It is considered the most important political award in the world: The Nobel Peace Prize. This year, it goes to UN Special Envoy Nadia Murad and Congolese doctor Denis Mukwege.
The awarding of the Nobel Peace Prize to Iraqi Yazidi Nadia Murad and Congolese doctor Denis Mukwege puts the fight against sexual violence as a weapon in wars in the spotlight.
Development Minister Gerd Muller (CSU) called rape in war a war crime. The Nobel Committee has sent an important signal with its choice, he stressed in a guest article in the "Passauer Neue Presse".
It's "high time"
"There will be no peace in the world as long as sexual violence is used as a heinous weapon and women and girls do not have the same rights as men," Muller said. It is "high time" to punish these crimes consistently.
He said the international community must pursue the punishment of these war criminals with much more vigor. Muller also appealed not to look the other way and to help the women, with legal counseling, trauma treatment and medical assistance.
The chairman of the Central Council of Yezidis in Germany, Irfan Ortac, stressed that the honor for Nadia Murad would put the focus back on Yezidi women who are still in captivity of the terrorist militia "Islamic State" (IS).
For four years, the 25-year-old has "tirelessly traveled to draw attention to the fate of the Yazidis and other victims of IS," Ortac told the "Heilbronner Stimme" newspaper.
Master plan for return
"There are still about 1.000 women at the hands of IS – just as Nadia Murad was. They are enslaved and abused. A total of just under 2.600 Yazidis missing," he said.
Ortac also called for a master plan to enable the return of Yazidis to their homeland.
Reconstruction with and by Yazidis
Above all, three conditions would have to be created: People must be able to feel safe again; Shiite militias currently rule the region.
Reconstruction should be carried out together with Yazidis, with Yazidi craftsmen and service providers. To that end, he said, development aid should not be allowed to seep away into projects in the camps. "If it were possible to earn a living wage, I'm sure many would come back," Ortac said.
Call for better ways to stay
Human rights activist and publicist Duzen Tekkal called for better opportunities for Yazidi refugees to stay in Germany in light of the award.
"We need better opportunities for Yezidis to receive asylum in Germany," she told the "Welt" newspaper.
Campaign against sexual violence as a weapon
On Friday, the Norwegian Nobel Committee in Oslo had announced the award to Nadia Murad and Denis Mukwege.
UN Special Envoy against Human Trafficking Murad, who was enslaved by IS, and gynecologist Mukwege, who runs a clinic for victims of sexual violence in the Democratic Republic of Congo, are honored for their work against sexual violence as a weapon in wars and armed conflicts.