According to the New York Times, Mukwege has continued his advocacy even after facing threats to his safety. Following his impassioned speech at the United Nations in 2012 in which he condemned the Congolese government and other nations for standing by as women faced sexual violence during the country’s civil wars, armed men entered his home, took his children hostage, and attempted to shoot him. After two months in exile, Mukwege returned to his work.

“I want to be the last girl in the world with a story like mine.” —Nadia Murad

Mukwege has been joined in the fight against sexual violence in recent years by Murad, who has spoken out about her own experience being captured from her home in northern Iraq, along with thousands of other Yazidi women and girls, by ISIS in 2014.

Both laureates have “put their personal security at risk by courageously combating war crimes and seeking justice for the victims,” Reiss-Andersen said when announcing the award.

Since escaping, Murad has demanded that international leaders acknowledge and fight against the abuse of women like her, speaking to the United Nations Security Council, the U.S. House of Representatives, the British House of Commons, and the U.S. State Department—which recognized the genocide of the Yazidi people following her appeal.

“I want to be the last girl in the world with a story like mine,” Murad wrote in her autobiography last year.

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