The Nobel committee could not have recognized two braver, worthier, or more dedicated individuals with their choice to award Dr. Denis Mukwege and Nadia Murad this year’s Peace Prize. Their mission to end sexual violence against women and girls—drawing the world’s attention to the horrifying use of rape as a weapon of war—not only pushes us to change a culture of systemic abuse, it also impacts global security. No country can be at peace when the rights and dignity of its citizens are violated.
Ms. Murad knows that truth first hand, having endured the nightmare of sexual slavery and the long history of persecution against the Yazidi people. In just a few short years, Ms. Murad has found the strength to share her own story and become a powerful advocate for survivors of human trafficking and the most vulnerable members of our society. She gives voice to the plight of her people and women and girls all around the world—and she compels us to listen.
Dr. Mukwege is a source of strength and sanctuary in a land that has seen violence and despair. With his disarming smile and his soothing voice, he helps women in the Democratic Republic of the Congo repair their bodies and souls. For decades, he has worked tirelessly to bring justice and healing to women assaulted and abandoned in the shadow of endemic conflict.
Jill will never forget the time she spent with Dr. Mukwege visiting Panzi Hospital in Bukavu, and Joe had the honor to meet and speak with Ms. Murad at an awards dinner in 2016. On each occasion, we made sure to bring our granddaughters so they, too, could be inspired by Dr. Mukwege and Ms. Murad’s passion, and to understand how much work remains ahead to end the assault on women and girls around the world.
We send our heartfelt congratulations to Ms. Murad and Mr. Mukwege on receiving this honor—and our enduring gratitude for their work to change the culture and make our world safer for women.”