The Simone-de-Beauvoir prize awarded to a Salvadoran woman for her fight for the right to abortion

Sara Garcia Gross has been campaigning for the last ten years for the right of women to dispose of their bodies, in a country whose anti-abortion legislation is among the most restrictive in the world.

Sara Garcia Gross. DR

The Simone-de-Beauvoir 2019 prize for women's freedom will be presented Wednesday, January 9, to Salvadoran activist Sara Garcia Gross, who is fighting in her country and in the Central American region for the recognition of the right to freedom of expression. abortion.

Read the interview of Sara Garcia Gross in "The World": "If Argentina legalizes abortion, it will have consequences throughout the region"

The award, which will be presented at the Maison de l'Amérique latine in Paris, was created in 2008 on the occasion of the 100th anniversary of the birth of the author of the Second Sex in order to "help mobilize international solidarity, reaffirm the right of women in the world, to guarantee the protection of those who today struggle against the risk of their lives, and to defend by their side the ideals of equality and peace ".

It has been awarded in the past to the Pakistani activist and Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai, to the mayor of Lampedusa (Italy), Giusi Nicolini, for her work in favor of wrecked migrants from the Mediterranean, or to the writer and journalist Asli Erdogan, threatened with life imprisonment for his articles in the Turkish press.

Sara Garcia Gross, 33, is a longtime activist in her country. El Salvador is one of eight countries in the world to prohibit abortion in all cases, even in case of danger to the life of the pregnant woman. Other countries are Nicaragua, Honduras, Dominican Republic, Haiti, Suriname, Malta and the Vatican.

"Support for her work on women's rights"

Educator, academic, she is a member of the Citizen Association for the Decriminalization of Abortion, which presented in 2016 a bill to decriminalize abortion in case of rape, the situation of trafficking in women, danger for the life of the pregnant woman and serious malformation of the fetus. Sara Garcia Gross does not hesitate to survey the television sets of his country despite threats of complaints, by the conservative sectors, for "apology for crime".

She also intervenes in the trials of women accused of abortion, lobbies lawmakers and participates in citizen mobilizations, including the release on 15 February 2018, Teodora Vasquez, sentenced to 30 years in prison in 2008 for a miscarriage as an "aggravated homicide".

"To award the Simone-de-Beauvoir prize for women's freedom to Sara Garcia Gross is to recognize that her action is in line with that of Simone de Beauvoir, " said a statement from the Simone-de-France Award jury. Beauvoir, currently chaired by activist Sihem Habchi. It is also a question of offering, from France and Europe, support for its work in favor of women's rights, to draw international attention to the situation of women imprisoned or threatened with prison because of the denial of their right to their bodies. "

Angeline Montoya

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