V-Day, One Billion Rising & City of Joy are thrilled to celebrate our brother, our partner, our friend, Dr. Denis Mukwege and our sister-activist Nadia Murad, who today, both received the 2018 Nobel Peace Prize.
Photo: Paula Allen for V-Day
Dr. Denis Mukwege is a brilliant and compassionate surgeon, the Director of Panzi Hospital, the President of the Panzi Foundation, a pastor, and an activist. For 20 years, he has worked with the deepest vision and love to heal women’s bodies that have been ravaged by rape and war. He has traveled the world in their name, demanding an end to impunity and for international pressure to end the conflict in the Democratic Republic of Congo, making sexual violence in conflict zones an issue that can no longer be denied. Despite having survived an assassination attempt in October of 2012, Dr. Mukwege risks his life daily, continuing to lead Panzi Hospital and perform surgeries, teach comprehensive sexuality education at the City of Joy, and advocate for an end to the conflict in Congo.
A beloved leader, Dr. Mukwege has been a partner of V-Day since 2006, when he and Eve Ensler first met. He was responsible for introducing us to noted human rights activist Christine Schuler Deschryver (Co-founder and Director of the City of Joy and Director of V-Day Congo), who, with the women of Congo, made the City of Joy a reality. The story of their deep history and the bond forged between Dr. Mukwege, Christine and Eve is told in the just released, award winning documentary and Netflix Original film CITY OF JOY. Together, Dr. Mukwege, Christine and Eve are the three co-founders of the revolutionary center for women survivors of gender violence in Congo.
Photo: Paula Allen for V-Day
“This recognition is for an extraordinary man, Dr. Mukwege, who has risked everything to heal, cherish and honor women. It is a call to men across the planet to do the same,” stated Eve Ensler, playwright and V-Day Founder.
Christine Schuler Deschryver shared: “This prize is well deserved. Dr. Mukwege has never given up despite the threats and the difficult conditions in which he lives. He has lost his own freedom to free Congolese women. He is using his voice to free the people – because his voice is heard well beyond the Congo.”
Congratulations Dr. Mukwege! You inspire us each and every day to continue to work to end violence against women in the Congo, and the world over.
LEARN about the work of CITY OF JOY:
WATCH the CITY OF JOY Documentary Film, PLAN a House Party or a Community Screening of the Documentary Film CITY OF JOY, DOWNLOAD the Screening Guide
READ Eve’s piece just out on Dr. Mukwege: “My Friend Denis Mukwege is a Beacon for All Men to Follow” by Eve Ensler (The Guardian)
Congratulations Nadia Murad! We honor the work of our sister-activist, as she is being recognized for the immense courage she bares, advocating for the end of sexual violence as a weapon of war. By sharing her own story and experiences and calling for accountability, Nadia Murad works to raise awareness and ignite change, in effort to ensure that no woman or girl endures what she did, in the face of imperial, political, and sexual violence and genocide.
Eve wrote about Nadia in 2016 when she was honored as one of the TIME 100. Here is what she wrote: “Nadia Murad stands in a long, invisible history of fierce, indomitable women who rise from the scorched earth of rape during war to break the odious silence and demand justice and freedom for their sisters. At 19 she lost her home, her country, her culture, her mother to murder; witnessed male members of her family murdered in mass killings; and was kidnapped, sold and endlessly raped by members of ISIS. She now travels the world speaking out on the genocide being inflicted on her Yezidi people and demanding release for the more than 3,000 women still held in bondage.
As Europe closes its borders to terrorized refugees in Greece and the U.S. turns its back on the suffering, Nadia is a beacon of light and truth—a reminder that it was the American-led war in Iraq that laid the path for ISIS, that U.S. arms left behind on the battlefield fell into the hands of ISIS and that the U.S. waited too long to intervene in the mass killing and enslavement of the Yezidi people. At 23, Nadia Murad is risking everything to awaken us. I hope we are listening, because we too are responsible.” –Eve Ensler
READ more about Nadia’s work:
“Bureau of Sex Slavery” by Eve Ensler (The Nation)
We Rise With Yazidi Women!