This year’s Per Anger Prize winner Teodora del Carmen Vásquez from El Salvador. Photo: Amnesty International.
She gave birth to a stillborn baby, was accused of inducing an abortion and was sentenced to 30 years in prison for aggravated homicide. She was released after serving almost 11 years. Now, despite the danger it entails, she fights for other women subjected to the same treatment and for a change in abortion laws.
This year’s Per Anger Prize, the Swedish Government’s international prize for supporting human rights and democracy, is awarded to Teodora del Carmen Vásquez from El Salvador.
To acknowledge the devastating consequences of restrictive abortion laws on women’s lives in El Salvador, the 2018 Per Anger Prize, awarded by The Living History Forum on behalf of the Swedish Government, goes to Teodora del Carmen Vásquez.
“Teodora del Carmen Vásquez has turned personal pain into power to help others. Continuing to fight after ten years in prison is not only remarkable, it also requires great courage,” says Ingrid Lomfors, Director of The Living History Forum and chairman of the jury for the Per Anger Prize.
Teodora del Carmen Vásquez was born in 1983 in Ahuachapán in El Salvador. Today, she is a famous women’s rights activist in her country, working to change abortion laws and support other imprisoned women.
“Getting the imprisoned women released is what drives me. The Per Anger Prize is not primarily a prize to me, it is a symbol of the continued fight for human rights for women,” says Teodora del Carmen Vásquez.
The Per Anger Prize is the Swedish Government’s international prize for supporting human rights and democracy. It was established in 2004 to acknowledge the initiatives of Per Anger during the Second World War, when he saved Hungarian Jews from the Holocaust. The Living History Forum has been commissioned by the Government to award the prize annually.
Read more about Theodora del Carmen Vásquez and watch a short film on The Living History Forum website: