On October 6th, Dr. Denis Mukwege accepted the 13th Seoul Peace Prize as a result of his work fighting against the use of rape as a weapon of war. He dedicated the Seoul Peace Prize to survivors of sexual violence all over the world. “As an acknowledgement of your humanity and suffering, and our shared desire for peace.”

Treatment of 50,000 survivors of sexual violence

Dr. Mukwege’s efforts, together with the staff at the Panzi hospital, have helped nearly 50,000 survivors of sexual violence in the Democratic Republic of Congo. In addition to medical treatment, recognizes the need to restore the dignity of women and help them understand they are not to blame. Panzi promotes a holistic approach that includes medical, legal, psychological and socioeconomic support.

Seoul Peace Prize Cultural Foundation

The Seoul Peace Prize Cultural Foundation based their decision on his efforts to improve human rights for women and children, including immense dedication towards providing survivors a future. Dr. Mukwege reflected on this commitment in his speech. “I am doing my duty, as we all must. Each of us confronted with the suffering of any fellow human being must show concern and compassion.”, he said.

Progress will continue to be made

Despite the suffering Dr. Mukwege has witnessed first-hand, he remains hopeful. Progress has been made and will continue be made. Panzi is one key player in this change: “by challenging patriarchal gender norms, fighting against impunity and promoting a holistic healing model to ensure that all needs of the victim are met, facilitating a healthy future both mentally and physically.”

As Dr. Mukwege rightfully asserted, “We strongly believe that those who have endured violence in conflict have the capacity to act as agents for peace and security.” The Mukwege Foundation is proud to be supporting Dr. Mukwege in his future efforts!

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