Dr. Denis Mukwege at Panzi Hospital in Bukavu. Image by Roger Svanell. Democratic Republic of Congo, 2014.

Nobel Peace Prize co-winner Denis Mukwege on Friday dedicated his award to women around the world who have been wounded in wars and those “confronted with violence every day”.

“This Nobel prize is a recognition of the suffering and the failure to adequately compensate women who are victims of rape and sexual violence in all countries around the world,” he said, speaking outside his clinic in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo city of Bukavu.

Mukwege was recognised for two decades of helping women recover from the violence and trauma of sexual abuse and rape in war-torn eastern DRC.

“It’s an important step towards this long awaited reparation that we all owe to these women who have suffered so much,” he said.

“For nearly 20 years I have witnessed war crimes committed against women, young girls, tots and babies,” he said, adding that he had operated on some 50 000 women victims of rape and sexual abuse.

Mukwege, addressing women victims of violence, said the prize showed that the “world hears you… The world refuses to remain with their arms crossed while confronted with your suffering.”

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