2018 Nobel Peace Prize Winners Nadia Murad and Dr. Denis Mukwege were recently celebrated at Georgetown University.

Washington, D.C., October 5, 2018 – Georgetown University’s Institute for Women, Peace and Security (GIWPS) applauds the decision of the Nobel Prize committee to award Nadia Murad and Dr. Denis Mukwege the 2018 Nobel Peace Prize and put a spotlight on sexual violence in war.

“Sexual violence is increasingly used as a tactic of war, which exacerbates armed conflict and hinders peace,” said Ambassador Melanne Verveer, executive director of GIWPS and the first ambassador for global women’s issues. “The Nobel Peace Prize winners’ work to eliminate sexual violence is fundamentally a matter of human rights but also imperative for collective peace and security.”

Mukwege, a Congolese gynecological surgeon, and Murad, a former ISIS captive and Yazidi activist, were selected by the Nobel Prize Committee for their efforts to draw attention to the crime of sexual violence in conflict.

“Both have witnessed its horrors firsthand and labor at great personal sacrifice to heal victims and protect others from this violence,” said Verveer.

Georgetown has been privileged to work with both peacebuilders. Georgetown University President John J. DeGioia and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton presented Murad and Mukwege with awards for Advancing Women in Peace and Security in 2018 and 2014, respectively, alongside Ambassador Verveer.

The annual Georgetown award celebrates women’s role in making the world more peaceful and secure.

“I accept this award today on behalf of these women, as I strongly believe that those who have endured violence in conflict times have the capacity to act as an agent for peace and security and deserve a place at the negotiation table in peace talks,” said Mukwege in 2014.

When asked what she has found most effective in fighting for justice, Nadia said, “synergy – uniting the efforts of all the members of a community against the force of evil is what is challenging and what has been very effective. In telling the terrorist organizations that we are united against you.”

Georgetown University’s Institute for Women, Peace and Security seeks to promote a more stable, peaceful, and just world by focusing on the important role women play in preventing conflict and building peace, growing economies, and addressing global threats like climate change and violent extremism. 


Media contact: Sarah Rutherford,