“For their efforts to end the use of sexual violence as a weapon of war and armed conflict”.
"He beat me, a soldier, look. I cannot pay to see a doctor.", a woman wearing a blue dress printed with red square-shaped patterns pointed towards her arm, where there was a yellow baseball-sized wound. I was in Kampala, the capital of Uganda, and was talking with a group of refugees, the majority who were from the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) and South Sudan. Over the months of talking with different women, I did not hear a single story that did not involve being subjected to gender-based violence. This violence implies the use of sexual violence to enforce gender roles and/or to establish power, and in combat zones, it can be used as a tactic to decrease resistance. This can happen by demoralizing victims, by means of torture and humiliation (Keller, Weyermann, & Zimmermann). This happens world-wide, and is prominent in war zones that are taking place in the DRC and Iraq. 2018's winners of the Nobel Peace Prize exemplify the efforts that come forth out of a sense of survival and duty.
Dr. Mukwege is a surgeon who has lead a hospital treating thousands of women who are survivors of sexual violence in the DRC. He has spoken out towards the Congolese government and other countries for not doing enough, and remains a symbol to end sexual violence in armed conflict zones, with one of his guiding principles being, “Justice is everyone’s business”.
Nadia Murad is a human trafficking survivor who has courageously spoken about her experiences among an environment where war crimes were being committed. This is an action that is not a social norm among survivors, when the common proposition is to be silent and ashamed. She, among other Yazidi ethnic community in Northern Iraq, was held as a sex slave by the Islamic State before escaping.
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