2018 Nobel Peace Prize Honours Victims’ Struggle Against Sexual Violence
December 9th, 2018 / 6:17 PM
Image Credit: Economic Times
There is no prize as prestigious as the Nobel peace prize in the intellectual realm. This year’s Nobel Peace Prize was awarded to Dr Denis Mukwege and Nadia Murad by the Norwegian Nobel Committee for their efforts to end the use of sexual violence as the weapon of war.
Dr Mukwege, founder of the Panzi Hospital in 1999, is known for providing aid to 48,482 survivors of sexual violence. He is a Congolese physician who has spent most of his medical career helping the victims of sexual abuse.
Nadia Murad, a young woman from Northern Iraq, is herself a survivor of sexual violence; that is used as a weapon of war. Murad who was abducted and held captive by the Islamic state, is now an author, storyteller and a human rights activist, who is fighting relentlessly against sexual violence, reports The Forbes.
The 2018 Nobel Peace Prize, has given a tribute to all those who have witnessed and fought against sexual violence in times of anarchy and war by recognising the great achievements of Dr Mukwege and Murad.
The Never-ending pain of the sexual aggression in war
Even after various measures taken internationally, Sexual violence and rape continue unabated during the wars. “Women and girls are particularly targeted by the use of sexual violence, including as a tactic of war to humiliate, dominate, instill fear in, disperse and/or forcibly relocate civilian members of a community or ethnic group”, observed the UN council resolution passed in 2008.
Data reviewed by The Wire shows that the majority of sexual crime is often committed by a few armed actors, not all of them. In reports of post-war sexual violence between 1989 to 2011, only 8 out of 23 armed actors in Sub-Saharan Africa were reportedly responsible for 68 per cent of the assaults and abuse committed.
Sexual violence not just affects the bodies of the both men and women victims but it also lingers in their psyches forever. The survivors are not only overlooked and silenced but also face untold humiliation and ostracism from society. Many of them cannot bear children while most are often outcast from their communities for being “polluted”. They suffer from countless chronic illness including long-term recurring clinical depression and anxiety.
The Logical Indian Take
Attesting to the fact that there is a lack of proper institutions and processes to recognise and understand the lasting impact of such violence, Mukwege and Murad have taken it upon themselves to work for the sexual harassment victims.
The Logical Indian decries such abhorrent practices using hatred and the quest to subjugate as a premise. It also lauds the efforts of humanitarians and survivors who work selflessly towards the emancipation of a growing legion of war crime victims. Not only is it cathartic for survivors such as Nadia Murad herself, but such initiatives also counter the sheer barbarism of such inhumane traditions and aim to reverse at least some of the damage that is perpetrated.
Written by : Anukriti Ganesh (Student, IIJNM)
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