The 2018 Nobel Peace Prize has been awarded to Denis Mukwege and Nadia Murad for their efforts to end the use of sexual violence as a weapon of war and armed conflict.
The award was announced Friday at the Norwegian Nobel Institute in Oslo. The recipient is chosen by a committee of five people elected by the Norwegian Parliament.
Murad is a Yazidi woman from the northern Iraqi town of Sinjar, who was held as a sex slave by ISIS, she told CNN in an interview last year. She is a UN goodwill ambassador for the dignity of survivors of human trafficking.
Announcing the award, Berit Reiss-Andersen, chair of the Norwegian Nobel Committee, said Murad had “shown uncommon courage in recounting her own suffering and speaking up on behalf of other victims.”
Mukwege, a doctor and gynecologist, has long worked to treat thousands of women and girls affected by rape and sexual violence in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
There were 331 candidates for the Nobel Peace Prize for 2018 — the second highest number ever. Of those, 216 were individuals and 115 were organizations, according to Nobel organizers. The names of the nominees cannot be revealed until 50 years have passed.
Last year’s prize was awarded to the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN) “for its work to draw attention to the catastrophic humanitarian consequences of any use of nuclear weapons and for its groundbreaking efforts to achieve a treaty-based prohibition of such weapons. The 2016 Nobel Peace Prize went to Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos “for his resolute efforts to bring the country’s more than 50-year-long civil war to an end,” after brokering a deal with the leftist rebel group FARC.
The Peace Prize is the fourth Nobel award to be announced this week.The 2018 Nobel Prize in Chemistry was awarded to Frances H. Arnold and the other half jointly to George P. Smith and Sir Gregory P. Winter on Wednesday for their work harnessing the power of evolution to develop new proteins used in drugs and medical treatments. Arnold was the fifth woman to receive the Nobel Prize in Chemistry.
On Tuesday, the Nobel Prize in Physics was given to a woman for the first time in 55 years and for only the third time in its history.
Donna Strickland, a Canadian physicist, was awarded the 2018 prize jointly with Gérard Mourou, from France, for their work on generating high-intensity, ultra-short optical pulses.
They share the award with an American, Arthur Ashkin, who at 96 becomes the oldest Nobel Laureate, for developing “optical tweezers.”
A day earlier, American James Allison and Japan’s Tasuku Honjo won the 2018 Nobel Prize in Medicine for a pioneering approach to cancer treatment, which harnesses the body’s immune system to attack cancer cells.