Murad: Nobel prize win significant ‘for all women’ suffering sexual violence

Winning the Nobel peace prize is a significant victory for all women suffering from sexual violence in conflicts, Yazidi campaigner Nadia Murad said on Friday in her first remarks after jointly winning the award (AFP pic)

OSLO: Winning the Nobel peace prize is a significant victory for all women suffering from sexual violence, Yazidi campaigner Nadia Murad said on Friday in her first remarks after jointly winning the award.

“It means a lot, not just for me, for all of these women in Iraq and all the world,” she said in a phone interview with the Nobel prize website after sharing the prize with Congolese doctor Denis Mukwege for their work in fighting sexual violence in conflicts around the globe.

“It wasn’t easy for me to go out and speak about what happened to me because it wasn’t easy, and specifically for women in the Middle East to go and talk about (being) sex slaves,” she said in English by phone from Cambridge in the US state of Massachusetts.

Switching to Kurdish, with a translation given by her fiance Abid Shamdeen, she said: “For those small communities that are being persecuted, this prize tells me that their voices are being heard.

“We hope (it) will be a voice for all the women that are suffering from sexual violence in conflict in many other places.”

Murad, 25, was kidnapped by Islamic State militants in 2014 and endured three months as a sex slave before managing to escape.

She was one of the thousands of Yazidi women and girls who were abducted, raped and brutalised by jihadists during their assault that year on the Kurdish-speaking minority, which the United Nations has described as genocide.