Dr Denis Mukwege and Nadia Murad were awarded the Nobel Peace Prize 2018 this week for their efforts to end the use of sexual violence as a weapon in wars and armed conflicts. Following the news, Grand Duke Henri and Grand Duchess Maria Teresa send their congratulations to the two laureates.
It reads: “It is with great joy that we learn the news of Dr. Denis Mukwege and Mrs. Nadia Murad receiving the Nobel Peace Prize. This supreme reward is the culmination of an outstanding commitment to a cause that is very important to us. It is an encouragement to continue the fight against the repeated use of sexual violence as a weapon of war. “
Since their first meeting in 2016, Grand Duchess Maria Teresa has been supporting Dr Mukwege in his commitment. In partnership with the Dr Mukwege Foundation and the NGO We are not Weapons of War founded by Céline Bardet, Grand Duchess Maria Teresa is currently working on a major conference to help survivors of war rapes. Of international reach, this event will aim to amplify the voice and messages of survivors of sexual violence in sensitive areas and to find solutions relevant to better protect them from these tragedies.
Placed under the aegis of the Foundation of the Grand Duke and the Grand Duchess and with the
Women’s Forum for the Economy & Society as an institutional partner, the conference “StandSpeakRise Up” will take place on 26 and 27 March 2019 at the European Convention Center of Luxembourg.
Grand Duchess Maria Teresa has met Dr Mukwege several times, and both their foundations organized an exhibition by women who survived wartime sexual assault in Geneva, Switzerland last year. She also met Naria Murad during an audience at the Grand Ducal Palace in 2016.
Dr Denis Mukwege founded and works in Panzi Hospital in Bukavu, DR Congo where he specializes in the treatment of women who have been raped by rebel forces. Mrs Nadia Murad is a sexual assault survivor. She was kidnapped and held by the Islamic State for three months. She founded Nadia’s Initiative, an organization dedicated to “helping women and children victimized by genocide, mass atrocities, and human trafficking to heal and rebuild their lives and communities”. Both laureates will receive their awards during a ceremony in Oslo, Norway next December which the Norwegian royal family will attend.