The winners of the 2018 Nobel peace prize (Photo: Reuters)

Mukwege, a gynecologist and surgeon, 63, has long worked to treat thousands of women and girls affected by rape and sexual violence in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Mr. Mukwege heads the Panzi Hospital in the eastern Congolese city of Bukavu. Opened in 1999, the clinic receives thousands of women each year, many of them requiring surgery from sexual violence. He had devoted his life to defending these victims.

Murad, 25, was one of an estimated 3,000 Yazidi women and girls subjected to horrific abuse, including rape, by ISIS militants.

Nadia Murad was abducted with other Yazidi women in August 2014 when their home village of Kocho in Sinjar, northern Iraq, was attacked by ISIS. Captured alongside her sisters, she lost six brothers and her mother as the extremists killed the village’s men and any women considered too old to be sexually exploited.

She eventually escaped and had shown uncommon courage in repeatedly recounting her own sufferings and speaking up on behalf of other victims.

In 2016, at age 23, she was made a UN goodwill ambassador for the dignity of survivors of human trafficking.

"Both laureates have made a crucial contribution to focusing attention on, and combating, such war crimes," said Berit Reiss-Andersen, Chair of the Norwegian Nobel Committee, as she announced the award at the Norwegian Nobel Institute in Oslo.

Mukwege is the first Congolese, and Murad the seventeenth woman and first Iraqi, to receive the Nobel peace prize./.

Compiled by BTA