Over the weekend, Nobel Peace Prize winners were announced as Denis Mukwege and Nadia Murad for their efforts to stop the use of sexual violence as a weapon in war.
Both have courageously persevered in their plans to make a change despite the dangers and have shined a light on an ongoing heartache and struggle for women in vulnerable areas. Congolese gynaecologist Denis Mukwege treated thousands of rape victims while Nadia Murad, the Iraqi Yazidi, was sold into sex slavery by Isis.
Murad’s story in particular struck a chord with team A&E as despite the trauma suffered at the hands of her captors, that were part of the Isis group that tore apart her Iraqi village, and despite the repeated rape from militants who thought they deserved a sabaya (sex slave), she continues to talk about her ordeal and has written an autobiography.
Titled the The Last Girl because she wants to be “the last girl in the world with a story like mine” and has supported other victims and with the backing from politicians and human rights lawyer Amal Clooney. She continues to seek justice by gathering evidence to bring militants to trial in a legal case against Islamic State commanders.
“We must work together with determination — to prove that genocidal campaigns will not only fail, but lead to accountability for the perpetrators and justice for the survivors,” Murad said in a statement.
Telling her story not only highlights the injustice happening today, but also reminds the winder public that sexual violence has been used as a weapon throughout history and it’s time to put a stop to it, and her story is the most powerful weapon she has.
“My story, told honestly and matter-of-factly, is the best weapon I have against terrorism, and I plan on using it until those terrorists are put on trial. There is still so much that needs to be done,” she told the Guardian newspaper.
Murad dreamed of being a teacher or working in a beauty salon, her dreams didn’t come true, but being awarded one of the most prestigious awards in the world will keep the cause on the forefront of the public’s minds and help prevent other girls dreams’ being ripped away from them.
To learn more, head to Murad’s charity Nadia’s Initiative that works to assist redevelopment.