Woman Power

Woman in Focus: Nobel Peace Prize Winner, Nadia Murad

Some women live to inspire, not one but many. This year when Nadia Murad won the Nobel Peace Prize, it did not surprise many. Her life has been full of terror that one can only imagine and yet she has survived from the ashes.

Who is Nadia Murad?

Nadia Murad is a Yazidi woman. She is the first Iraqi to ever win a Nobel Peace Prize. Nadia Murad is a 25 years old Yazidi (a religious minority in Iraq)  activist, a former captive of ISIS. She shares the award with Dr Denis Mukwege, 63, a Congolese surgeon who treats victims of rape.

The statement released by The Norwegian Nobel Committee stated that they have chosen Nadia Murad and Dr Denis Mukwege for the Nobel peace prize for 2018, for their efforts to end the use of sexual violence as a weapon of war and armed conflict.

The statement further added, ‘Nadia Murad is the witness who tells of the abuses perpetrated against herself and others. Nadia Murad is herself a victim of war crimes. She refused to accept the social codes that require women to remain silent and ashamed of the abuses to which they have been subjected. She has shown uncommon courage in recounting her own sufferings and speaking up on behalf of other victims.’

The word uncommon is very small when it comes to recounting the horrors faced by Nadia Murad and yet her undisputed courage to fight back.

Nadia Murad lived in the remote village of Kocho, Iraq with her family. The Islamic State (IS) launched brutal attacks on villages of the Sinjar district to exterminate Yazidi population in August 2014. Underage children and women were abducted and held as sex slaves. Nadia was also abducted and subjected to rape and abuse. She was threatened to convert to hateful version. After a three month nightmare, Nadia Murad managed to flee. She spoke openly about her abuse. It takes a lot of courage to recount and in a way to relive the brutal assault. In 2016, Nadia was named the UN’s first Goodwill Ambassador for the Dignity of Survivors of Human Trafficking.

Seven members of Nadia’s Family were killed on the same day. In one of her interviews, Nadia recounted her ordeal:

“Three years ago I was one of thousands of Yazidi women kidnapped by the Islamic State and sold into slavery. I endured rape, torture and humiliation at the hands of multiple militants before I escaped. I was relatively lucky; many Yazidis went through worse than I did and for much longer. Many are still missing. Many have been killed.

Once I escaped, I felt that it was my duty to tell the world about the brutality of the Islamic State.”

Nadia Murad’s courage has inspired millions and given the strength to other survivors to come forward and share the ordeal. The first step to solve any problem is to address and acknowledge it and awarding Nadia Murad helps highlight the plight of women even in this day and age.

The statement also acknowledged that, ‘Denis Mukwege and Nadia Murad have both put their personal security at risk by courageously combating war crimes and seeking justice for the victims. They have thereby promoted the fraternity of nations through the application of principles of international law.’

With #MeToo movement helping women to come forward and share the ordeal they have faced, it has become crucial to address the sexual abuse women face in every walk of life.

Picture Credit: www.thelily.com

 

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