The Democratic Republic of Congo’s ‘Mama Jeanne’, ‘Mama Jeannette’ and Dr. Denis Mukwege are contenders for the 2016 Nobel Peace Prize for their fight against sexual violence.
Mukwege is the director of Panzi Hospital in Bukavu, the capital of South Kivu, which offers physical and emotional treatment to some hundreds of women who are raped in the region each year.
Jeanne Nacatche Banyere (Mama Jeanne) and Jeannette Kahindo Bindu (Mama Jeannette) have used their church network since the early 2000s to seek out survivors of sexual violence all across the country.
The two have also work alongside gynaecologist Mukwege whose hospital has treated more than 46,000 girls and women with gynecological injuries, about half of them, victims, of sexual violence.
The number of women and girls raped in eastern Congo is unknown, but experts and campaigners say the scale is enormous. Swedish Prime Minister and former United Nations’ special representative on sexual violence in conflict Margot Wallstrom has called Congo the “rape capital of the world.”
Violence is frequent in both North and South Kivu provinces, with rebels commonly using rape as a weapon to intimidate and drive communities from their lands.
The Nobel Peace Prize will be announced in Oslo on Friday, October 7.
The prize, worth 10 million Swedish crowns (1.4 million U.S. dollars), will be handed over on December 10, 2016.