“A sign against indifference”

Politics and society have welcomed the awarding of the Nobel Peace Prize to the Iraqi Yazidi Nadia Murad and the Congolese doctor Denis Mukwege. The award honors her commitment to combating violence against women.

The UN Special Envoy against human trafficking, who was enslaved by the terrorist militia "Islamic State," and the gynecologist are being honored for their work against sexual violence as a weapon in wars and armed conflicts, the Norwegian Nobel Committee announced in Oslo on Friday.

Murad made a new start in Germany thanks to an aid program for Yazidi women launched by Baden-Wurttemberg. Minister President Winfried Kretschmann (Greens) said Murad is "an incredibly strong woman" whose commitment makes it clear that she sees herself not only as an IS victim, but as a "survivor with courage and dignity".

German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier praised both laureates for giving victims a voice. Mukwege reminds of the atrocities, he reminds to preserve the dignity of the victims. Murad fights against impunity of perpetrators. Foreign Minister Heiko Maas also praised the work of the award winners and announced that he would make the ie of women, peace and security a focus of Germany's membership in the United Nations Security Council.

"Signs against indifference"

UN Human Rights Commissioner Michelle Bachelet said in Geneva that it would be hard to think of two people more deserving of the award. Both are "exceptionally courageous, persistent and effective activists against the scourge of sexual violence and the use of rape as a weapon of war". EU Parliament President Antonio Tajani expressed his delight at the honor for Murad and Mukwege, both winners of the European Parliament's Sakharov Human Rights Prize.

The Society for Threatened Peoples (GfbV) called the award a "sign against the indifference with which many governments react to rape as a weapon of war". The women's rights organization Terre des Femmes also emphasized that a taboo subject was now coming into focus.

Award is important sign of solidarity, he said

Catholic relief organizations stressed the important signal sent out by the award. The president of missio Munich, Wolfgang Huber, spoke of solidarity with victims of war and violence in the Congo and a strengthening of religious minorities in the Middle East. The Yazidi Nadia Murad gives her people a face and a voice. The Yazidis may have lost their homeland forever, the missio president said. "A similar fate threatens the Christian minority in Iraq and throughout the Middle East."

The situation of refugees in Lebanon, Turkey and Greece is also dramatic. Denis Mukwege from Congo is a man who fearlessly stands by the side of victims of war and violence. There has been an unresolved conflict in the central African country for years, and Europe should not be indifferent to it. "It's about raw materials like copper and coltan, which are also used in our smartphones, for example," Huber said.

The president of missio Aachen, Klaus Kramer, highlighted Mukweg's commitment against sexual violence. The Congo is considered one of the most dangerous regions in the world, especially for women, because so many rapes take place there. The aid agency Brot fur die Welt called Mukwege's award a "great encouragement at the right time for the people in the Democratic Republic of Congo, in Africa and worldwide".

Role models in the fight for justice and peace

Left-wing parliamentary group vice chairwoman Sevim Dagdelen said the laureates were "great role models in the fight for justice and peace". Human rights activist and publicist Duzen Tekkal called for better opportunities for Yazidi refugees to stay in Germany in light of the honor. "We need better opportunities for Yezidis to receive asylum in Germany," she told the "Welt" newspaper.

Murad advocates prosecution of IS crimes. Mukwege, a gynecologist, runs a clinic for victims of sexual violence in the Democratic Republic of Congo. He was honored with the Alternative Nobel Prize for his efforts in 2013.

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