Dr. Denis Mukwege, Tireless Advocate for Survivors of Wartime Sexual Violence, Is Awarded the Aurora Prize

Dr. Denis Mukwege

The eighth Aurora Prize for Awakening Humanity has been awarded to Dr. Denis Mukwege, a world-renowned gynecological surgeon and human rights activist from the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). The Aurora Prize Selection Committee recognized Dr. Mukwege’s courageous work and dedication to improving human rights for all, particularly women and girls who have been subjected to the brutality of sexual violence in conflict zones.

Dr. Mukwege founded the Panzi Hospital in 1999 to address the critical healthcare needs stemming from the ongoing conflict in the DRC. Since its inception, the hospital and its staff have helped care for more than 80,000 survivors of sexual violence, providing not only physical treatment but also legal aid, socio-economic reintegration, and psychosocial services.

As the 2024 Aurora Prize Laureate, Dr. Mukwege will receive a $1,000,000 award and the opportunity to continue the cycle of giving by supporting local grassroots leaders who are helping those in need. His commitment to advocating for the rights of survivors and demanding justice for the perpetrators of sexual violence has earned him international recognition. This includes the Nobel Peace Prize in 2018, which he was awarded along with Nadia Murad for their global efforts to end the use of sexual violence as a weapon of war. Despite facing threats and challenges, including an assassination attempt, Dr. Mukwege remains committed to justice and healing.

Dr. Denis Mukwege and Nadia Murad receiving the Nobel Peace Prize in 2018. (Source: Mukwege Foundation)

Upon accepting the Aurora Prize in Los Angeles, Dr. Mukwege honored the resilience and strength of the women he has treated, stating, “These women stand up again after being subjected to extreme violence, and not only reclaim their own strength, but also extend a helping hand to others in need.”

Dr. Mukwege’s selection as the 2024 Aurora Prize Laureate comes at a crucial time when major conflicts have driven massive humanitarian needs worldwide. His extraordinary courage and dedication serve as an inspiration to create a world that recognizes and acts on our shared humanity.

In a previous interview with the Nobel Foundation, Dr. Mukwege emphasized the urgency of his mission, stating, “After three decades, I’m still fighting to stop the use of rape as a weapon of war. We should not accept such a thing when we know it’s happening. It’s simply unacceptable.”

Watch this video to learn more about Dr. Mukwege and his work:

For more than 30 years, the DRC has endured endless war․ Every day, around 60 females are being sexually assaulted in refugee camps․ 2024 Aurora Humanitarian Dr. Denis Mukwege fights to break the circle of violence on multiple fronts.

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