Press Release

UNFPA and UN Women in Haiti welcome the Nobel Peace Prize 2018 to two emblematic figures in the fight against sexual violence

5 October 2018

UNFPA and UN Women in Haiti welcome the Nobel Peace Prize 2018 to two emblematic figures in the fight against sexual violence

UNFPA, the United Nations Population Fund, and the United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and Women Empowerment (UN Women) in Haiti, welcome the awarding of the Nobel Peace Prize to Congolese doctor Denis Mukwege and Iraqi human rights activist Nadia Murad, both of whom have been instrumental in the ongoing fight to eradicate sexual violence against women.

This distinction is, first of all, a tribute to the exemplary courage and tenacity that Mukwege and Murad have shown in this noble struggle for the respect of the rights of women and girls. This award is also an acknowledgment of the struggle of victims of violence, but it also serves as a moral support for survivors.

An estimated 35 percent of women worldwide have experienced physical and / or sexual violence by an intimate partner or sexual violence by another person at some point in their lives. Worldwide, it is estimated that one in three women will be victims of physical or sexual violence during their lifetime.

As elsewhere, violence against women is a significant reality in Haiti. The sixth edition of the Survey on Mortality, Morbidity and Utilization of Services (EMMUS-VI, 2016-2017) reminds us that 29% of women have experienced physical violence since the age of 15, while 12% of women have experienced sexual violence, 34% of non-single women experienced spousal violence, whether physical, sexual or emotional.

For UNFPA and UN Women in Haiti, the choice of the Nobel Committee to reward two emblematic figures in the fight against sexual violence against women is an encouragement to intensify the efforts of all to push back the culture of silence that, too often, surrounds gender-based violence, which endangers the health, dignity, security and autonomy of its victims.

UNFPA and UN Women in Haiti take the opportunity to call for more active and unrelenting involvement of all actors in the fight against gender-based violence (GBV), including in conflict situations.

Indeed, it is in everyday life, in all countries, in peace as in conflict, that gender social norms create mechanisms that fuel gender-based violence.

We want to encourage the leadership of girls and women, like Nadia Murad, and urge more men to become actively involved in ending gender-based violence, as these two laureates have sometimes done, risking their lives. This Nobel Prize is an international recognition of the imperative to work resolutely against gender-based violence, everywhere and at all times.

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For information :

Vario Sérant, 3701-4872, serant@unfpa.org

Guillaume Joachin, 3170-0234, guillaume.joachin@unwomen.org