Nadia Murad Becomes the First Iraqi to Win a Nobel Peace Prize

And only the second Middle Eastern woman to do so

At just 25-years-old, Nadia Murad has already endured hardships one could never imagine. Murad is one of thousands of Yazidi women who were held captive by ISIS, and eventually sold into slavery. Since her escape, she’s dedicated her life to activism and fighting against sexual abuse and violence.


As of last week, the now Germany-based human rights activist is a Nobel Peace Prize laureate and the first Iraqi to be awarded the prize.


“I share this award with all Yazidis, with all the Iraqis, Kurds, and all the minorities and all survivors of sexual violence around the world,” she said in a statement on her website.


Murad has worked tirelessly over the last few years to bring awareness to the plight of the Yazidi population in Iraq, which had been under attack by ISIS from 2014. The minority population was particularly prosecuted by the terrorist group, at whose hands they’ve been a target for genocide, with women in particular being systematically sold into international sex trafficking rings.


“Persecution of minorities must end,” she added in her statement. “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 also shares the award with Dr. Denis Mukwege – the Congolese gynecologist who was awarded the prize for his work in aiding rape victims.


The Norwegian Nobel Committee awarded the two activists the prize “for their efforts to end the use of sexual violence as a weapon of war and armed conflict”, they said in a statement.

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