize awarded today to Nadia Murad and Dr. Denis Mukwege honors their work on behalf of women victimized amid violent conflict and will strengthen that effort worldwide. Murad, from Iraq’s Yazidi minority, survived abduction, abuse and rape by extremists of the Islamic State group and has campaigned internationally on behalf of victims of war. Mukwege, a physician from the Democratic Republic of Congo has treated thousands of victims of sexual violence amid the brutal warfare in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Denis Mukwege and Nadia Murad
Denis Mukwege (European Parliament/Flickr) and Nadia Murad (Martin Schulz/Flickr)

“This Nobel Peace Prize validates the courageous work of Nadia Murad and Dr. Denis Mukwege in the face of brutality toward women; it validates the principle for which they stand—that peace and stability in our world requires full respect for women as half of humanity’s population,” said USIP President Nancy Lindborg.

The Norwegian Nobel Committee’s choice of Murad and Mukwege “underscores that sexual violence in war is a crime against humanity and must be prevented,” said Kathleen Kuehnast, director of gender policy and strategy at USIP. “Murad’s and Mukwege’s courageous work highlights that the impacts of sexual violence can last a lifetime and affect an entire society for generations. The tenacity of Nadia Murad—transforming herself from victim of horrific violence to a powerful voice of social change—is not less than miraculous. Likewise, Dr. Mukwege has led with great humility and conviction in showing the importance of not only helping to heal each victim but to help restore each victim’s dignity.”

“We have just marked the tenth anniversary of the U.N. Security Council’s call for all nations to prevent sexual violence and end impunity for its perpetrators. In the past 10 years, we have made progress, but we have long way to go to ensure that justice is served.” Kuehnast said.

“Today’s award will have particular resonance in African countries such as the Democratic Republic of Congo and South Sudan,” said USIP’s director for Africa programs, Susan Stigant. “Sexual and gender-based violence remains pervasive in these conflicts, despite commitments by the African Union to the elevate the role of women in improving security, and courageous action by grassroots civic leaders.”

In halting or preventing wars, research and experience have shown that the role of women is central—a principle that is at the center of USIP’s work, and that increasingly has been supported by international bodies and the U.S. government. The Institute supports scholarship and research on ways to better ensure respect for women, among others, in conflicts. It trains local groups in countries facing violent conflict to strengthen the roles of women, as well as youth, minorities, religious communities and other parts of civil society, in resolving conflicts.

Resources related to USIP’s work on gender

Related News

USIP Announces New Grants for Youth Peacebuilders

Tuesday, October 22, 2019

News Type: Announcement

The U.S. Institute of Peace is pleased to announce the winners of its first-ever Youth and Peacebuilding Grants Competition. The competition was held among the members, worldwide, of USIP’s Generation Change Fellows Program. The Institute is using this competition to increase the numbers and the scale of critical peacebuilding initiatives that are led by, and focused on, youth. Youth-led peacebuilding work is critical among the 1.8 billion people worldwide living in countries that face violent conflicts or crises that threaten violence. The populations of such countries have some of the world’s highest proportions of youth.

Youth

Nobel Peace Prize Awarded to Ethiopia’s Abiy Ahmed for Diplomatic Engagement with Eritrea

Nobel Peace Prize Awarded to Ethiopia’s Abiy Ahmed for Diplomatic Engagement with Eritrea

Friday, October 11, 2019

News Type: Announcement

The Nobel Peace Prize awarded today honors Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed for his leadership in reaching the historic 2018 peace deal with neighboring Eritrea that brought the two nations’ “frozen war” to an end. Long considered an intractable conflict, Abiy brought new life to a peace process that had been stalled for the better part of two decades.

Peace Processes; Reconciliation

USIP’s Aly Verjee Awarded the 2019 Oslo Forum Peacewriter Prize

Thursday, August 8, 2019

News Type: Announcement

The U.S. Institute of Peace congratulates our Aly Verjee on being awarded the 2019 Oslo Forum Peacewriter Prize, which recognizes “bold and innovative responses to today’s peacemaking challenges,” for his essay on addressing the increasing challenges of cease-fire monitoring.

USIP Announces 2019-2020 Peace Scholar Dissertation Fellows

Tuesday, August 6, 2019

News Type: Announcement

The U.S. Institute of Peace is pleased to announce the 2019-2020 cohort for the Jennings Randolph Peace Scholar Dissertation Fellowship. This year, 20 Ph.D. candidates will receive this prestigious award, which is given to emerging scholars whose dissertations show the greatest potential to advance the peacebuilding field and the strongest likelihood to affect policy and practice.

View All News