Dr Denis Mukwege: When the Alternative Becomes Nobel
The Norwegian Nobel Committee has announced that Dr Denis Mukwege has received this year’s Nobel Peace Prize. The news comes five years after Dr Mukwege received his Right Livelihood Award, widely known as the ‘Alternative Nobel Prize’, for “his courageous work healing women survivors of war-time sexual violence and speaking up about its root causes”.
Ole von Uexkull, Executive Director of the Right Livelihood Award Foundation, welcomes the Nobel Committee’s choice: “Dr Mukwege is a fantastic choice for this year’s Nobel Peace Prize. His pioneering work in DR Congo treating women who have experienced the most horrific sexual violence not only helps mend them physically but also restore their human dignity. This international recognition must be a clarion call to putting an end to violence against women everywhere around the world.”
Working in the war-torn regions of the Democratic Republic of Congo, Dr Mukwege and his colleagues have treated tens of thousands of rape victims, developing great expertise in the treatment of serious gynaecological injuries. Despite attacks on his life, Denis Mukwege continues to work in the Panzi hospital in his native DR Congo, and to raise awareness about rape being used as a weapon of war at the highest levels, including at the United Nations General Assembly. A 2015 documentary film about Dr Mukwege’s work titled “The Man Who Mends Women” has been shown in close to 50 countries.
More information about Dr Denis Mukwege: https://www.rightlivelihoodaward.org/laureates/denis-mukwege/
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About the Right Livelihood Award Foundation
Established in 1980, the Right Livelihood Award Foundation honours and supports courageous people and organisations offering visionary and exemplary solutions to the root causes of global problems. The Swedish Foundation sees its role as being the megaphone and shield for the Laureates, and provides them with long-term support. It seeks to help protect those award recipients whose life and liberty are in danger. The Foundation has Special Consultative Status with the UN Economic and Social Council.
The Right Livelihood Award is annually presented to four Laureates. Unlike most other international prizes, it has no categories. The award recognises that, in striving to meet the human challenges of today’s world, the most inspiring and remarkable work often defies any standard classification. In total there are now 174 Laureates from 70 countries.
About the selection process
Anyone can propose candidates to be considered for the Right Livelihood Award. After careful investigation by the Foundation’s research team, reports on the current proposals are submitted to the Foundation’s board and international Jury. The Jury meets annually in September to select the recipients.
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