Minister-president Geert Bourgeois and Chairman Jan Peumans had the honour of welcoming Nadia Murad in the Flemish Parliament on 25 March. Mrs. Murad spoke about her fight against sexual violence in conflict areas for which she received the Nobel Peace Prize in 2018. Minister-president Bourgeois expressed his support and awarded her NGO Nadia’s Initiative a grant of 250,000 euros.
Nadia Murad is Jezidi and she became a victim of sexual violence during the invasion of IS in Iraqi Kurdistan. Like many women and young girls from the Jezidi community, she was captured by IS fighters and used as a sex slave. After she was able to escape from the IS terror, Nadia Murad was received in Germany where she founded Nadia's initiative in 2016.
This NGO focuses on the fight against sexual violence and violence against minorities in conflict situations and on the reconstruction of the Sinjar region in north-western Iraq where the Jezidi community is mainly located.
In his welcome speech, Minister-president Bourgeois praised Nadia Murad for her courage and perseverance. He also announced his support for Nadia's Initiative:
“I am very proud to announce today that I am also releasing 250,000 euros for the organization of Nadia Murad. Nadia's Initiative focuses on two goals of great importance to me: the fight against sexual violence and the reconstruction of the home country of the Jezidi community in northern Iraq."
Minister-president Bourgeois agreed with Nadia Murad's request to support the Jezidi: "I am appealing to the European Union to continue supporting the Jezidi people, even after the last stronghold of IS has fallen."